Bestinet Suspended, Govt to Sign MOU with Nepal

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Bestinet Sdn Bhd – the company in charge of foreign worker applications from Nepal – has had its operations suspended by the government, following claims of exploitation of Nepali migrant workers.

The information technology company and several other private local companies backed by powerful Malaysian politicians had apparently profited from Putrajaya’s revised foreign worker application process.

Bestinet allegedly milked over RM185 million from Nepali workers seeking employment in Malaysia over the past five years, a claim that the firm has denied. It also dismissed claims that parliamentary opposition leader Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was linked to the company.

The company had been suspended once before, in 2015, by the Immigration Department.

Since May 16, the Nepali government had stopped its citizens from working in Malaysia due to the high cost for immigration security approval (RM105 per person), bio-medical checkup (RM100) and other payments for paperwork.

The Malaysian government is currently in talks with the Nepali government to set up a streamlined foreign worker hiring and supply system.

Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran told a media conference yesterday that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to resolve issues of discrepancies would be signed soon.

Norman Hiu/Sunpix

“We are going to have an MoU with them to solve the issue. The MoU has been approved by the Nepalese in principle,” Kulasegaran said after a special committee meeting on foreign workers’ management chaired by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday.

Kulasegaran said the MoU would be brought to the Cabinet for approval.

“As Nepal is also interested (in supplying workers to Malaysia), unfortunately, there has been an exploitation (of the service and workers) in between, so they have to suspend it (supply of Nepali workers).

“Hence, the cabinet must approve the MoU,” Kulasegaran said.

Dr Mahathir meanwhile said it was an issue of interest to the Nepali government and Malaysia would respect their stand.

“We need to have a government-to-government agreement (on this matter),” the prime minister said.

Earlier reports:

Aug 1, Bestinet Denies Involvement in Alleged Nepali  Workers Scam

Jul 28, Kulasegaran Urges Nepal to Reconsider Migrant Worker Ban

Jul 23, Zahid Denies Links to Nepali Workers Scam

Jul 23, Zahid-Linked Company in Alleged RM185M Nepali Worker Scam

Jun 22, Report: Bangladeshi Made RM2B Smuggling 100,000 Countrymen to Malaysia