PORT DICKSON: Amendments to the Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act (Act 466) in Parliament will enable not only the estate workers to receive health and security facilities properly but it would also be extended to workers of the other industries.
Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye (pix) said the Amendment Bill would require the employer to provide accommodation facilities to the workers in accordance with the standards set and failure to do so, they could be fined.
“Currently, the amended act would control the minimum standard of housing and facilities provided to the workers. Previously, the Act 446 only controlled accommodation facilities for workers in the estates but the amendment tabled in Parliament in the current session under the Ministry of Human Resources would further widen the act not only to the estate workers but also for workers of the other industries.
“It also requires the company providing the accommodation facilities centrally, it will also require them to follow standards according to the conditions set. Facilities not only in terms of physical but also the requirement to provide medical services to the workers there,” he told reporters, here today.
He said this when met after launching the Updated Medical Seminar For Plantation Paramedics which was also attended by the Chairman of the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) Estate Health Committee Division Dr Edmond Fernandez and President of the Estates Hospital Assistants Association Malaysia P. Naggapan.
Currently, the Bill which had been tabled in Parliament two days ago for amendment, was only applicable to the mining and agricultural sectors.
The Bill aimed to widen coverage of the existing act to all sectors.
Commenting further, Dr Lee said if the bill was passed, Medical Assistants in the estates would play an important role not only in giving preventive treatment for infectious diseases but also ensuring that the work place and accommodation for the workers were safe and clean.
Meanwhile, when asked on the spread of the influenza epidemic , he said the situation so far was under control throughout the country.
“However, we will continue to monitor the situation,” he said.
Previously, the media reported that eight players of Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) were confirmed to have been infected with influenza B with one of them being positive of influenza A while 168 cases of the Influenza Like Illness (ILI) were recorded in Negeri Sembilan from January until July 6 this year.
The two-day seminar, earlier, aimed at giving the latest exposure on health and was attended by 70 medical assistants in estates. — Bernama