KUALA LUMPUR, June 21 — A non-governmental organisation (NGO), the Small and Medium Entrepreneurs Alliance (Ikhlas) today lodged a police report against Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M Saravanan for suspicion of trying to hide “inconsistencies”, abuse of power and corruption.

Ikhlas president Mohd Ridzuan Abdullah who made the report at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters this afternoon said his suspicions arose after reading a Malay Mail report on June 17 quoting a Bangladeshi minister.

He said the report stated that the Bangladeshi minister refuted Saravanan’s claims that Bangladesh has made the decision to only allow 25 of its agencies to recruit workers for Malaysia.

“We feel this is an issue of national safety and abuse of power, we see that his (Saravanan’s) statement has changed from morning to evening.

“If the Bangladesh minister says they did not select the 25 agencies, then who did? “We ask for the goodwill of the police to investigate the matter, this is the third report we are making on the matter,” he said, adding that other NGOs allied with Ikhlas have also lodged reports in other police stations.

On June 16, Saravanan said that Dhaka and Putrajaya had jointly agreed to a limit of 25 agencies to recruit Bangladeshi workers for Malaysia, adding that it was the prerogative of the source country to decide on how many agencies should be approved to recruit workers for foreign countries.

However, the next day, The Business Post reported Bangladesh’s Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad as saying that neither he nor the republic’s prime minister Sheikh Hasina had approved the recruitment companies.

Imran had also said that the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by both Bangladesh and Malaysia did not mention anything about 25 agencies.

Ridzuan today also called on the Home Ministry, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to look into the matter.

“I’ve know the Prime Minister for some time and I know that he is clean, but I worry that if he doesn’t open his mouth then the public will think he is also involved in corruption,” he said.

Ridzuan said if the 25 agency limit was passed, then it would be the employers of Malaysia who will face an increased cost for hiring Bangladeshi workers.

He added that even Saravanan admitted there was a surplus of undocumented Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia.

“Then why bring in more Bangladeshis? Charge them (those undocumented) a compound and then allow them to work here,” he said.

Saravanan’s push to limit recruitment of Bangladeshi workers to only 25 Bangladeshi agencies has met with protest from other agencies in Bangladesh, as well as lawmakers and rights groups in Malaysia.

Saravanan has been accused of lacking transparency regarding how and why these 25 agencies were selected.

Furthermore, the agencies have been alleged to be part of a syndicate run by a Malaysian businessman.