Dhaka, Aug 8 (UNB) Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has said his government has to bring in foreign workers, including those from Bangladesh as Malaysians are not interested to work in the ‘3D’ sector — ‘dangerous’, ‘difficult’ and ‘dirty’.
“As the industry and business must continue, we needed to look for alternatives, which was bringing in workers from other countries, especially Bangladesh,” he said.
He was speaking to reporters after a meeting with Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali in Putrajaya, state-run news agency Bernama reported on Friday.
Ahmad Zahid said the issue of Bangladeshi workers was among the foci of discussions with Mahmood Ali during the 30-minute meeting.
In June last, he was reported as saying about 1.5 million workers from Bangladesh would be brought into Malaysia in phases over three years to meet the needs of employers from various sectors, especially the plantation, construction, manufacturing and service industries.
The discussions also covered the prevention of deaths among Bangladesh nationals who tried to enter the country illegally either by sea or land, as well as protecting them from abuse by their employers.
“They were denied their salaries, not given accommodation and medication,” said Ahmad Zahid, adding that the intake of Bangladeshi workers followed international guidelines.
He said foreign workers who would be brought into the country must be given basic training first in Bangladesh and have the relevant education for the field and sector they would join in Malaysia.
The deputy prime minister said other factors which could affect the entry of these workers into Malaysia included criminal records or diseases which could be detrimental to Malaysians.
Ahmad Zahid also said he would meet with representatives of non-governmental organisations which misinterpreted the government’s intention on bringing in Bangladeshi workers to explain the rationale behind the move.