PETALING JAYA | Bangladeshi recruitment agencies are hoping for a review of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on hiring workers between Dhaka and Kuala Lumpur signed in 2021 to bring down the high costs involved.

Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (Baira) said home minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail had said the MoU would be reviewed during his visit there last week.

Baira’s joint secretary Md Tipu Sultan said the review was necessary to make the process easier for the workers to enter Malaysia and also to reduce the current cost, which can be as high as RM20,000 each.

He claimed the initial migration cost had increased from about RM16,000 to RM20,000 per worker because the agencies involved “have to share the money at different levels”.

He was happy the new government, led by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, had taken a stand against labour exploitation.

“We have already given letters to the prime ministers of both the countries asking them to resolve the problems as soon as possible,” he told The Business Standard, a Bangladeshi news network.

According to the report, Saifuddin had given his word to make recruitment faster and lower the migration costs.

“We will speed up the process (of hiring) and the Malaysian government is committed to reducing the migration cost,” Saifuddin had said when meeting his counterpart and other officials.

Recently, human resources minister V Sivakumar said in Parliament that the number of Bangladeshi recruitment agencies allowed to send workers to Malaysia had been increased from 25 to 100.

He also said the fee to recruit foreign workers from other countries was too high and the government had taken various measures to reduce it.

According to reports, statistics from Bangladesh’s Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Trading showed Malaysia is the second-highest recruiter of workers from the country.

Malaysia recruited 25,000 workers in January from Bangladesh, with another 400,000 workers expected to arrive by the end of the year.