I will work with a new plan and vision in Malaysia in the days to come.
Malaysia, one of the favored destinations for Nepali youth migrants, has stopped hiring Nepali workers for the past nine months consequently depriving several youths of employment opportunities. Ramesh Bharati of Khabarhub caught up with Uday Raj Pandey, the newly appointed Nepali Ambassador for Malaysia and talked about his plans. Excerpts:
What are your plans upon assuming the office in Malaysia?
The climate of Malaysia is similar to that of Nepal. That is why it remains as one of the most favorite destination countries for Nepali migrant workers. I will work with a new plan and vision in Malaysia in the days to come. Nepali Embassy in Malaysia will firstly identify the workers’ problems and then endeavor to resolve them. Similarly, my team will also look for new avenues of trade and employment in the country.
It has often come to the fore through media that the situation of workers in Malaysia is deplorable and that they are duped by their agents. How would you deal with these problems?
Many Nepalis are doing well in Malaysia. However, some workers employed in small and middle-scale industries are in trouble. Nepali Embassy has taken this issue seriously. Currently, there are around 500,000 Nepalis working in Malaysia. As per the estimates of Nepal government, around 1 00,000 Nepalis are working there illegally due to non-renewal of their documents. The embassy will work in helping those workers return home safely.
The agents duping Nepalese workers are under close scrutiny of the embassy. Action will be taken against them.
Malaysia has stopped hiring Nepali migrants for the past nine months. What will be your role in resuming the hiring process?
Malaysia stopped hiring Nepali workers since the government on May 16, 2018, scrapped various institutions in Nepal that had been exploiting Malaysia bound Nepali workers under the pretext of their medical examination. The Nepali Embassy in Malaysia is carrying out necessary homework for discussions with the Malaysian counterpart to resume the labor hiring process.
The problem is not only with the Nepali migrant youths. Malaysia has also stopped the hiring process from other countries at the moment since it is working towards formulating laws regarding foreign employment.
Very soon Malaysia will open its border for foreign workers, and Nepali workers will be in its priority list. We are holding talks with the Malaysian government. Malaysia favors Nepali workers.
Several Nepali youths are languishing in Malaysian jails. What steps will the embassy take for their release?
Nepali Embassy is collecting data on the number of Nepali workers in Malaysian jails. As per the record of the embassy, there are a total of 206 Nepalis in Malaysian jails. I shall lobby for their release. Similarly, there are 106 Nepali workers at the embassy’s shelter. We will expedite the process for their safe return home.
How do you find the prospects of trade and commerce between Nepal and Malaysia?
The Malaysian government is interested to make investments in Nepal in the sectors such as agriculture, tourism, technology, and industries. Nepali Embassy will facilitate and encourage Malaysian investment in Nepal. Similarly, it will work towards the export of agricultural and industrial products from Nepal to Malaysia.