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31 May 2024

The Star

Malaysia: On last day of legal entry period, thousands of Bangladeshi workers are stranded at airport awaiting employer identification

"Thousands of Bangladeshi workers in limbo on entry deadline day, says report". 31 May 2024

With the May 31 deadline for employers to bring foreign workers into Malaysia, over 30,000 Bangladeshi workers approved to travel here will not make it in time.


The report said that although approvals ceased after this date, additional clearance was granted for another 1,112 workers.

As a result, only 1,500 of the approved workers will be able to officially travel to Malaysia on deadline day, cancelling the plans of the remaining 31,701 workers still in Bangladesh.


KL International Airport (KLIA) terminals are facing congestion, with approximately 20,000 workers from 14 countries, including about 5,000 from Bangladesh, stranded within the two terminals awaiting employer identification, said the report.

"Amid concerns of workers being left stranded, attempts to communicate with employers have failed."


Malaysia had responded to a letter from the United Nations that stated Bangladeshi workers were being required to pay a significant recruitment fee of between US$4,500 to US$6,000 (RM21,000 to RM28,000) per person, which violates the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between the two countries in 2021 that capped the fee at US$720 (RM3,386).

The letter had highlighted allegations of a criminal network cheating Bangladeshi workers out of gainful employment, and instead fraudulently recruiting them for fake companies.

Part of the following timelines

Malaysia: UN experts say Bangladeshi workers must be better protected from exploitation, criminalisation & other rights abuses

Malaysia: Bangladeshis 'stranded' at airport ahead of deadline to halt migrant intake; recruitment agencies allegedly charging workers inflated fees