Staff officers who for the past year have not been able to overload workers who have gone to Malaysia may wait to resume fraud to recover their losses. Nepalese workers could also be disadvantaged if Malaysian employers do not have to bear the costs of workers in labour-employed countries such as Indonesia or Bangladesh. Nepalese workers may be forced to pay fees to keep their jobs. In 2018, when international pressure from migrant rights groups began to increase, Qatar removed restrictions on workers to leave the employer before leaving the country. According to the International Labour Organication (ILO), “this effectively dismantles the long-criticised Kafala employment system.” The Qatari government`s working practices have been under international control since the victory of the 2022 World Cup. Over the years, pressure has led to some reforms, although problems persist. The main highlight of the past week was Nepal`s request to increase to 122 nationwide the 37 institutions recognized by Malaysians for medical tests for workers. Malaysians will send a team in November to review the additional facilities. During the negotiations, it was also agreed that Nepal`s security forces would reach the same agreement – a point that had paralyzed previous talks. Gokarna Bista, Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Security, discussed with the Nepali Times the renegotiated labour agreement with Malaysia and its other efforts to ensure the well-being of Nepalese migrant workers.
Excerpts: The persistent delay in reopening Malaysia has been criticized by think tanks and opposition parties as a failure of the government. Many feared that Nepal would forever lose its most popular work destination. Our Memorandum of Understanding was broad, but the joint working group had to clarify the technical details. It was not easy to break up the unions that were doing medical tests, and we recommended approving 122 new test centres across the country for transparency and decentralization of tests. We agreed to include the category of security guards in the agreement, which was not originally within the scope of the agreement. They are now sending a team to examine these new centres outside Kathmandu to ensure they meet their parameters. The Nepalese government has signed bilateral employment contracts with five major destination countries: the Kingdom of Bahrain (29 April 2008), the State of Qatar (21 April 2005), the United Arab Emirates (3 July 2007), the Republic of Korea (23 July 2007) and Japan (2009). The government is also considering signing employment contracts with Dem Oman, Lebanon and Malaysia.