Friday, August 18, 2017

No go yet to Malaysia for Myanmar workers

Myanmar has yet to send workers to Malaysia as the political situation there is uncertain and there may be problems in future.

U Myo Aung, permanent secretary for the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population, said that they have been looking into the situation in Malaysia to avoid potential problems for Myanmar workers going there.

“We are concerned with political developments in that country. We are depending on our embassy in Malaysia to provide us with feedback. Our ambassador there has advised us to allow the workers who have received letters of appointment to proceed. But, we want to make sure that the situation is absolutely stable before we allow our workers to go” U Myo Aung told The Myanmar Times at the May Day celebration in Hlaing Tharyar township, Yangon Region.

He said his ministry had requested for a final recommendation from the Myanmar embassy in Malaysia about the situation there and the new ambassador is reviewing all factors.

“Sending our workers there depends on the embassy officials. We do not wish to have problems crop up later,” U Myo Aung added.

The Myanmar Overseas Employment Agencies Federation (MOEAF) has asked the Myanmar government many times to lift its temporary ban on sending workers to Malaysia.

“All our members have problems. Because of the five month-long suspension, many of the job offers for workers have expired. There must be an appeal to extend the letters of appointment. Many of the employers cannot wait for the workers and have looked elsewhere,” MOEAF general secretary U Kyaw Htin Kyaw told The Myanmar Times.

MOEAF’s officials said many Myanmar workers have gone to Malaysia illegally because of the ban.

The Myanmar government temporarily banned sending workers to Malaysia on December 6 last year after Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak attended and led a public protest against the Myanmar government regarding the situation in Rakhine State.

There are many reported cases where Myanmar workers have been killed in Malaysia recently.

There are an estimated 500,000 to 700,000 Myanmar migrant workers living in Malaysia, most of them without proper documents.

Around 3000 Myanmar workers have been going to Malaysia for work every month before the ban, according to MOEAF data.