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Sunday, December 29, 2013

SO CORRUPT! Even in Nepal, M'sian embassy-linked firm accused of shady worker deal

SO CORRUPT! Even in Nepal, M'sian embassy-linked firm accused of shady worker deal
KUALA LUMPUR — A company employed by the Malaysian embassy to process visa applications in Nepal has been linked to a “shady deal” involving the remittance of a large sum of money to an unnamed firm in Hong Kong, Nepal’s The Himalayan Times reported this week.
According to the December 26 report, Malaysia VLN Nepal, which was appointed by the embassy to process visas for Nepali workers to Malaysia, had last month filed a request at the country’s central bank to transfer around Rs 30 million (RM997,000) to Hong Kong.
“If the company had wanted to send the money to Malaysia there wouldn’t have been a problem. But since the fund is being transferred to a company in Hong Kong, we couldn’t take a decision on our own.
“We have, thus, forwarded all the documents to the governor’s office,” a high-ranking official at the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) told the Kathmandu-based English language daily on condition of anonymity.
Bank officials explained that the request was filed around a month ago, but the foreign exchange department has not been able to process it as the money is being remitted to Hong Kong instead of Malaysia.
“This money is Malaysian government’s money and we have no problem in availing foreign exchange facility for transfer of this fund to Malaysia,” the NRB official was quoted as saying.
“But why is it being transferred to a company in Hong Kong? We really do not have any answer to this question. But if the government asks us to do so we will do it without asking any questions.”
Even software used is part of scam
According to The Himalayan Times, Malaysia VLN Nepal is solely owned by a man called Din Prasad Shrestha, and was appointed by the Malaysian Embassy to process visa application documents filed by Nepali workers.
The country’s Company Registrar Office’s data showed that the company was registered in Nepal as “Malesia VLN Nepal” on September 10, with an authorised capital of Rs 10 million and a paid-up capital of Rs 1 million.
Malaysia VLN Nepal first entered into a controversy after the Malaysian embassy raised visa fees in November from Rs700 (RM23) to Rs 3,900 (RM130) after the processing was outsourced to the company.
This was followed by another outsourcing planned to a company called FOSA, which will raise fees by around Rs3,200 (RM106).
The Himalayan Times also reported that Malaysia has made it mandatory for medical centres that conduct health checks for workers to install software developed by Malaysian IT firm, Bestinet Sdn Bhd.
The mandatory installation is expected to cause medical inspection costs to balloon by Rs1,500 to Rs4,215 (RM140) per worker, making the total cost including visa at Rs11,225 (RM373) as opposed to the current cost of Rs6,525 (RM216).
This has caused job recruiters in Nepal to protest outside the Malaysian embassy on December 24 over the move to hive off visa handling to a third party that is set to cause fees to spike by over 80 per cent.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Putrajaya had declined to comment on the issue earlier this week, and redirected the matter to the Malaysian embassy in Nepal.
Malaysia VLN Nepal has also faced trouble for using the Nepali flag in its logo last week, which is strictly prohibited by Nepal’s law.
In the last year ending July 2013, a total of 636,120 Nepali workers reportedly left to find jobs in Malaysia, making the country one of the biggest employers of Nepali citizens.
It also reported that an average of 800 Nepali workers leave for Malaysia each day. - Malay Mail

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