Moving ahead after Nepal courts clear its name
PETALING JAYA: Being the pioneer of an end-to-end platform for the management of foreign workers in Malaysia, Bestinet Sdn Bhd is now aiming to expand its Foreign Workers Centralised Management System (FWCMS) to more countries around the world.
It currently provides the IT platform for the management of workers from 12 labour sending countries wanting to work in Malaysia. Bestinet is an IT company with solutions for managing foreign labour for all stakeholders. It provides the back room systems for governments to manage foreign labour, from health screening to weeding out fake documents and impersonation.
The company, which has the Malaysian government as its client, is looking at expanding its services to other countries that are in need of a system to manage foreign labour in a transparent, efficient and effective manner.
Towards this end, Bestinet’s chief executive officer Ismail Mohd Noor (pic) said the company has engaged the governments of countries in the middle east, South Asia and Europe to have the FWCMS implemented in their countries as receiving countries.
“We’re looking at going global. That’s our plan for the next five years after the courts in Nepal cleared our name. We have ventured out to these countries to have our platform and to customise it to their country’s needs.
“There are a lot of engagements with governments because this is essentially a government system and not a private one,” he said.
Bestinet’s FWCMS had bagged international recognition in 2017 when it won an award in the United Nations-based World Summit Awards under the Government and Citizen Engagement category.
Ismail explained that FWCMS is an end-to-end platform that connects all stakeholders in the migrant workers management such as employers, recruitment agents in Malaysia and resource countries, governments and medical centres.
The four main elements of the platform are security, health, compliance and welfare. “We particularly handle the IT platform for the medical screening of prospective workers,” said Ismail.
In 2013, Bestinet was given the mandate by the government to implement FWCMS as a proof of concept, without any investment from the government.
The company said by 2015, it showed that it has managed to eliminate impersonation, paperwork, forgery, corruption and shortened the waiting time with the platform.
Its scope of work includes value added services such as to accredit the medical centres abroad to ensure that they comply with certain standard operating procedures (SOPs) and standards guided by the Health Ministry in Malaysia.
“Previously, nobody does that. We have managed to accredit more than 210 medical centres in 12 countries and now they are in compliance with the Malaysian Health Ministry standards.
“This is to eliminate incidents where the foreign workers arrive in Malaysia but fail the Foreign Workers’ Medical Examination (Fomema) test. You can imagine how much these workers would have to spend just to find out that they are unfit to work here.” said Ismail.
Within the FWCMS, the platform would also record the workers’ fingerprints, face, passport and this is linked real time to the Immigration Department in Malaysia for security clearance to determine if they are eligible to work in Malaysia.
If a potential foreign worker is blacklisted by Malaysia, this will be prompted by the system and they would not even be allowed to undergo the medical screening.
“The workers don’t have to spend money for the medical checkup. After they are eligible from a security point of view, then only they are allowed to proceed with medical checkup.
“That’s where you have the blood tests, urine tests, physical checkup and x-rays done and the x-ray results which will also be examined by radiologists in Malaysia,” Ismail said.
After the workers are considered fit to work in Malaysia, the employers can then apply visas for them, which only requires their passport numbers as the details of the workers, including photographs, passport and medical reports would have been in the system already.
The system has the element of capturing fingerprints of workers’ in the country where they originate from, hence eliminating cases of impersonation when they come to Malaysia.
Ismail said that prior to the implementation of FWCMS, there was no way of confirming the identities of those who undergone the medical checkup and those who arrived in Malaysia.
Another part of the FWCMS is the requirement by the government to have the foreign workers protected with insurance before they arrive and this in a way, eliminates cases of insurance premium forgeries in the past.
Asked about the court case that Bestinet got involved in with Nepal, Ismail said the company has been absolved of allegations hurled at them in the past.
Nepal was the first country the company gone to for the implementation of the medical screening system. Generally workers from Nepal need to go through several four processes in the country of origin before getting the visa to work abroad.
It includes medical screening and biometric checking. Bestinet only handles the medical screening process in that country. However, it was perceived to have a monopoly of recruiting workers as well as overcharging them.
“Everything was presented as if it was related to us, which was why the Nepalese government stopped their people from coming to Malaysia to work because of the allegations. We are not linked at all to the other service providers.
“That was why we explained in a press conference last year that we are not doing everything, only the medical screening. And when we explained, the Nepalese government took all our accredited medical centres to court,” Ismail said, adding that the government alleged the medical centres were collecting or giving service illegally.
The Kathmandu district court had on Dec 31 last year, declared that the medical screening services offered by the medical centres for workers seeking employment in Malaysia were legal.
The Nepalese government appealed the decision at the Patan High Court, which also ruled that the medical screening services were legal.
This has allowed workers from Nepal to come to Malaysia to work again and the recruitment processes are now operating as normal.
Source : The Star, July 9, 2019