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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Group to protest against influx of Bangladeshi workers

A protest will be held next month to oppose the government’s plan to bring in 1.5 million Bangladeshi workers.

Pertubuhan Ikatan Usahawan Kecil dan Sederhana Malaysia (Ikhlas) president Mohd Ridzuan Abdullah said the protest will take place outside the Bangladesh High Commission in Kuala Lumpur.

“We will protest... But for now, we are giving the government a month to reconsider the matter,” Ridzuan told a press conference.

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced last year that Malaysia prefers workers from Bangladesh as they are more trustworthy.

Zahid, who is also home minister, said the 1.5 million workers are expected to arrive over the next three years.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was reported on Tuesday to have approved a memorandum of understanding (MoU), which the country is expected to sign with Malaysia within a month.

Its cabinet secretary, Mohammad Shafiul Alam, said the incoming Bangladeshi workers will no longer be limited to jobs in the plantation sector, and that they can now work in the service, manufacturing and construction sectors as well.

Malaysia is now the biggest market for the Bangladeshi workforce. Approximately 600,000 Bangladeshis are currently working in the country.

Meanwhile, Ridzuan questioned the move to bring in a huge number of foreigners when prior to this, the government had been conducting a legalisation exercise on illegal workers.

“We foresee that this problem will become more chronic in nature, and will surely ruin our country,” he claimed.

“Ikhlas will today give a reminder to not let this (issue) get to a stage where the people will have to rise. Generally, the rakyat do not agree with the accepting of these foreigners, especially Bangladeshis,” he added.

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