Bahrain MPs seek ban on Bangladeshi workers
Manama, May 26, 2008
All Bangladeshis could be expelled from Bahrain by the end of this year if a proposal by a group of local MPs is approved by parliament, it has emerged.
The proposal by Al Asala bloc follows the death of a Bahraini who was killed in an attack after an argument with a Bangladeshi mechanic at a workshop in Suq Waqif, Hamad Town on Friday.
The worker demanded BD1.500 for welding machine repairs, but Bahraini Mohammed Jassim Dossary insisted on paying BD1, sources told the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
Following a heated exchange, the worker attacked him with a grinder. Dossary reportedly lay bleeding on the road for some time before he was helped.
He was declared dead at BDF Hospital where he was rushed with severe neck injuries.
The man has been arrested and detained for seven days pending further investigation and medical, technical and police reports, the Public Prosecution said.
He is charged with premeditated crime and will stand trial after the investigations are over.
The seven-member bloc plans to submit the proposal to parliament when it reopens in October after the summer break.
They will set a timeframe to expel all Bangladeshi workers, currently said to be around 90,000 in Bahrain, and stop the recruitment of new ones.
"It has been observed that people from the Bangladesh community are involved in many ugly crimes and murders," bloc member Abdulhaleem Abdulla Ahmed Murad told the GDN.
"We don't want to live with people of such criminal nature. We have been receiving many complaints and requests from Bahrainis to get rid of Bangladeshis from their neighbourhood.
"They were worried for their lives and families.
"Now after the murder of the Bahraini, our people who live in areas that are mostly populated by Bangladeshis are afraid even to step out of their homes.
"Why should we live our lives like mice in our own country because of foreigners?
"Bangladeshis seem to have a culture different even from other Asian expatriates, which we find hard to adjust to. They are involved in murders, robberies, drugs and prostitution, which is a threat to social security in Bahrain."
"It is not possible to deport all Bangladeshis from Bahrain at once. So we will set a timeframe within which they should be sent home and all the while, no new Bangladeshi should be allowed into Bahrain."
"We are not against a particular group and not saying that all Bangladeshis are bad people.
"But this is their general nature and we don't know who is good or who is bad.
"If you look at the crime records of the past two years, Bangladeshis are the ones who have committed the most shocking and gruesome crimes.
"We don't want to risk any more of our people's lives and this decision is in the best interest of Bahrain.
"We need some time to study the after-effects of our proposal and need to discuss the issue with Bahrain's Labour Ministry and Interior Ministry.
"Then the proposal will be submitted to the parliament when it reopens after summer."
Murad pointed out that Kuwait and Saudi Arabia were successful in banning Bangladeshis from their countries and that Bahrain should follow suit.
Saudi Arabia's Labour Ministry had clarified in March that the decision to stop hiring Bangladeshis was in the housing and agricultural sectors.
This decision was taken because the quota fixed for Bangladeshi workers in Saudi was over, according to a top Ministry official.
The official's clarification came amid rumours that Saudi had halted hiring Bangladeshis altogether after media reports pointed to their involvement in most of the criminal acts.
The Kuwaiti Interior Ministry in May last year said that a decision to suspend the recruitment of Bangladeshi workers to Kuwait was taken because of the crimes committed by them.
It has suspended hir