Nepal keen on labour pact with Malaysia

August 02, 2018

The Kathamandu Post, 2 Aug 2018

Kuala Lumpur open to hiring workers via G2G model

Nepal government has expressed its interest to sign a Government-to-Government (G2G) agreement with Malaysian government on migrant Nepali workers.

The Nepali government recently shut illegal agencies that levied exorbitant fees on migrant workers. This clampdown led to temporary suspension of dispatching Nepali workers to Malaysia. Departure to Malaysia, the most popular destination for Nepali migrant workers, is on hold for over two months now.

Malaysian Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran recently talked about the probability of hiring Nepali workers through G2G to eliminate touts who exploit Nepali workers.

Speaking at an event hosted by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health of Malaysia, Minister Kulasegaran had said, “The government would restore the system of hiring foreign workers back to the G2G approach without the presence of any middlemen.”

Nepal government has welcomed the proposal of sending its workers via the G2G model where the government takes control of all aspects of sending worker to a foreign destination.

Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security Secretary Mahesh Prasad Dahal said Nepal would be ready to adopt G2G approach to manage migration and protection of migrant workers’ rights.

“Nepal government has no problem in agreeing to the G2G model to send our workers to Malaysia. We want this because it is in the best interest of Nepali workers,” said Dahal.

The Malaysian government has requested Nepal to lift the travel ban on Nepali workers because its industries depend on foreign labour force from countries like Nepal. It is working on some other mechanisms to bring in Nepali workers to overcome its labour shortage.

“The G2G model would minimise the problems faced by Nepali workers and other wrongdoings in the sector. Workers will not be charged any additional amount more than agreed between both governments,” said Dahal.

He admitted this model would require much work and time to put in place the G2G agreement between both countries. The present proposal was unofficial and at a premature stage.  

“The Malaysian minister spoke about the G2G during a press meet. There would be talks and negotiations on this topic. A new mechanism for overseeing overall recruitment of workers would be devised before the G2G comes into the force. It will need months of works,” Dahal said.

The Malaysian Home Ministry will brief its Cabinet on Friday over the freeze on departures of Nepali workers to Malaysia and look for solutions to end the crisis.