DHAKA: Malaysia will consider recruiting Bangladeshi workers again once the economy returns to its old trajectory, as demand for workers in various sectors will surge.
Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said the main reason for the freeze on foreign workers intake was due to the unfavourable economic conditions at home.
“Malaysia, like the rest of the world, experienced (economic) difficulties and growth was not conducive to take more workers. Once our economy is in good condition, we would be able to recruit back, certainly in the plantation sector,” he told the media here Saturday.
As the global economy went into recession from 2008, Malaysia’s economic growth contracted as well, leading to a drop in demand for overseas workers.
In October 2007, the Malaysian cabinet decided to freeze the hiring of Bangladeshi workers.
And last March, Malaysia cancelled the work visas of 55,000 Bangladeshi workers as the domestic labour market cringed under recession.
But the move had irked traditional labour-supplying nations like Bangladesh, which had nearly 400,000 of its nationals working in Malaysia in various sectors ranging from plantation and construction to manufacturing.
The media in Bangladesh had also frequently harped on the issue.
“We have good relations with Bangladesh and Bangladeshi workers are hardworking, we have no problems in hiring them in future,” said Dompok.
There about 1.5 million foreign workers in Malaysia now.
Dompok is in Dhaka for the inaugural Malaysia-Bangladesh Palm Oil Trade Fair and Seminar 2009 (POTs), jointly organised by the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) and the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB). – Bernama
Source: The Star