BESTINET PRESS STATEMENT REFUTING ALLEGATIONS BY NEPALI TIMES


KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA 23 JULY 2018 - In response to the Article “Kleptocrats of Kathmandu and Kuala Lumpur” published by Nepali Times on 20 June 2018, Bestinet Sdn Bhd (Bestinet) would like to state that the allegations made against Bestinet by both authors of the article are entirely false.

Bestinet is committed to conducting its business in a responsible manner and does not engage in unethical business practice. The company’s goal is to be a positive presence in the markets in which it operates in and affirms its commitment to its code of business conduct and ethics.

Bestinet refutes and emphatically denies the allegations contained in the article.

We would like to state that Dato’ Sri Mohd Amin Abdul Nor, founder and chairman of Bestinet is not the brother-in-law of Former Malaysian Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

The company would also like to clarify that Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's brother Datuk Abdul Hakim Hamidi is not a shareholder of the company.

Tan Sri Azmi Khalid was never a shareholder of Bestinet and resigned as director in January 2017.

In fact, no one in Bestinet is related to Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

We would also like to clarify that Bestinet is only a service provider for the Bio-medical system. The Biometric screening mentioned in the article is one of the modules of Bestinet’s own pioneering and award-winning Foreign Workers Centralized Management System (FWCMS), a holistic foreign workers management system developed specifically for governments.

It was recently recognised by UN-based World Summit Awards as one of the world’s 40 best digital projects that help meet the United Nations’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The idea of FWCMS was first presented to the Malaysian Government in 2004, the government reviewed the proposal in 2011 and approved the implementation of the system under a Proof-of-Concept (POC) basis in 2012, before Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi became the Minister of Home Affairs.

The system allows medical tests to be carried out and results uploaded online in real time, including registration of workers demographic and biometric data. Workers’ attendance and eligibility verification are also done real time with the Malaysian Immigration core system.

Bestinet would also like to highlight that the Bio-medical screening is a mandatory process for all workers coming into Malaysia, and not as alleged in the article only for workers from Nepal. The module protects Malaysians from diseases that might be brought in, while at the same time looking after the the welfare of foreign workers by ensuring they do not undertake the journey to Malaysia in vain if they are unfit.

It is important to understand that the implementation of the Bio-Medical system benefits both employers and workers as previously around 25% - 30% of applications were rejected during attendance eligibility verification which was performed manually and could take up to three months to complete. This means a high cost for the workers who would not be able to retrieve the money paid to the agents and medical screening, whereas employers lost valuable time and had to reapply to make up for the failed applications. The manual system also left room for abuse and corruption.

To date, we have implemented the bio-medical module in more than 200 medical centres across 12 labour source countries that deliver workers to Malaysia. The system is fully automated and online to eliminate manual submission and ensure worker’s attendance to medical centre for screening to avoid manipulation, forged reports and corruption. Under Bio-Medical system, workers are protected as if their attendance eligibility verification is unsuccessful, they will be notified immediately, and they do not have to continue with the medical screening and in such cases, this service is provided free-of-charge by Bestinet.

We would also like to clarify that there are 37 medical centres in Nepal accredited to perform the bio-medical screening; these were identified, audited and selected based on their capabilities and medical facilities available, which allow medical results to be integrated and uploaded to the system in real time respective stakeholders (i.e. Malaysian Embassy, Malaysian Immigration and Employers) as a compliance requirement before approvals are given.

Such requirements are important to ensure the medical results are examined by medical practitioners following Malaysian requirements.

Bestinet only collects RM100 for the Bio-Medical system which was approved by the Malaysian Government, and other charges are collected by other service providers.

We would like to state that ISC (Immigration Security Clearance), VLN (Visa Luar Negara), OSC (One Stop Centre) services are not provided by Bestinet and Bestinet is not related to the providers of these services and any Kathmandu-based agents.

Hence the allegations made that Bestinet has been charging migrant worker for scanning passports, fingerprinting and uploading the data online are entirely false.

We welcome the Malaysian Government’s intent to set up a committee to conduct a thorough review into all systems and service providers related to the recruitment and management of foreign workers and we look forward to providing our full support.

Since the publication of the Nepali Times article, further articles have been published by Malaysian media such as Malay Mail, Malaysian Insights, China Press, Free Malaysia Today, The Malaysian Insight, Malaysia Today amongst others.

We have been in open dialogue with the media at all times and would like to highlight that other than reported, we have not been contacted or asked for comment on any of the allegations made by the Nepali Times article.

The publication and the reporters who authored this article failed to abide by the Media Code of Ethics and made very little effort to find out the truth, choosing instead to publish untruth and misleading allegations against Bestinet.

The actions, which were highly defamatory and affect the company’s reputation, have been carried out without any attempt to clarify with us. Bestinet is demanding that an immediate apology, a retraction and a correction be issued by the Nepali Times.

Bestinet takes these allegations very seriously and reserves the right to take all necessary steps against Nepali Times and both authors.