By LYDIA NATHAN / Pic By HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN
Bestinet Sdn Bhd plans to take legal action against parties who continue to discredit the firm as it continues to deny all the allegations related to Nepali workers.
The company has been embroiled in allegations of taking advantage of Nepali workers coming to Malaysia and profiteering from the operation between 2013 and 2018.
The Nepali Times recently reported that Bestinet has made some US$450 million (RM1.83 billion) from various processes, which workers from that country had to pay to come to Malaysia.
The Nepalese government has since barred its workers from coming to Malaysia effective immediately.
Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran had said the temporary withdrawal of the Temporary Employment Visit Pass or PLKS is not the cause of the current shortage of Nepalese workers, but over allegations of misappropriations by the local operator.
Bestinet ED Datuk V Rathakrishnan said the company has categorically denied all allegations made against the company and will be happy to meet with the authorities to discuss the matter.
“There has been a lot of misunderstanding, maybe by the minister himself. There are four important processes a worker goes through before he can come to work in Malaysia.
“We are only involved in the biometric registration of workers, where we take 10 copies of their fingerprints,” Rathakrishnan said in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
He said Bestinet is not involved with companies that conduct the other three processes in the recruitment of foreign workers.
“I can tell you 100%, we are not affiliated with them in any way whatsoever, including any of the directors,” he said.
The contract to conduct the medical screening was given to Bestinet by the previous government in 2016 and is valid for six years.
Rathakrishnan said Bestinet was singled out in reports due to a confusion as workers are given a “calling visa” by Bestinet’s system once a worker is approved.
“Everyone thinks we have a monopoly of the migrant industry because our name is being used by the system. But the data we have is only used by Malaysian employers and we have no affiliation with the rest,” he said.
Bestinet’s legal advisor Datuk N Sivananthan said the company has yet to decide the legal route, including criminal defamation, but has taken steps to identify lawyers in the other source countries.
“If people do not cease from making accusations before checking with my clients, we will be instructing the lawyers to take action,” he said, adding that the company is willing to meet Kulasegaran.
Bestinet CEO Ismail Mohd Noor reiterated that the company does not have a monopoly of the industry and they do not exploit foreign workers.
“We are not involved in the recruitment activities in the labour source countries. This is entirely controlled by the respective governments and recruitment agencies there,” he said, adding that he has visited the high commissioner of Malaysia in Nepal to clarify the matter.
“The advice I was given was that it is a government-to-government arrangement. We, as a private company, have no right to speak on behalf of either government. We are only the appointed service provider by the local (Malaysian) government,” he said.