Malaysia's Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran had earlier announced that Malaysian eateries would have to hire Malaysian cooks only from 1 January 2019 but following protests by associations of restaurant owners, he somewhat backed off from his supposedly from his hardline stand.
Well now the recently elected government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal (a.k.a. Nepal), led by the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist), had barred Nepalese workers from coming to Malaysia to work because Nepal was unhappy "with restrictive Malaysian immigration requirements for its workers before they can be employed. This includes going through a private company "monopoly" for security and medical check-ups as part of the visa requirement", The Star reported.
It's rather strange that Malaysia's recently elected Pakatan Harapan government had not moved sooner to undo this legacy of previous governments, whereby one private company handles security and medical checkups of Nepali workers wanting to work in Malaysia but I suppose that is the drawback of dealing with such long-entrenched legacies from past governments according to the rule of law.
Malaysian industry desperately needs such workers to do so-called "dirty, demeaning and dangerous" jobs. which unemployed Malaysian graduates,including IT graduates, shy way from doing - preferring to drive taxis for a living instead.
So the good Human Resources Minister, has quite literally begged the Nepal government to reverse its ban.
The Star of 28 July 2018 reports:-
Kulasegaran asks Nepal to ease ban on workers to Malaysia while solution worked out - Nation
by allison lai
IPOH: The Human Resources Minister has called on the government of Nepal to go easy on the barring of its workers from coming to Malaysia.
M. Kulasegaran said that many industries here are dependent on foreign workers.
''We will try to find other mechanisms for their workers to come here. Otherwise there will be a severe shortage of workers in our country, leading to setbacks in progress.
''Nepalese workers are well-known for their bravery and honesty, and many Malaysian employers prefer to hire them.
''We hope that in the meantime, Nepal will go easy on the matter and reconsider (their decision),'' he told the press, after closing the national-level Workplace Accident Free Week at the Malay-Sino Chemical Industries Sdn Bhd here Saturday (July 28).
It was reported in The Star today that the government of Nepal has barred its workers from coming to Malaysia with immediate effect because it was unhappy with "restrictive" Malaysian immigration requirements for its workers before they can be employed.
This includes going through a private company "monopoly" for security and medical check-ups as part of the visa requirement.
Kulasegaran said that he was aware of the problems in hiring foreign workers involving a third-party company and the high charges imposed.
''All these (problems) were approved during the previous (Barisan Nasional) government and we are looking into how to overcome this.
''In fact, the Cabinet had discussed this matter earlier and I will prepare a paper in the coming week to call for immediate action,'' he said.
Kulasegaran also noted the Government has been engaging Nepalese government officials in the last two weeks to resolve the matter.
''I will contact the (Nepalese) High Commissioner on Monday,'' he said, adding that the Government would restore the system of hiring foreign workers back to the G2G (government-to-government) approach without any middlemen.
Also earlier on 28 July 2018, The Star reported in greater detail about the issues which Nepali workers and the Nepal government are unhappy about:-
Foreign Workers: Nepal slams the door, unhappy with company monopoly - Nation
by elan perumal
PETALING JAYA: The government of Nepal has barred its workers from coming to Malaysia with immediate effect.
The move comes as the Nepalese government expressed its unhappiness with "restrictive" immigration requirements its workers faced before they can be gainfully employed in this country. This includes having to go through a private company for security and medical check-ups as part of the visa requirement.
Nepal Embassy labour attache Sanmaya Ramtel confirmed that her government has indefinitely barred its citizens from seeking employment in Malaysia. The official told The Star that the government had identified several discrepancies in the recruitment process of migrant workers in Malaysia.
"The Nepalese government does not understand why the Malaysian Government is allowing a private company to monopolise the recruitment process.
"The government also feels that the company's presence is a virtual monopoly as other companies are not allowed to carry out the screening and this contributes to higher cost for the workers," she said.
Malaysia, the official said, was among the top two destinations for Nepalese migrant workers seeking job opportunities outside their country.
Furthermore, she said, the Gurkas from Nepal were the only category of foreign workers sought by Malaysia to work in the security line.
"This has been a long-standing dispute between the Nepalese and Malaysian governments.
"However, the change of government in Nepal which took place in February this year saw the new government taking a firm stand on the matter," Sanmaya said.
A source from the recruitment industry told The Star that employers are now having difficulty hiring Nepali workers.
The source said the issue was over the involvement of Bestinet Sdn Bhd, which is the sole party that carries out bio-medical screening for migrant workers entering Malaysia.
It is learnt that there are currently more than 500,000 Nepalese workers in Malaysia. About 150,000 of them are hired as security guards, while the rest are involved in construction and manufacturing.
After Indonesia, Nepal is also the main supplier of migrant workers to Malaysia.
Onlinekhabar, a Nepalese news portal, reported that the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security would not stop workers who are at the final stages of obtaining labour permits from flying to Malaysia.
Chirara Kannan, the owner of a consultancy service for employers, said Nepalese workers had stopped coming to Malaysia because of their government's stand against the Malaysian Government's policy which required migrant workers to go through Bestinet.
"The decision means migrant workers from Nepal cannot be hired by Malaysian employers since our government has endorsed Bestinet," he said.
"Without bio-medical screening – a prerequisite for foreign workers – foreigners cannot be employed in Malaysia," he said.
Chirara, however, said the Nepalese government felt that medical screening could be done without Bestinet.
"They feel Bestinet is a company created to monopolise the industry," he added.
An employer who declined to be identified said the situation had affected him badly because he had exhausted the quota to bring in workers from other countries including Bangladesh and India.
He said he had about 3,000 foreign workers in his factories and required about 1,000 more foreign workers.
"I have sufficient quota to hire Nepalese workers but am unable to do so due to the Nepalese government's stand," he said.
He added that the demand for Nepalese workers was also due to their good work ethics reputation.
This new development comes after The Star reported in June that Bangladeshi workers were forced to pay exorbitant amounts of money to their agents, including a syndicate which is linked to a Bangladeshi businessman with a Datuk Seri title, who is residing in Malaysia.
In an immediate response, a Bestinet spokesman said that there were 37 medical centres in Nepal accredited to perform the bio-medical screening.
These were identified, audited and selected based on their capabilities and medical facilities available, which allow medical results to be integrated and uploaded to the system in real time to the respective stakeholders (ie Malaysian Embassy, Malaysian Immigration and Employers) as a compliance requirement before approvals are given.
"Such requirements are important to ensure the medical results are examined by medical practitioners following Malaysian requirements.
"Bestinet only collects RM100 for the bio-medical system which was approved by the Government, and other charges are collected by other service providers.
"We would like to state that ISC (Immigration Security Clearance), VLN (Visa Luar Negara), OSC (One Stop Centre) services are not provided by Bestinet and Bestinet is not related to the providers of these services and any Kathmandu-based agents," the spokesman said.
He added that the company welcomed the Government's intent to set up a committee to conduct a thorough review into all systems and service providers related to the recruitment and management of foreign workers.
Well, let us see how soon the Malaysian government will resolve this issue and revert to hiring of Nepali workers in Malaysia on a government-to-government basis, whilst cutting out middlemen.
And, Heck! With Malaysia's very much touted e-government over all these years and all the talk about the adoption of Enterprise Architecture-based framework, protocols and policies (1GovEA) across the information systems, business processes, work and operational culture across all Malaysian government Ministries, departments and agencies, it should be just as easy as filing their tax return, for intending Malaysian employers to apply for permission to hire foreign workers and for their work permits online and transparently through the e-government system.
Perhaps "1GovEA" sounds too "Najib Era", so the Pakatan government may want to change it to "2GovEA".
However, remember that the Roman Empire declined and fell because Roman citizens became too comfortable and lazy, and increasingly relied on foreign workers - well slaves brought from vassal states across the empire, whilst the Romans indulged themselves in entertainment such as spectator sports such as watching fights to the death by gladiators in arenas, wining and dining their lives away.
Whilst Malaysia no longer has chattel slaves, however we have become increasingly dependent on foreign workers - i.e. indentured wage slaves to do things for us, whilst Malaysians go around, faces buried in their smartphones all day or watching mindless wrestling matches, soccer and mindless American action movies on large screen TVs in 24-hour eateries, including those which wash their dishes with toilet bowl water.
This is our road to decadence and decline.