KATHMANDU, Aug 31: Malaysia could start hiring security guards from countries other than Nepal if Nepal continued to bar its citizens from taking up employment in the Southeast Asian country. If this happens, the move could potentially end a privilege enjoyed for long by Nepali citizens in Malaysia's private security sector.
In an interview with Republica, Acting Malaysian ambassador to Nepal Ahmad Fadil Ismail said his government would be forced to look elsewhere for security guards if Nepal did not lift the ban on its citizens from working in Malaysia.
It has been more than three months since Nepal stopped sending workers to Malaysia accusing the latter of charging exorbitant visa processing fees to workers. Currently Malaysia-bound workers have to pay to Rs 18,000 to get a visa, around twenty five times more than what they were paying five years ago. Until 2013, Malaysia-bound workers had to pay just Rs 7, 00 for visa.
The recruitment fee skyrocketed after Malaysia outsourced visa processing service to a private company and made it mandatory for workers to undergo health and security screening paying exorbitant charges through two other agents. Four different outsourcing companies hired by Malaysian government are providing various visa related services to Nepali workers.
Ismail said that the outsourcing agencies have been providing similar service to all labor-supplying countries and the system will remain in place as long as Malaysia hires foreign workers. He said that the outsourcing agencies are providing service to all other labor-sending countries. He, however, clarified that there could be some rethinking on the fees and it would be decided based on mutual consensus. He expressed hopes that these issues would be resolved once the ongoing discussion on the MoU takes shape. “The discussion on the MoU is moving in a positive direction,” he said.
Nepal, he said, must follow the standard recruitment procedure of the Malaysian government if the former wants to export workers there.
Ismail also refuted Nepal government's claim that it has asked Malaysia to shut down the outsourcing agencies including VLN Nepal. He said that Nepal has not made any formal request to Malaysia to shut down those agencies.