Bangladesh asks Malaysia to restore migrant workers’ visas

March 28th, 2009 - 4:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, March 28 (DPA) Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Dipu Moni Saturday urged Malaysian authorities to reconsider the cancellation of visas for more than 55,000 Bangladeshi workers, officials said.
Moni met Malaysian International Trade and Industry Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin bin Mohd in Kuala Lumpur as part of Bangladesh’s diplomatic efforts to protect its overseas labour markets, said a release issued by its embassy in Malaysia.

“Kuala Lumpur assured Dhaka of all possible cooperation to end the crisis” without offering guarantees, the release said.

Moni argued that Bangladeshi employees, who are generally engaged in low-end jobs, do not compete with local Malaysian workers.

Malaysia is the second-largest destination for Bangladeshi workers - with about 450,000 employed there - after Saudi Arabia.

Bangladesh earned nearly $9 billion in 2008 in remittances sent by workers abroad. The central bank suggested the government look for alternative manpower markets as the global crisis would likely hurt the flow of remittances.

Yassin, who was expected to become Malaysia’s new deputy prime minister, said that increased investment with Bangladesh would be one of his priorities.

The Bangladesh foreign minister also met with retiring Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Haji Ahmad Badawi and his successor, Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.

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