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KL airport wait over for 32 workers PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 30 June 2008

Bdnews24.com

The Malaysian employers of 32 workers, stranded at Kuala Lumpur airport, have agreed to take them in, according to an official.

The employers began taking them in from Friday after they had been stranded for more than one week, Bangladesh ambassador to Malaysia M Khairuzzaman told bdnews24.com Saturday.

Recruiting agency Sikha Trade International sent the workers to Kuala Lumpur on June 18. But when they reached the airport, Malaysian firm Swaslink Resources refused to accept them.

The Bangladesh embassy in Malaysia, the recruiting agency and the Ministry of Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment have, however, put forth contradictory versions on the issue.

The embassy said the employing firm refused to accept the workers as they had arrived before schedule. Sikha Trade International, on the other hand, claimed the problem arose as the government approval of the Malaysian appointing firm had expired.

The ministry said the Malaysian firm refused to accept the workers as the tenure of their visa had expired. The responsibility completely fell on the recruiting agency, it said.

The workers were kept in a shelter and their relatives said that the workers faced the food crisis.

Khairuzzaman told bdnews24.com by telephone Saturday, "Of the 32, the Malaysian firm took in some workers Friday. The rest would be taken in by today (Saturday). We hope all of them will join work by Monday."

He said the workers had to suffer because of Sikha Trade International. "The Malaysian firm had told Sikha to send the workers a few days later, but Sikha sent the workers earlier. The situation became normal after we contacted them. Now it's okay."

Sikha Trade International has been asked to explain its action.

Secretary of the ministry, Abdul Matin, said if they failed to give a satisfactory reply, their licence would be cancelled.

A relative of a worker preferring anonymity said the recruiting agency had also taken extra money from the workers.

The brother of a worker told bdnews24.com, "I contacted my brother by phone on June 24 and came to know that they have been kept at a shelter home in Kuala Lumpur. They were getting food only once a day."

Another relative of a worker claimed that he had paid Tk 1.85 lakh to Sikha Trade International a year back to send his brother to Malaysia.

It was alleged that in another case Tk 2 lakh was charged.

However, Sikha denied allegations of taking excess money or being negligent.

Jahangir Alam, owner of the firm, told bdnews24.com Saturday, "We sent 32 people on calling visas. But the problem arose as the tenure of approval of appointing workers by the Malaysian firm expired."

He claimed that the problem was over and that the workers would join work on Monday.

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