Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Which Minister is telling the truth? HR or Home Minister?

Who is the Minister in charge of manpower needs - the Human Resource Minister...or the Home Minister (in charge of Immigration).

Today(10/3/2009), there were 2 reports in the Star newspaper...

- the Human Resource Minister says estimated 70,000 - but good old Home Minister embarrasses the HR Minister, who is supposed to be the Minister who should be best informed on matters concerning manpower matters, etc..

Home Minister says that there is no such thing. In fact, he says all 55,147 visas had already been canceled, and no new visas have been issued.

- Maybe the Human Resource Minister should resign...He should have just come out and stated that the earlier report was wrong. (But was the HR Minister wrong? Maybe, it was good old Home Minister who made the mistake...). That's it - there is confusion. Are there 70,000 new workers from Bangladesh coming in or not...

- The Human Resource Ministry should really be the Ministry responsible for foreign workers, and not the Home Ministry.

The HR Minister's statements reported:-
The Human Resources Ministry will work closely with the Home Ministry to ensure that the estimated 70,000 Bangladeshi workers expected to enter the country are only employed in sectors they are allowed to work in.

Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam said the authorities would ensure that the foreigners do not work in sectors where a freeze has been imposed by the Government.

“There are two sectors in which we have not frozen (the intake of migrant labour), namely the plantation and construction sectors.

“This is because there is still a great demand for foreign workers in these sectors as we are unable to find locals to fill them,” Subramaniam told reporters at the Marsimaham Hindu festival in Krubong yesterday after fulfilling a vow he had made.

He was commenting on the recent statement by the Bangladesh High Commission labour counsellor Talat Mahmud Khan that some 70,000 workers were expected here soon to work in the plantation, construction and service sectors.

Subramaniam said his ministry would liaise with the Home Ministry and the high commission to ensure that the workers only came in for sectors where there was no freeze.

He added that Bangladeshis were permitted to work as cleaners as the employment of foreigners in the service sector had yet to be frozen. - Star, 10/3/2009, Bangladeshis only for allowed sectors, says minister

And the report about what the Home Minister said -

PUTRAJAYA: All entry visas for Bangladeshi workers, approved in 2007 and who had not entered the country, have been cancelled immediately, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters after his ministry’s monthly assembly here, he said the move was in line with the government’s decision to not accept any new applications unless they were for critical sectors.

”The government has decided to cancel all entry visas for Bangladeshi workers wanting to enter the country.

”This is due to the current scenario in the country, in that there is no need for foreign labour, except for certain sectors identified by the government,” he said.

With the move, Syed Hamid said the government will refund workers’ levies paid by employers.

“The government gives assurance that the levy would be refunded in the near future and hopes the issue would not be politicised by certain quarters,” he said.

Syed Hamid said this in response to a statement by the Labour Counsellor at the Bangladeshi High Commission here, Talat Mahmud Khan, on Sunday that more than 70,000 Bangladeshi workers would enter Malaysia soon to work in various sectors.

Correcting the figure, Syed Hamid said government entry-approval for the workers who had yet to enter the country but had not done so was for only 55,147 persons.

”No new approval was made after that year and I do not know how the figure was arrived yet. I will ask the Bangladesh counsellor to meet the Immigration Department to clarify the matter.

”Decision to take in foreign workers after that period would be made carefully for sectors classified as 3D or dirty, dangerous and difficult. That too if really necessary,” he said. - Bernama- Star, 10/3/2009, Visas for 55,000 Bangladeshi workers cancelled

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