Remittances by legal foreign workers doubled from RM10 billion in 2009 to almost RM20 billion in 2012 with Bangladesh being the top recipient of the remittances last year, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan told the Dewan Rakyat on Monday.

“Foreign workers remitted RM19.75 billion abroad legally last year, up from RM15.68 billion in 2011 and RM13.4 billion in 2010,” he said in reply to a question from Ko Chung Sen (DAP-Kampar) who wanted to know the amount of remittances sent by foreign workers every year and to which countries.

“The top five recipients of the remittances last year were Bangladesh (RM3 billion), Indonesia (RM2.95 billion), Nepal (RM1.9 billion), India (RM625.1 million) and the Philippines (RM561.3 million), he added.

Ahmad explained, the increase in overseas remittance transactions was mainly due to the increased access to non-banking financial institutions that allowed foreign workers to transfer their money to their home countries.

“Amid the fluctuating global financial market recently, Malaysia has experienced a moderate capital outflow, a reversal from the inflow previously. It is important to note that capital reversal is also experienced by all rapidly growing economies including in the region, and not just in Malaysia.

As the capital outflow from the domestic financial market has so far been in an organised manner, the cash outflow due to these remittances has not affected the economy,” he said.