Kula misinformed on Bestinet, says company boss

Bestinet CEO Ismail Mohd Noor says the company is only a service provider and does not engage in recruiting activities.

PETALING JAYA: Bestinet Sdn Bhd says Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran may be “misinformed” on the company’s role in the recruitment of foreign workers and it will seek a meeting with him to clear the air on the matter.

This came after Kulasegaran said today in a parliamentary reply that Bestinet was in charge of biomedical checks and that the Nepali government was investigating the company for money laundering through its Foreign Workers Centralised Management System (FWCMS), which had no approval from Kathmandu.

At a press conference, Bestinet CEO Ismail Mohd Noor and Bestinet director V Rathakrishnan explained in detail the role of the company in the entire process.

Bestinet’s lawyer N Sivananthan also said there was no truth to his clients being investigated for money laundering and that the FWCMS was not approved in Nepal.

Bestinet also said no shareholder or director in Bestinet was related to former home minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, nor were they involved in any of the other service providers in the recruitment process, whether overseas or in Malaysia.

“We will be more than happy to meet Kulasegaran.

“We are providing a Malaysian product for human resources. We believe that if our solutions are fully implemented, we can solve the problems of the world,” said Rathakrishnan.

Ismail said Bestinet was only a service provider and was not involved in recruitment activities in labour source countries or Malaysia, and does not have direct contact with foreign workers or recruitment agents.

In source countries, Ismail said there were four processes which foreign workers needed to go through, namely biometric checking; health screenings; receiving and handling of a worker’s passport for calling visa; and, system and data entry for calling visa.

“We are only one of four service providers. We only handle the health screenings for which the home ministry allows us to collect RM100.”

Even then, the RM100 is not paid in cash or collected from the foreign workers but from recruitment agents who must bank in the money to receive an invoice.

This, Rathakrishnan said, was to ensure all payments were on the books, so the issue of money laundering didn’t arise.

Biometrics

Rathakrishnan also said the misconception that Bestinet did biometrics stemmed from before biometrics was made a requirement by the government.

Prior to that, Bestinet would collect biometric data as part of the health screening. However, once it was made a requirement, a different service provider was appointed by the government, so many in Nepal were still under the impression that Bestinet was in charge of biometrics and this wasn’t the case.

Bestinet also said it wasn’t involved in any rehiring exercises in Malaysia.

On the FWCMS, Rathakrishnan said it was an online end-to-end system which essentially served to eradicate corruption, exploitation and reduce the risk of contagious diseases entering the country.

He said the concept was pitched to Putrajaya in 2011 and in 2012 and received approval for implementation under the “proof of concept”.

“This meant it came at no cost to the government or users of the system. Only in 2015 was it adopted by the government.”

The FWCMS, he said, made it impossible for the medical records of foreign workers to be forged, ensured workers could be vetted by immigration before coming to Malaysia as well as speeded up and simplified the calling visa application process.

Sivananthan said he hoped with this press conference, no parties would repeat any false claims and allegations against the company.

“Perhaps the minister was misinformed,” he said when asked whether they would take action against Putrajaya.

“After this, if people continue to hurl allegations against us, we will take action. Up until today, it’s a forgive-and-forget situation.”

Bestinet also said it was more than happy to work with all authorities in clearing the air on the issue.

Earlier today, Kulasegaran said the Cabinet would discuss the recruitment of workers from Nepal at its weekly meeting on Friday.

Before this, The Nepali Times news portal, in a report titled “Kleptocrats of Kathmandu and Kuala Lumpur”, had alleged that a nexus of politicians, businessmen and bureaucrats in Nepal and Malaysia had made huge profits from vulnerable Nepali migrant workers seeking work in Malaysia.

As a result, the Nepali government reportedly put an immediate stop to its citizens coming to Malaysia for jobs as it was unhappy with the tight immigration rules imposed on the potential migrant workers.

This was said to include the monopoly of a private company in conducting security and health checks as part of the visa requirements. Bestinet subsequently refuted the allegations.

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