12 Mar 2009

Malaysia asked to reconsider visa decision

3:07 pm on 12 March 2009

The government of Bangladesh has asked Malaysia to reconsider a decision to revoke the visas of 55,000 Bangladeshi workers, who are due to arrive there to take up jobs.

Malaysia says they are no longer needed, but the BBC reports the decision will cause severe problems for Bangladesh.

The Bangladeshis had already been approved for work in Malaysia and had paid M$12,000 ($US3226) in fees.

Bangladesh's acting high commissioner in Kuala Lumpur said he was hopeful the Malaysian government might change its mind.

Some 5.5 million Bangladeshis live and work abroad, sending home more than $US9 billion last year.

In January, the government banned the hiring of new foreigners after a report forecast 45,000 Malaysians would lose their jobs in the next few months.

Foreign workers in Malaysia include: Bangladeshis, Indonesians, Pakistanis, Indians, Nepalese and Burmese nationals. Filipinos also enter Malaysia on Borneo, through Sabah.