PETALING JAYA: The Human Resources Ministry is going to war against forced labour especially against delinquent companies and those that practise some form of forced labour, said its minister Kula Segaran (pix).
He said for far too long, Malaysia has been condoning the horrible act of forced labour which has led to deplorable work conditions.
“Many companies are adhering to labour laws but there are some delinquents and they will be taken to court and brought to justice.
“According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), millions of workers around the world are victims of forced labour and the ministry is determined to fight the practice.
“To this end, the ministry plans to amend laws that are ‘outdated’ and make them current at the next Parliament sitting, if they are approved by the Cabinet,” Kula said in a statement.
He said there are eight Acts related to labour laws in the country that need to be amended before 2020.
He said amendments to the Children and Young Persons (Employment) Act 1966 (passed in Parliament on Oct 17) have been completed.
Kula said the other seven which remain are the Employment Act 1955; Labour Ordinance (Sarawak Chapter 76); Labour Ordinance (Sabah Chapter 67); Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994; Industrial Relation Act 1967; Trade Union Act 1959; and the Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990.
He said since February 2017 Malaysia has implemented two different online application systems to manage the application for recruitment of foreign workers: (a) Foreign Worker Application System - www.sppa.com.my - for application of foreign workers from Bangladesh; and (b) Consolidated Management of Foreign Workers System - https://www.eppax.gov.my - for application of foreign workers from all source countries except Bangladesh.
Kula said the Ministry requires all employers to obtain insurance coverage for foreign workers under the Foreign Workers Compensation Scheme and mandatory contribution to Socso by Jan 1, 2020.
He said they were also ready to tackle the issue of human trafficking like in the case of Wang Kelian, in Perlis.
“The government has set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to investigate the existence of human trafficking camps and graves in the hilly area of Wang Kelian, which were uncovered three years ago.
“This goes to show that Malaysia Baru is serious in combating human trafficking and will do so in a transparent manner,“ Kula said.