3 Jan :India and Malaysia today signed an agreement for improvement of conditions of recruitment and employment of their workers in each other’s country. The MOU was signed by the Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Mr. Vayalar Ravi and the Malaysian Human Resources Minister Dato Dr. S. Subramaniam in New Delhi.
The agreement sets out the broad procedure for employment of workers and outlines the responsibilities of employees, workers and recruitment agencies. India and Malaysia agreed to facilitate employment of workers between the two countries and promote orderly recruitment and deployment of workers. The two governments will work together on pre-departure orientation and skill up gradation training. They have also agreed for protection and welfare of all categories of workers under the labour and other laws of the host country.
The two countries will constitute a Joint Working Group to implement the MOU and review employment opportunities and availability of corresponding skills in both countries. The Group will also explore new avenues for co-operation in the field of labour and manpower development for mutual benefit. The Joint Working Group consisting of at least three members from each Government will meet twice a year, alternatively in India and Malaysia.
Malaysia is an important destination for Indian workers. According to official estimates of the Malaysian Government, there are approximately 1.5 lakhs Indian workers in Malaysia, out of about 2 million foreign workers there. Most of the Indian workers work in the plantation and construction sectors. During 2007, about 30,916 workers emigrated to Malaysia on ECR passports after obtaining emigration clearance from the Protector of Emigrants.
During the 4th Joint Commission Meeting between India and Malaysia which was held on 23 – 24 February 2007 at New Delhi, the draft MoU was discussed and subsequently, the Malaysian side had handed over a counter Draft. Formal negotiations on the draft MoU were held between the official delegations of both countries at Kuala Lumpur on 28th June 2007. The negotiations culminated in finalization and initialing of the MoU. The Cabinet approved signing the MoU on 20th March, 2008.