Minister Meets BMCCI Over KL Labour Crisis
Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Expatriates welfare and labour minister Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain met with the Bangladesh Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday to help resolve the deadlock over manpower export to Kuala Lumpur.

BMCCI representatives pledged all-out help but urged the minister to take up the matter at the government level without wasting any further time.

Malaysia, the second largest destination for Bangladeshi workers, last week cancelled 55,000 visas citing the ongoing global recession.

Emerging from a meeting with chamber members at his Secretariat office, the minister told reporters, "We asked for the BMCCI help in resolving the predicament over labour export to Malaysia."

"They have assured necessary assistance involving their Malaysian counterparts but said a solution was possible only after the ensuing national election there," Mosharraf said.

BMCCI honorary secretary general Syed Moazzem Hossain told reporters that his delegation assured the minister of any possible help but the government itself must move fast to prevent the situation from worsening.

BMCCI director Dr Roshly Yakup, a Malaysian national, said there was ample scope for Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia because "Bangladeshis are friendly and quick in picking up foreign languages."

Besides, he said, Bangladeshi workers have earned a reputation in agriculture, plantation and other industries.

"The problem will soon be over if the government takes initiatives," he said.

The labour minister told reporters Sunday that he will visit Kuala Lumpur on Mar 29 or 30 on his way back from Geneva.

He also said the government had launched diverse diplomatic efforts to iron out a solution which is unlikely before the national election in that country.

Foreign minister Dipu Moni is expected to join him in Kuala Lumpur to hold talks with the new Malaysian government to be formed after the Mar 26 elections.


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