M A I N   N E W S

No ban on Indian workers: Malaysia
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 9
Kuala Lumpur today told the Indian government that it had not imposed any ban on the recruitment of Indian workers in Malaysia.

Malaysian works minister Samy Vellu, currently in New Delhi to attend the sixth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, met external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee this evening. Though no statement was issued by the MEA on the Mukherjee-Vellu meeting, it is understood that the issue figured prominently at the meeting.

Vellu is also likely to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

The MEA may issue a statement in due course after getting a formal communication from the Malysian government. The Indian high commissioner has got in touch with the Malaysian foreign office in Kuala Lumpur and sought a formal communication on the subject.

Overseas Indian affairs minister Vaylar Ravi, however, went on record saying today that the Malaysian government clarified at a press conference that there was no ban on Indians working there. The Malaysian government also denied reports that the Indians were being denied work visas.

Malaysian home minister Radzi Sheikh Ahmed told journalists in Kuala Lumpur today that the government was disturbed by these reports and felt that the confusion could have been caused by a move to temporarily ban workers from Bangladesh.

Moreover, defence minister A.K. Antony, who had recently visited Malaysia, denied there was any talk of a ban on Indian workers during his visit.

According to news reports from Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian government took the decision on December 18 but made public only yesterday when Antony ended his three-day visit to Malaysia.

There are about 14,00,00 Indian immigrants working in Malaysia, a large percentage of them in low-paying jobs.

The confusion over whether Malaysia has banned recruitment from India or not against the backdrop of recent protests by ethnic Indians against discrimination in that country started yesterday following news reports by leading news networks.

These reports said the Malaysian government had issued the ban orders against Indian workers last month when the ethnic Indians’ protests were at their peak.



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