Malaysia's government says it is revoking work visas issued to more than 55,000 Bangladeshi workers in a bid to help its own citizens find jobs.
Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar said the government would revoke visas for some 55,147 workers who were approved in 2007. The minister said that with the economic downturn the Bangladeshi workers are no longer necessary.
Most foreign laborers in Malaysia work on construction sites and plantations or in factories and restaurants, jobs most Malaysians shun because of the hard work and long hours.
Bangladeshi workers typically pay more than $3,000 in processing fees to obtain visas. The Malaysian government says it will try to refund the fees.