Partial lifting of ban on Bangladeshi workers eyed

Updated 27 February 2013
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Partial lifting of ban on Bangladeshi workers eyed

The Ministry of Labor is currently studying lifting of a partial ban on workers’ recruitment from Bangladesh.
“The Ministry of Labor has set up a committee to study to resume recruitment of workers from Bangladesh. The committee will also study the security and criminal aspects of Bangladeshi workers to ensure that they will not commit crimes in future,” Undersecretary for International Affairs at the Ministry of Labor Ahmed Al-Fehaid said in a statement. Approximately 2 million Bangladeshi nationals are working in the Kingdom.
Saudi Arabia recruited about 150,000 Bangladeshis each year until 2008, according to a statement of that country’s Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training. Following a ban on hiring of workers in the housing and agricultural sectors in 2008, the annual average of Saudi recruitments from there plummeted to around 10,000.
After issuing the ban order, then-Labor Minister Ghazi Al-Gosaibi said, “Their hiring would be restricted to medical and engineering fields. However, there will be an exception for the jobs in the maintenance and cleaning sectors with the condition that their percentage in all the sectors should not exceed 20 percent.”
It was also reported then that Bangladeshi workers got the biggest share — 23.5 per-cent of the 1.5 million — of Saudi visas issued in 2007.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh urged the Kingdom to increase the import of manpower from her country to Saudi Arabia when Shoura Council Chairman Abdullah Al-Asheikh visited her in Dhaka early last month. Sheikh Hasina also called upon the Saudi government to invest more in her country’s industrial and business sector for mutual benefits of the two countries in the meeting with Al-Asheikh. Bangladeshi Minister of Labor, Employment, Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment, Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, said in a recent statement that his government had taken steps, including the registration of overseas workers and issuance of a smart card, to ensure anyone with a criminal background cannot work abroad.
A spokesman for Bangladeshi labor ministry acknowledged earlier that some Bangladeshis in Saudi Arabia were engaged in illegal activities such as claiming shops illegally, selling banned CDs, running illegal telephone businesses, stealing manhole covers from roads and footpaths, stealing electricity and telephone cables, and printing fake currency.
In 2011, Bangladeshi media reported quoting their labor minister that the Kingdom decided to recruit four categories of workers — housemaids, house drivers, security guards and gardeners — from that country. The minister made the statement after meeting with the Saudi Arabian National Recruitment Committee, which signed a memorandum of understanding with its Bangladeshi counterpart Baira, pledging to cooperate with each other in protecting the migrants’ interests.


Disappointed fans hail improved performance by Saudi Green Falcons after defeat ends World Cup dream

Updated 38 min 31 sec ago
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Disappointed fans hail improved performance by Saudi Green Falcons after defeat ends World Cup dream

  • A fan named Yousif, who watched the match at the General Sports Authority viewing tent, was happy that the game at least was close this time.
  • Saudi Arabia will face off against Egypt, who also lost their opening two group A games against Uruguay and Russia, on June 25.

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s World Cup dreams were shattered on Wednesday after Uruguay beat the Green Falcons 1-0 in the second of the three group-stage matches. Most Saudi fans in Jeddah were much happier with the team’s performance in game two, following the resounding 5-0 defeat by host nation Russia in the opening match on June 14, but still bitterly disappointed by the loss, which means the team cannot qualify for the knockout round.

Yousif, who watched the match at the General Sports Authority viewing tent, was happy that the game at least was close this time. “Although we lost, the performance was much better than the first game with Russia. I hope we win our next match,” he said.

Nasrah, who watched the game with her two sons, said: “I was really disappointed because we played good today and nothing less than a win should have been acceptable. I am also disappointed to see the looks on my boys faces when the game ended as they were hoping for a win.”

Khalid Al-Raghbi said at least it had been a good match to watch. “We played a bit better today,” he added. “I wish we would have won but at least we performed better than our last match against Russia.”

Before the game, Ibrahim Al-Turki had been optimistic about Saudi Arabia’s chances. “We didn’t expect today’s result. I was thinking that Saudi would win by two goals, and Uruguay would score one,” he said.

The result was especially disappointing given the close result and the number of chances the Saudis had to score, said Badr, who added: “I don’t know what to tell you because we are deeply disappointed. At least if we lost with a big defeat I would say we deserved it. We had the potential but we could not score.”

Shadi Al-Ghamdi said he wished the national team’s much improved performance in their second game had been more evident in their first. “I am very proud of the players, I thought they played very well. I just wish they had played like this against Russia," he said.

Safah was less complimentary and said that the Saudi players had let their fans down, adding: “They seemed scared whenever they attempted to score any goals.”

Saudi Arabia will face off against Egypt, who also lost their opening two group A games against Uruguay and Russia, on June 25. It will be the final game in the competition for both sides, with only pride to play for, as they battle it out to see who will finish third in the group and who will be left in bottom spot.