Following the crackdown on illegal agencies, Nepal suspended the departure of all its workers. Many feared at the time that Nepal would end up losing its biggest labour market, which currently employs nearly 400,000 documented Nepali workers.
But Nepal stood its ground. Soon, Malaysia approached the Nepali authorities to resume labour migration, and proposed a bilateral labour agreement. After months of negotiations, the two governments finally inked a landmark deal on the recruitment, employment, and repatriation of workers on October 29.
The labour deal was welcomed by many, for it promised better working conditions and facilities for Nepali workers in Malaysia. Aspiring workers were guaranteed recruitment at nominal expense. The Malaysian job market was expected to open shortly after the signing of the historic deal, but Malaysia remains a restricted country for Nepali workers till date.
Initially, Labour Ministry officials had said that Nepali workers would be allowed to leave for Malaysia soon after the labour deal was signed, after the joint group of officials from both countries would decide on the framework for the deal’s implementation. But the delay has been stretching for the past two months.