Malaysia proposes MoU with Nepal to address labour issuesAfter a halt for more than two months to worker departures for Malaysia, the most popular foreign destination for Nepali jobseekers, the host government has come up with something concrete to resolve the matter soon.
After a halt for more than two months to worker departures for Malaysia, the most popular foreign destination for Nepali jobseekers, the host government has come up with something concrete to resolve the matter soon.
Malaysian Minister of Human Resources M Kulasegaran has said that his government has drafted a memorandum of understanding that is expected to ease the crisis created due to Nepal’s crackdown on Malaysia-authorised firms that fleeced Nepali workers applying for jobs there.
According to the Malay Mail newspaper, Minister Kulasegaran said his ministry was in the final phase of preparing the MoU.
“Before this, we did not have any MoU with them [Nepal]. But now, they have agreed to have an MoU with us and I will get permission from the Cabinet to visit Nepal to solve this issue,” the minister
was quoted as telling the Malay Mail.
Nepalis started migrating to the country in January 2001. They now make the second largest number of the country’s 1.7 million foreign labour force. Malaysia currently hosts 485,000 Nepalis, according to the Immigration Department of Malaysia.
The first round of discussion on similar agreement on labour cooperation between the two countries took place in February last year.
Both the countries have shown interest in signing a formal agreement to resolve outstanding issues after the Nepal government stopped its citizens from going to work in Malaysia.
Departures of Nepali workers to Malaysia have been halted since the third week of May after Nepal scrapped the fees levied on Malaysia-bound workers during the visa process.
While the Malaysian government has requested the Nepali side to allow its workers to take up jobs in Malaysia, Nepal has sought safety cover for its workers against possible harm from any syndicate or middlemen.
Calling middlemen, who benefitted excessively from labour exploitation, as a problem, Minister Kulasegaran said, “We want to do away with this middleman monopoly. I hope employers will be patient with us as we upgrade the system from time to time.”
His ministry has discussed the matter with the Nepali embassy in Malaysia. Nepal has invited Kulasegaran to discuss labour issues and end the stalemate.
Mahesh Prasad Dahal, secretary at the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security, said the government welcomes the initiatives of the Malaysian government to resolve the crisis, but the ministry would discuss the matter in detail before signing a deal. Malaysia is tipped to introduce a new policy this week guiding the hiring of foreign workers.