Government allows workers with calling visa to fly to Malaysia but only a few show up to take labour permit

Recruiting agencies say a total of 7,134 workers with visa await their turn
More than a week since the government decided to allow Nepali migrant workers with calling visa for Malaysia to take up jobs in the Southeast Asian country, it seems there are only a few takers.
Making a special arrangement for Nepali workers, who have completed their pre-departure procedures for Malaysia, the Labour, Employment and Social Security Ministry on March 31 decided to allow them to go to Malaysia and take up their jobs.
Departures for Malaysia remain suspended for more than 10 months after the government launched a crackdown on various agencies that charged hefty amounts on Malaysia-bound workers. The government action had completely shut down labour migration to Malaysia.
The ministry and recruiting agencies had agreed to work in coordination to send these workers to Malaysia as they had paid all the fees before the government had banned departures for the country.
However, since the government decided to issue labour permits--the last but mandatory step for taking up foreign employment--to these workers, only 19 individuals have received work permit from the Department of Foreign Employment.
According to the figures with the department, only two workers visited the Foreign Employment Office at Tahachal, Kathmandu on Sunday while 17 more got labour permits on Monday.
Rohan Gurung, president of the Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies’ (NAFEA), said the number of workers applying for the permit to work in Malaysia will slowly pick up.
“Even though the government permitted departure of workers having calling visa for Malaysia last week, it takes time to complete other formalities before applying for the final labour permit,” Gurung told the Post. “These workers have to get their calling visa renewed by their employers in Malaysia, which takes a minimum of one week.”
After a 10-month long stagnation in Nepal even after paying all the fees, the workers and recruiting agencies had long demanded departure soon after Nepal and Malaysia signed a labour deal last October.
Following a long wait, the department had prepared a list of Nepali workers with calling visa while the ministry and recruiting agencies decided to work together to send these workers to Malaysia.
As per the details gathered by NAFEA, a total of 7,134 Nepali workers had got the calling visa for Malaysia.
“Soon, more workers will start visiting the department after their visa is renewed,” added Gurung.
Published: 11 April 2019/ The Kathmandu Post