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It's been one and a half years since these migrant workers got home

The Financial Express, Bangladesh, 10 July 2021 - Migrant workers, who came home on vacation from Malaysia early last year and have been stranded for about one and a half years now due to the coronavirus pandemic, are frustrated over their going back to workplaces.

The validity of visas and Iqamas (work permits) of the workers expired one year ago - so, they are worried about their jobs.

According to sector insiders, about 30,000 workers came home from the Southeast Asian country to enjoy leave shortly before the outbreak of coronavirus in the country.

Majority of them had visas with validity up to 90 days. But they could not go back following air flight suspension between the two countries due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The stranded workers are now facing a financial crisis. Many of them are empty-handed as they spent all the money to maintain families in the last one year, said a good number of workers while talking to the FE correspondent.

On the other hand, they borrowed funds to meet migration costs. Now money lenders repeatedly are putting pressure on them to pay back their loans, they said.

Take the case of Jashore's Rabiul Islam, who came to Bangladesh on a vacation for 60 days in February 2020.

He has been stuck home since then. As he has no earning source at home, he has been bearing all expenses by selling a piece of ancestral land.

Rabiul, who used to work at a plantation company in Malaysia for four years, said, "I have no idea how I will live my life once all the money is spent."

Rabiul said he even tried to manage a temporary job to earn a living here in Bangladesh, but failed.

This was simply unbearable that cannot be expressed in words, said a frustrated Rabiul.

The Malaysian returnee said he was waiting for the Bangladesh government's move to help them go back to Malaysia.



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