GEORGE TOWN: Penang has urged the federal authorities to rebut allegations that human rights abuses were taking place in the electric and electronic (E&E) sector in Malaysia. Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said both the International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) and Human Resources Ministry (HRM) should take steps to ensure the country was not sanctioned due to negative perception. He added any unfavorable impression should be countered before action was taken which could affect the economy, noting Penang had a huge E&E sector. He expressed confidence the claims of human rights violations were not true and urged for quick end to the matter. "We hope steps are taken to ensure the economy is not affected," he said in a press conference today. Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin had on Monday claimed the US Labour Department will put Malaysia on the "International Ranking on Forced Labour" watch list next month. The move comes after global NGO Verite in a report titled "Forced Labour in the Production of Electronic Goods in Malaysia", highlighted several issues by some 500 male and female workers which included deceptive recruitment, poor living conditions and passport retention.