In a report by The Star Online on 12th July 2006, the Malaysian Ministry of Home Affairs announced that it lifted the two-year ban on Bangladeshi workers and approved 139 outsourcing firms that will be responsible for the recruitment of workers. While MFA welcomes the re-entry of Bangladeshi workers to Malaysia, it denounces the process by which these workers will be recruited. MFA believes that leaving the recruitment of migrant workers in the hands of outsourcing companies will only lead to further exploitation of workers and erosion of labour standards. MFA reiterates the position of its Malaysia-based member, Tenaganita, in stating that ‘outsourcing labour creates a
condition of a very deregulated and unprotected form of labor.’ More often than not, migrant workers are bounded to unjust and unfair employment contracts that force them to work long hours at near-poverty level wages in slave-like working conditions. Hiring workers through offshore recruitment agencies abrogates the responsibilities of the
employers and the Malaysian government. Such a policy without protective mechanisms for the workers gives the impression that the Malaysian government promotes slave labor.
MFA calls for the immediate halt in the implementation of this exploitative recruitment process. We recommend that the Malaysian government sit with civil society groups in Malaysia to formulate a better way of recruiting labour migrants and ensure that core labour standards will be implemented
Full statement: MFA decries Malaysia’s anti-migrant workers policies