Nepali workers to face competition in Malaysia

Year of Publication: 13 July 2012 | The Himalayan Times

Publication Type: NEWS

Published by: CESLAM

Nepali foreign job aspirants wanting to join Malaysian jobs may face difficulties from the next month — August 1, 2012 — as the destination has withdrawn the ban on Bangladeshi workers that was imposed in October 2007. Malaysia has been offering jobs to about 7,500 Nepalis every month.

Reopening of the market to Bangladeshi workers will increase competition among migrant workers, said second vice president of Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies Kumud Khanal. “Bangladeshis are cheap workers, so demand for Nepali workers may take a dip and be diverted towards Bangladesh,” he said. 

The Malaysian Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training had decided to lift the ban this week, official news agency Bernama reported. Director general of the bureau Begum Shamsun Nahar had submitted a proposal to the Malaysian government to open the job market for Bangladeshi workers on July 3. 

The East Asian job market currently needs about one million workers in the manufacturing, agriculture and construction sectors. Its palm sector has been badly affected by a shortage of workers. According to the bureau, about 300,000 workers are needed to manage the palm sector, whereas the manufacturing sector has been facing a shortage of 500,000 workers.

“Bangladeshi workers demand lower salaries than Nepalis, so there is more chance of them being hired,” said Khanal. The average monthly salary for Bangladeshi workers is Malaysian Ringgit 350 (Rs 9,800) while Nepalis are getting MR 750 (Rs 21,000). “Salary will be the major factor in giving preference to Bangladeshis,” he said. However, the minimum wage in the destination is MR 900 (Rs 25,200). Malaysia has taken the decision to lift the ban after Bangladesh legalised their 267,803 workers and committed to a streamlined migration process. The ban had been imposed in October 2007, when over 2,000 workers who were cheated by outsourcing agencies were stranded in Kuala Lumpur. 

About 400,000 Nepalis are believed to be working in Malaysia. According to the Department of Foreign Employment, about 84,351 Nepalis have joined Malaysian jobs in the last 11 months.

Published on: 13 July 2012 | The Himalayan Times

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