Thursday, June 20, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Illegal migrants in Malaysia to get another chance

Update : 29 Jan 2016, 07:21 PM

Undocumented migrants, including some 300,000 Bangladeshis, in Malaysia could have a second chance to legalise their status as Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak recently made such an announcement.

Razak, during a parliamentary session on Thursday, said migrant workers in Malaysia who do not have appropriate legal documents would be legalised, adding that an official decision on this would be announced soon.

Labour counsellor Md Sayedul Islam at Bangladesh High Commission to Malaysia said the matter of legalisation would be officially confirmed soon but could not give any exact date.

“Illegal migrants from Indonesia will get the highest priority to become legal, followed by Bangladeshi workers,” he said.

A total of 267,803 undocumented Bangladeshi migrants became legal under an amnesty programme of the Malaysian government back in 2011.

“At the time, we only got three months to make Bangladeshi workers legal under the programme which was too short. Also, many Bangladeshi workers were then deceived by middlemen but this time both the Malaysian government and the Bangladesh mission will remain careful once the legalisation process begins,” said Sayedul.

He said well-reputed companies would be tasked with the legalisation process of Bangladeshi workers to prevent anomalies this time.

“The high commissioner, Shahidul Islam, has held several meetings with some companies to make the process transparent and to give all undocumented Bangladeshi workers the chance to become legal without being subjected to bluff by middlemen,” said Sayedul. 

“Also, the Bangladesh mission has held several meetings with the Malaysian authorities regarding this. During a meeting three months ago, they told us they were actively thinking about legalising the undocumented Bangladeshi migrants.”

At present, 296,934 legal Bangladeshi migrants are living in Malaysia.

Sayedul said many undocumented Bangladeshi workers had contacted the high commission to know more about when the legalisation process would begin.

“We will reveal the details of the process once we officially get all the information, such as how much will be charged to become legal, from the Malaysian government. Until then, I urge the Bangladeshi workers not to contact any middleman,” he added. 

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