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Malaysia won’t extend May 31 deadline for Bangladeshi workers: Envoy

The Malaysian government won’t reconsider the May 31 deadline for Bangladeshi workers’ entry into the Southeast Asian country, High Commissioner to Bangladesh Haznah Md Hashim said on Wednesday (June 5).

“There is no good news for Bangladeshis regarding the issue of entering the Malaysian labour market…We [Malaysia] stand by the deadline because we have 15 source countries and we want to ensure uniformity in the application of the deadline,” she said while speaking to reporters at the Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment office after a meeting with Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Shofiqur Rahman Choudhury at the minister’s office in Eskaton, Dhaka.

“This is not particular to Bangladesh but applicable to all 15 source countries,” she added.

Asked about her meeting with the state minister, she said, “He requested us to reconsider the deadline, and I will convey the message to Kuala Lumpur.”

About the allegations from Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA) that the Malaysian government issued e-visas on June 2 even after the deadline, the high commissioner said, “We cannot entertain any allegations without proof. So far, the Malaysian government, including those who issue visas, has adhered strictly to the deadline.”

Asked about the issue of workers not getting jobs in Malaysia, the high commissioner said, “This is something our government is looking into. I will not make any comment regarding the issue.”

She further said, in the meeting, they discussed the loopholes in the recruitment process and reassessed the need for improvements for workers’ welfare.

On June 4, Malaysian Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said his country would not extend the entry period for Bangladeshi workers who missed the May 31 deadline to enter the country to work despite having approved work visas.

The period given was reasonable and announcements had also been made earlier, he said adding that employers had been given enough time to bring the workers.

State Minister for Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Shofiqur Rahman Choudhury had said there is no point in blaming the governments of both Bangladesh and Malaysia for failure to send thousands of Bangladeshi workers to Malaysia.

“Legal action will be taken against those responsible after an investigation. No one will be spared,” he said in response to the BAIRA’s statement.