Earlier syndicate eaten up market
Golam Mostafa Jibon: As the Malaysian labour market is going to reopen for Bangladeshis after a long struggle, it has started to drown into the darkness of uncertainty again due to horrible violence by the influential syndicate. Consequently, thousands of people, who have been cherishing dream to go to Malaysia in search of work, are now in extreme frustration.
Sources said, Malaysia is one of the important labour markets in the world. But now, the syndicate has become a main hindrance. ‘Bestinet’ is one of the main of the syndicate. It is running unbridle illicit activities in Dhaka and Kuala Lumpur, sources said.
Behind the scenes, a number of influential people in Bangladesh, who are not involved in the manpower sector in anyway, are helping in this heinous act. The owners of the manpower exporting agencies have always been complaining about this, but to no effect.
They said, the labour market, which has the potential for huge amount of remittances, has remained closed due to the inaction of this syndicate. The syndicate established with a few number of agencies have fallen a negative impact on it. The formation of such a syndicate will tarnish the interests of the expatriate workers and the reputation of the country.
Concerned parties fear that the entire sector including legitimate recruiting agencies, will fall into the ditch. If there is a syndicate, there will be increase in immigration cost as well as various irregularities.
Not only that, there is a risk of money laundering. In this case, Bangladesh should follow Nepal.
In Nepal, about 1,600 recruiting agencies have set a precedent of transparency and low cost in sending workers to Malaysia.
If, 1200 license holder agencies in Bangladesh come forward together, the workers and the whole country will be benefited.
If the license number is high, it will possible to send more workers at low costs.
But, there is lower number of licenses, the less number of workers will be sent with higher immigration costs.
Concerned people said, if a few agencies take over, the Malaysian labour market will become more or less entrenched; money and humiliation of expatriates will increase.
Meanwhile, all legitimate recruiting agencies are warning that if the Malaysian labour market is handed over to the syndicate, they will take it to the streets.
They will go to the High Court for stay. Even legal battles will continue. The Malaysian labour market will face uncertainty indefinitely. So that, the country’s economy will be severely damaged as well as the remittance flow will be reduced. It is to be noted that the Appellate Division has also given a verdict to the effect that there can be no syndication in the Malaysian immigration sector.
Citing the example of Nepal, the recruiting agencies of Bangladesh further say that when the competitive open market policy prevails in the world, the labour market will be handed over to a limited number of recruiting agencies.
The labour market will become turbulent. Due to the violence of the syndicate, the labour market of Bangladesh in Malaysia was closed for a while. The ‘Bestinet’ used to send workers at that time were to pave the way for money laundering from the workers step by step.
At one stage, the Malaysian government stopped importing workers from Bangladesh due to allegations of irregularities and corruption. Concerned over the closure of this promising labour market, the Bangladesh government sought to reopen it.
Following this, a meeting of the Joint Working Group was held at the ministerial level of the two countries recently. The one-day meeting lasted for two days. But, it ends without a decision, because of Kuala Lumpur has offered to hire workers through FWCMS technology owned by 25 recruiting agencies and the controversial ‘Bestinet Company’. But considering the views of the workers and the sector concerned as well as the country, Dhaka opposed it and demanded to give equal opportunity to all legitimate agencies. Due to disagreement, the meeting ended without any decision. The owners of the manpower exporting agencies have lauded the role of Dhaka.
In particular, they thanked the Minister for Expatriate Welfare and the Secretary of the same ministry, saying that the bitter experience of 2017-2018 proved that due to the syndicate, the cost of immigration increased several times, various irregularities were created, workers were harassed and huge amount of money was sent abroad through Hundi. Money was also smuggled.
The old culprits Amin-Swapan Syndicate has become active since the possibility of opening the labour market of Bangladesh in Malaysia. With the help of several influential people in the government, they are trying to take political and diplomatic advantage by spreading propaganda through various media.
The image and reputation of the government is being tarnished in the country and internationally due to their misdeeds, propaganda and conspiracies. It is a matter of great concern for the government that the Amin-Swapan clique has already transacted and laundered huge sums of money at the rate of Tk 2 to Tk 5 crore per license.
Experts seem that, it is needed to bring under the close surveillance by the government quickly.
Bestinet (Bangladesh) Limited received approval from the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) to send workers through the Amin-Swapan Syndicate with Aminul Islam bin Abdul Noor (Dato Shri Amin) as the company Chairman and Mohammad Ali as the Managing Director. Ruhul Amin has 2,000 shares, while Aminul has 10,000 shares.
In general, all the responsibilities and faults of the monopoly system fall on the shoulders of the recruiting agent, but most of the money goes away. Even in the name of managing the influential quarters, workers were forced to pay Tk 15,000 per worker. Amin-Swapan spends a huge amount of this money on personal purpose. The governments of Nepal and the Maldives, albeit a little late, quickly blacklisted ‘Bestinet Company’.
Meanwhile, the Mahathir government canceled the GTZ Plus system to free the labour market syndicate, which is one of the largest in Bangladesh. From September 1 in 2018, all activities of the Malaysian company Bestinet and Sinarfax were suspended due to allegations of massive corruption and irregularities.
Amin owns two companies. Due to digital corruption, Bestinet is blacklisted in three countries (Nepal, Maldives and Malaysia). This time, Dato Shri Amin-Swapan syndicate is continuing its efforts to use the same method.