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Dhaka Tribune

Data mismatch slows migration of Malaysia-bound jobseekers

Update : 01 Aug 2013, 04:03 AM

Incorrect data on Malaysia-bound workers was sent repeatedly, delaying labour migration to the biggest destination in Southeast Asia as per bilateral government arrangement.

The Malaysian authorities detected mismatch between online data and particulars in passports of Bangladeshi jobseekers even after BMET sent verified information.

As an immediate response, the government has transferred a senior official of Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) from head quarters, ministry officials said.

Ending a four-year pause, Malaysia reopened its job market for Bangladesh and recruited 198 workers in April under official arrangements. But the process slowed due to data mismatch reported by Malaysian employment authorities, officials said.

The Malaysian human resource ministry said the data of workers they received was full of mistakes.

The human resource ministry said a number of workers' passport details and father's names were not filled in. The ministry also identified mistakes in dates of birth and addresses and requested the mistakes be corrected online.

Using the workers' passports for reference, BMET began correcting the errors. According to officials, those who were responsible for correcting the files failed to make the corrections properly.

When corrections of 9,000 workers' details were completed, the Malaysian human resource ministry sent back a list of 6,035 workers and requested for corrections once again and the data resubmitted, as there were further mistakes with names, passport numbers, and dates of birth.

Hurriedly, the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) sent a list of 200 workers details online after corrections were made and Malaysia then issued visas.

A total of 198 workers left for Malaysia in the last week of April, according to BMET.

When BMET made corrections of 5,835 workers' details, the Malaysian home ministry noted the data contained within the CDs was not correct and once again returned it for the mistakes to be rectified.

Following these multiple submissions of erroneous data, the expatriates' welfare and overseas employment ministry made the decision to resubmit fresh data on workers. Subsequently, workers were contacted and asked to contact BMET to provide finger prints for identification.

At first, data on 600 workers was sent once more and was confirmed by Malaysian officials to be accurate.

However, further mistakes were subsequently detected on the fourth CD containing workers' details.

Officials at BMET, under the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment, admitted the data sent out to Malaysia was incomplete and full of mistakes.

When the registration was conducted, workers made mistakes when recording their names, fathers' names, dates of birth and addresses, said officials on condition of anonymity.

They said the selected workers were asked to obtain passports. As per the information in the passports, CDs containing the data of workers were prepared and sent to the Home Ministry of Malaysia.

The officials said it was a blunder to send the data of workers without issuing the workers passports at first. They claimed at first Malaysia did not seek the information as per requirements but later demanded it.

Meanwhile, the government transferred BMET Director Md Nurul Islam from Dhaka headquarters and sent him to Barisal to take over as principal of Technical Training Centre (TTC) on July 4.

Officials said the post of principal of TTC is below than that of a deputy director.

"We have made him principal as a punishment because he was in-charge of technical matters, including sending data on Malaysia-bound workers," Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Secretary Zafar Ahmed Khan told the Dhaka Tribune on Tuesday.

The official concerned denied any wrongdoing.

"I was not in-charge at all but I was asked to carry out jobs and I did accordingly," Nurul Islam, who is now on leave, told the Dhaka Tribune over phone on Tuesday.

On November 26 last year, the government signed an agreement with Malaysia to send Bangladeshi workers there with low migration costs.

In March 2009, the Malaysian government suspended recruiting Bangladeshi workers, citing the world economic recession as reason. But Expatriates' Welfare Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain on separate occasions stated the suspension was due to irregularities in the recruitment process and high migration costs.

Following diplomatic efforts of the present government, Malaysia agreed to resume recruitment from Bangladesh.

Candidates who aspired to work in Malaysia were registered online through all union parishad information centres.

After the online registration was completed, data of 11,532 workers selected through a lottery system was sent to the Human Resource Ministry of Malaysia.

Officials claim that the appropriate corrections have now been made and the corrected CD is now being sent.

Asked about the latest developments regarding the sending of workers to Malaysia, Zafar said: "We expect a positive response from Malaysia within a week."

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