No arrests have been made yet, but several individuals are expected to be called to assist in the investigation.
PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has raided several firms owned by a businessman with a “Datuk Seri” title who is involved in the recruitment of Bangladeshi migrant workers.
A source told FMT the raids were conducted in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, and the firms were involved in developing a centralised system to manage the registration of migrant workers.
No arrests have been made yet, but the source did not dismiss the possibility that several individuals will be held to assist in the investigation.
FMT is withholding the name of the companies pending confirmation.
The source said Putrajaya had agreed in 2015 to use the centralised system developed by the firms and that this involved memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with several countries, including Bangladesh.
It also said the businessman is believed to be in control of the majority of the 25 Bangladeshi agencies recently selected for the recruitment of migrant workers.
“Most of the foreign workers who want to work (in Malaysia) are charged exorbitant fees amounting to tens of thousands of ringgit,” the source said. “This issue has been raised by several NGOs and politicians, who are unhappy with the businessman’s alleged monopoly.
“By limiting the number of recruiting agencies to 25, it deprives other firms the opportunity to do business. MACC has received several complaints of corruption and abuse of power over the matter.”
The source said the agency’s investigation will focus on corruption and abuse of power, and the two ministries involved in the recruitment of foreign workers.
Earlier, Bangladesh’s The Business Post reported that MACC had raided the office of one the firms and arrested several officials.
It also reported that MACC officers had gone to the Bangladesh high commission yesterday to inquire about its role in selecting the 25 agencies allowed to recruit migrant workers.
Asked by FMT if he was aware of the raids, human resources minister M Saravanan simply said he was “not sure”.
During a recent trip to Dhaka, Bangladesh, Saravanan was met by a group of protesters who stated their opposition against allowing only 25 agencies to supply workers to Malaysia.
They claimed that this would see workers spending about RM18,000 to come to Malaysia, more than double the actual amount. They also said there were over 1,300 agencies capable of recruiting workers for Malaysia.
On June 10, Saravanan maintained that the decision to appoint only 25 Bangladeshi agencies was final.