KUALA LUMPUR | The moratorium on migrant workers from Bangladesh is expected to be lifted next month the soonest, Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran said.

“I hope we can conclude within one or two months the review on the moratorium that is now in the final stage so that labour supply from Bangladesh can resume,” he said at a press conference after officiating the opening of the 9th International Planters Conference here today.

The suspension of workers from Bangladesh had affected several major industries in the country, especially the plantation and construction sectors, and the lifting of the moratorium is expected to ease labour woes in these sectors.

On Sept 1, 2018 Putrajaya suspended the Foreign Worker Application System (SPPA) for Bangladeshi workers, which only allowed the recruitment process to be carried out by 10 selected agencies approved by the previous government.

The previous system saw Bangladeshi workers having to fork out up to RM20,000 in processing fees per person to agents to facilitate work permit approvals and other arrangements.

Last week, Bangladesh’s Minister of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment, Imran Ahmad, who was in Kuala Lumpur said Bangladesh expects to reach an agreement with Malaysia on a new recruitment mechanism next month.

Imran also assured that the new mechanism and process for the recruitment of Bangladeshi workers for employment in Malaysia would be a transparent one.

“ It is a matter of time to make this system right. The old system is not working, so for the new system, we will get everybody involved and work on it. I think in August, there could be a solution,” he said.

Imran estimated some 400,000 Bangladeshi workers were currently working legally in Malaysia. — Bernama