The following article is submitted to the Editorial of Malaysia Gazette by reader, Nurul Samad.
Foreign workers. To have or not to have?
That is a question for Cabinet this week.
Recently, there has been a lot of attention given to the issues associated with foreign workers – the sheer number of documented and undocumented foreign workers, economic and social implications as well as the management of the foreign workers. Why we are considering to have more foreign workers in the country when the Covid 19 pandemic has clearly cost us job opportunities and more people getting unemployed – the highest in 27 years.
An article in a Bangladesh newspaper, put Malaysia in the limelight, in a rather negative manner. A group of Bangladeshi recruitment agencies had organised a demonstration in Dhaka, claiming there was an “evil attempt” to resurrect a “syndicate” that involved recruitment of Bangladeshis to work in Malaysia under the Foreign Workers Centralised Management System (FWCMS), despite, or in spite of the repeated statements of the company that runs the system – that they are just an IT company.
First of all, why did this erupt in such a manner at all? Shouldn’t this issue be sorted out within the agencies themselves, within Bangladesh in this instance, through the Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (Baira)? It was alleged that there was hanky-panky involved – another Made in Malaysia scandal.
We do not need these kind of scandals anymore. Malaysia needs to move away from being the world’s poster-boy of corruption and wheeling and dealing. These reports affect our reputation and sovereignty.
They hurt us all where it matters the most at the moment. Our economy. And our businesses.
This particular piece of foreign news raised many eyebrows. It did not take long to realise over the years, unthis issue constantly dodge a full blown investigation.
It was reported by the media that former Human Resources Minister M. Kula Segaran announced the developer and owner of FWCMS, a local company named Bestinet was suspended from operating its system. The media was rife with the public feud between the minister, and the executives of Bestinet, where the former was insistent that the suspension was valid based on strong grounds of the alleged misconduct.
In little more than a year later, the same minister, announced to the Dewan Rakyat that the ministry had cleared Bestinet of any wrongdoings. Without any inquiry or report. Did the Ministry have their own Royal Commission of Inquiry to conduct the investigation on the allegations? If yes, why did they not announce the findings to the public?
Malaysia was already in the infamous limelight of human trafficking syndicates, 1MDB and a slew of scandals. Do we really want to add on the list of negative reporting?
Perhaps the Minister of Human Resources should consider this question.
Editorial note: The views expressed are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysia Gazette