Nepal closes M’sian visa office because of ‘shady deals’
| January 5, 2015
Nepalese close Malaysian office for collecting corruption money siphoned back by an Umno crony company linked to Home Ministry officials.
KUALA LUMPUR: The Nepalese government closed Malaysia VLN Nepal, a visa processing company operating within the premises of the Malaysian Embassy in Kathmandu, on Friday.
A high-level Nepalese Parliamentary Committee on International Relations and Labour directed the Office of the Company Registrar to scrap the operating licence of Malaysia VLN Nepal.
Since the company was found charging an exorbitant Rs3,200 extra for processing visa documents, the Nepali Parliamentary Committee asked the Ministry of Home Affairs to retrieve the extra amount collected by the company from Malaysian visa seekers.
The committee also directed the Nepalese Ministry of Home Affairs to suspend all its activities and the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority to look into the rules that the company has violated in the country.
Malaysia VLN Nepal is already in trouble for using the Nepali flag in its logo. This is strictly prohibited by law in Nepal.
Former Senator S Ramakrishnan, who has been monitoring the issue, disclosed these details in an email. He cited a Himalayan News Service report.
“The Nepalese Government finally smelled a rat in the deal. It was corruption money siphoned back by an Umno crony company linked to officials in the Home Ministry,” said Ramakrishnan in his email. “This was all done with the corroboration of the Malaysian Government.”
Malaysian VLN Nepal charged and collected Rs3,200 (RM130) per visa, through “shady deals”, but issued receipts for only Rs.700 (RM23), he charged. “Malaysia VLN Nepal was the only company favoured by the Malaysian Home Ministry to execute the issuance of visa for almost two years.”
Malaysian VLN Nepal, he added, was registered as a manufacturing business but appointed by the Malaysian Home Ministry to approve visas and collect the levies on its behalf.
“This company did not have permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Human Resources and Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment prior to engaging in the business of processing documents of Nepalis seeking Malaysia visa.”
Since the company started handling visa documents, Malaysian visa fees have jumped from Rs700 to Rs3,900 per person.
Of the Rs3,900 raised from each person, Rs700 goes to the embassy as visa fees, while Rs150 is kept by the company as service. The rest, Rs3,050, is held by the company apparently in the name of the Malaysian Embassy in Kathmandu.
The Himalayan Times has since 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.
A total of 636,120 Nepali workers reportedly left to find jobs in Malaysia
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 to reach Rs11,225 (RM373) as opposed to the current cost of Rs6,525 (RM216).
This caused job recruiters in Nepal to protest outside the Malaysian Embassy in Kathmandu on December 24, 2013.
It’s said that about 800 Nepalis leave for Malaysia every day to take up jobs. 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.
Malaysia VLN Nepal last month filed a request at the country’s Central Bank to transfer around Rs30 million to Hong Kong and not to Malaysia.
The Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) said that all documents on this request had been forwarded to the bank governor’s office.