More companies behind Nepal Foreign Workers Scandal

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Photo credit: G4S

 

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysian Human Resource Minister M. Kulasegaran recently said that he will resolve the recent uproar about Nepal Foreign Worker issue with the Nepali government and the intention will be to do it via G2G. A company by the name of Bestinet, helmed by Dato’ Sri Aminul Islam Bin Abdul Nor had been accused to be behind the whole alleged scam, however, NMT’s investigation reveal that there are more Malaysian companies involved in the whole ecosystem.

According to Centre of Investigative Journalism, Nepal (CIJ) there are various processes involved for a Nepali to go through and these processes and the operators are as the followings:

Visa Luar Negara (VLN)

“It all began on September 9, 2013. Registered with the Company Registrar’s Office, the ‘Malaysia VLN Nepal Pvt Ltd’ started collecting ‘visa processing’ charges from migrant workers in the name of ‘Visa Luar Negara- VLN’. VLN is the Nepali agent company outsourced by the Malaysian government under the control of the private company ‘Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd’. Ultra Kirana identifies itself as an international company working in the field of technology.” – CIJ

NMT found that Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd is controlled by a Malaysian by the name of Wan Quoris Shah Wan Abdul Ghani as the main shareholder. The other shareholders; Gabungan Kesturi Sdn Bhd is a company owned by Amanah Raya whilst HRL Capital Sdn Bhd is controlled by an investor Harry Lee Vui Khiun.

 

Biometric

According to CIJ, with VLN began the series of levying various charges on people leaving for Malaysian jobs. As a “six-month pilot project” in medical test, the biometric system was made compulsory on July 8, 2015. The Bestinet Sdn Bhd that entered Nepal for the purpose, had ‘partnered’ with 39 health institutions through the Nepal Health Professional Federation. The then state minister for labour Tek Bahadur Gurung permitted Bestinet, registered with the Companies Commission of Malaysia on 17 November, 2008 to work in the fields of information technology and manpower, to implement the biometric system as a pilot project.

Bestinet Sdn Bhd is controlled by Dato’ Sri Aminul Islam Bin Abdul Nor and Tengku Omar Tengku Bot along with 2 other directors.

Tan Sri Azmi Khalid used to be their Executive Chairman; he was active in the implementation of the Foreign Workers Centralized Management System. Tan Sri Azmi Khalid used to be an MP and cabinet minister, helming Ministry of Home Affairs before he quit politics in 2008. Tan Sri Azmi Khalid no longer holds any position in Bestinet today, according to Companies Commission’s records.

 

Immigration Security Clearance (ISC)

Since May 1, 2016, another company called GSG Nepal Pvt Ltd started charging additional fees in the name of ‘Immigration Security Clearance (ISC)’. Under the GSG Nepal, scanning of the worker’s passport and 10 fingerprints was made compulsory.

Our search on GSG Nepal Pvt Ltd came back empty with no results found on such company. However, CIJ did say that GSG Nepal was previously ran under the name S5 Service and S5 Biotech.

NMT’s search on S5 group of companies revealed that these companies are linked to S5 Systems Sdn Bhd, a company controlled by Dato’ Sri Johann Young via his company NSA Technology. Dato’ Sri Johann Young is the man behind the Putrajaya Formula E race.

S5’s own website published the news about how their system is being used by the Department of Immigation Malaysia. You can read it, here.

It might be worth noting that Tan Sri Mohamed Al Amin Abdul Majid used to be a director of the company with DS Johann Young, although current report shows his name is no longer in the company.

Tan Sri Al Amin was Chairman of SME Corp until about a month ago. No news have been cited by NMT about him leaving SME Corp however, SME Corp’s own website no longer displays his photo and name as Chairman.   

NMT clarified this with SME Corp’s info line and a staff by the name of Marliana from it’s Call Centre Unit confirmed that he is no longer Chairman since before Hari Raya. NMT believe that his vacancy may be related to the new PH government’s effort to clear out GLC heads with close ties to UMNO and BN.

 

One Stop Centre (OSC)

CIJ wrote that “Also on May 1, 2016 was adopted the ‘One Stop Center (OSC)’ system for collecting workers’ passports to be sent to Malaysia. The Malaysian company ‘Bukti Mgah Sdn Bhd’ and ‘Diamond Palace Cooperative Limited’ started the OSC system through the Malaysia VLN Nepal Pvt Ltd.”

Bukti Megah is owned by a Md Fuzi Ahmad Shahimi and Derrick Wee Hoe Eng.

Md Fuzi Ahmad Shahimi was formerly President of Johor Baru Central Municipal Council.

NMT have yet to ascertain information on Diamond Palace Cooperative Limited.

NMT did however find information about another company that handle OSC in Nepal. The company is named International Marketing and Net Resources Sdn Bhd or commonly known as IMAN.

According to IMAN’s own website, Nepal OSC is part of their portfolio along with many other countries.

(IMAN’s Executive Chairman Dato’ Azri Mohd Zain with DS Zahid Hamidi at KDN)

IMAN is controlled by Dato’ Azri Mohd Zain via his wife, Datin Nor Aziah Abdul Aziz. Dato’ Azri Mohd Zain is named as IMAN’s Executive Chairman in it’s own website.

He was also Treasury and Deputy Chief of UMNO Segambut.

NMT hope that with this revelation, the newly appointed Human Resource Minister will be able to understand that the whole ecosystem is larger than what have been reported so far. Many companies are involved and whilst some of the systems are unnecessary, some are very crucial to protect the interest of Malaysian employers and the rakyat in general. Making the process easier may benefit the source country but not to the detriment of Malaysia.

The silence from Ministry of Home Affairs and Department of Immigration on the matter are quite deafening. Nevertheless, we hope that the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Human Resource are talking to each other on how to solve the issue moving forward.

By Mujahidin Zulkiffli – NMT

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