KATHMANDU. Despite a steep decline in number of Nepalis going to Malaysia, Nepali migrant workers still make up the second largest group of foreign workers after Indonesians in the East Asian nation, according to Malaysian officials.
Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi earlier this month disclosed that 411,364 Nepalis are currently working in Malaysia.
Hamidi’s disclosure, however, reveals that the number of Nepali workers in Malaysia is far less than previously thought.
Last year, the Embassy of Nepal in Malaysia had estimated that around 700,000 Nepalis were working there. Tens of thousands of Nepali workers are believed to have returned home following the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal in April last year.
More Nepalis returned home after a massive campaign of the Malaysian government to flush out migrants working without legal status.
Stakeholders including recruiting agencies, however, say the exact number of Nepalis in Malaysia could be slightly higher because the number given by the Malaysian government only accounts for workers holding the Temporary Employment Pass or work permits issued by the Malaysian Immigration Department till September.
A total of 1,854,684 foreign workers including 749,226 Indonesians, 411,364 Nepalis, 237,991 Bangladeshis, 140,259 Burmese, 121,430 Indians and 194,374 workers from other nations across the globe are working in Malaysia, Malaysian newspapers quoted Hamidi as saying.
The Kathmandu Post, 22 Nov 2016, 11.00
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