Oleh ANIS FARHANAH MALEK
KUALA LUMPUR 29 July - Issues related to foreign workers management have been raised from time to time especially on forced labour allegations against Malaysia’s industries.
As such, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) today debuted its seminar addressing labour standards compliance issues among manufacturers, particularly on foreign workers management.
MITI’s Deputy Secretary General (Investment), Datuk Bahria Mohd. Tamil in her opening speech at the seminar said due to the constantly evolving economy, creation of appropriate environment and ecosystem for the industry is necessary to elevate Malaysia’s competitiveness globally.
“It is important that we address and manage this effectively to ensure our industries are not further implicated with allegations of forced labour.
“In view of this, MITI sees the urgent need to organise this briefing session to address some of the cross-cutting issues raised by industry players and clarify the policies and guidelines relating to labour standards compliance in Malaysia as well as reminding industries the importance to adhere to labour standards and eliminate forced labour elements in their industry,” said Bahria.
The seminar titled ‘Briefing Session on Labour Standards Compliance for Sustainable Supply Chain’ saw the participation of more than 150 attendees who are manufacturers from various sectors including the rubber glove sector.
The programme highlighted topics such as ‘Implementation of the Employment Act in relation to elimination of forced labour elements’, ‘Workers' Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act, or Akta 446’; and ‘Mechanisms for industry’s resilience in global supply chain’.
The speakers at the event include Responsible Business Alliance Program Manager, Khai Yau Chua, Director at Department of Labour Peninsular Malaysia (JTKSM), Suraiya Ch’ng Abdullah and a representative from Embassy of United States (US) in Kuala Lumpur.
Bahria added, there are approximately two million registered foreign workers currently in the country, close to 700,000 of them, or 35% of them are in the manufacturing sector.
Hence, the seminar is MITI’s response in helping the industries better manage their foreign workers.
Apart from that, the initiative is a proactive measure to provide the current context for manufacturers to create a sustainable supply chain through adherence to labour standards. - DagangNews.com