Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006
New Delhi – India and Malaysia are to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on labour in October following which a Malaysian government agency will recruit blue-collared Indian workers directly, Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi said.
Ravi, who visited Malaysia last week, said a delegation led by Malaysian Human Resources Minister Fong Chan Onn will visit India in October and sign the MoU.
‘Once the agreement is made, the Malaysian government will directly recruit the Indian workers and distribute them to their companies, which need such workers,’ Ravi told IANS.
‘This agreement on labour will basically avoid the hassles and troubles created by the recruitment agencies. It would be the responsibility of the Malaysian government to ensure the safety of the workers and good wages for them there,’ he added.
Ravi said the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB), the Malaysian governmental agency, would recruit the workers – mainly for the construction companies in the country – and distribute them.
‘The officials from the CIDB will visit India to train the workers,’ the minister said, adding that the Indian government would identify the agency that would recruit people from here.
‘The agreement will ensure good wages, good living conditions and better medical facilities for the workers. The government will be responsible for these. That makes a lot of difference,’ Ravi explained.
He admitted that there have been serious complaints against recruitment agencies that they did not ensure good wages and living conditions for workers going abroad.
Indian workers form the third largest foreign work force in Malaysia, with 140,000 of them eking out a living there. Ethnic Indians comprise seven percent of Malaysia’s population of around 24 million.