PUTRAJAYA, 10 March 2009: All entry visas for Bangladeshi workers approved in 2007 and who had not entered the country have been cancelled effectively immediately, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar today.
Speaking to reporters after his ministry’s monthly assembly here, he said the move was in line with the government’s decision not to accept any new applications unless they were for critical sectors. “This is due to the current scenario in the country, in that there is no need for foreign labour, except for certain sectors identified by the government.”
Syed Hamid gave assurance that the government would refund workers’ levies paid by employers, and hoped that the issue would not be politicised by certain quarters.
On 8 March, the Labour Counsellor at the Bangladeshi High Commission, Talat Mahmud Khan, said more than 70,000 Bangladeshi workers would enter Malaysia soon to work in various sectors.
Correcting the figure, Syed Hamid said entry approval by the government for Bangladeshi workers was for only 55,147 persons.
“No new approval was made after , and I do not know how the figure was arrived yet (sic). I will ask the Bangladesh counsellor to meet the Immigration Department to clarify the matter.
“Decision to take in foreign workers after that period would be made carefully for sectors classified as ‘3D’, or dirty, dangerous and difficult. That, too, if really necessary,” Syed Hamid added. — Bernama