Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Penang MPPP is wrong - Izuree should never have been 'penalized' for criticizing a PR State policy?

I have a different viewpoint, opinion or position, and if after discussion and debate, the committee comes to a decision contrary (or different) from my position - because the other position had majority support - well, officially I would agree that this was the official position. 

BUT I am still personally allowed to hold my own opinion - and lobby for it....all with the hope that the next time, the vote may differ and my position be adopted as the official position. 

Am I bound to be 'silent' and not state my position - NO - well, I have every right to campaign for my personal position, and even be critical of the current position of the committee. Our Minister Nazri is an example of a person who takes the position that death penalty should be abolished despite the present government position is the opposite - did Najib and the BN suspend him or remove him from cabinet? No 

Hence, I am disappointed with the decision of the Penang local council, the MPPP in particular, that have removed this Local Councillor from all working commitees of the Local Council, and suspended his financial allocations. They DID NOT remove him as Local Councillor.

What did he do? Well he was critical of the Council's decision (or was it the State position)  at his own political party meet. Nothing wrong with this. Anwar says he should bring it to the proper channel - well, is not the people the proper channel - for after all, are we not a democracy?

Surely, Pakatan Rakyat is not of the position that all persons elected or appointed to PR State Exco, PR State local councils and the various sub-committees should be 'Yes Men' - and people, who once the majority has decided will abandon their contrary position and views? No, we need people of principles - who will not remain 'silent' but will lobby for alternative positions especially if they truly believe it is the better position.

We know the BN has come out before stating that their own MPs should not supporting points made by the Opposition, or criticize the BN position - we expected better from the alternative, Pakatan Rakyat...democracy demands freedom of expression and opinion...

Hence, I would call for the reinstatement of this Local Councillor into the various sub-committees he was in, and certainly all his allowances and allocations. I wonder what these financial allocations are? Enlighten us about this please...

I wonder whether all these ADUNs, MPs, Senators, Local Councillors, Committee Members still do have their freedom of spech, expression and opinion - or are they expected to just 'vote as instructed' or 'vote as expected'? Can they have a different position from the leaders of the political parties...or the Menteri Besar or Chief Minister...or the Prime Minister..? I would prefer that we have thinking people, critical persons, opinionated persons ....elected, appointed in these various levels of government...

YES - the majority decision will be the decision and position of the government, local council and various committees - but those with the minority position have a right to continue pushing their position, always clarifying that this is but their personal or minority position. Even in court, judges let us all know their dissenting positions...  

WHIP - that is the procedure used to compel MPs/ADUNs to vote a particular way by the political party - this really should never be used save for very important situations - like the passing of Financial Bills. I heard that this is also now being used in Local Councils... WHY? Persons elected or appointed must ultimately vote in accordance to their principles, values and positions - if this is prevented, we may as well have 'unthinking persons' - who will just vote as instructed...who will not lobby for alternatives or question the positions of their 'leaders'...

I hope PR, BN and the other parties do come out and state clearly what is their position about all these... we deserve to know...yes, the people (the BOSS) deserves to know...

Remember, the importance of transparency and accountability in especially a democracy...

All Pakatan Rakyat ADUNs, especially those not in the State Exco, is duty bound to challenge, criticize the decisions/position of the State government - that is essentially the role of the 'Backbencher's Club' - those PR ADUNs not the MB or the State Exco. CHECK AND BALANCE ... that is done openly - not secretly behind close doors.

If an Exco member criticizes - well, then the MB or the Chief Minister has a right to remove him/her - Why? Because an Exco is persons the MB/Chief Minister chooses to carry out the business of governing the State - it is the MB/Chief Minister's 'agents' at the end of the day, and a failure of the Executive will be blamed on the MB or Chief Minister. A State Exco is not like a society exco, which is elected by the membership. 

For the State Exco position, the different quarters have the right to 'suggest' names - but at the end of the date, the buck stops with the MB or Chief Minister - he rightly choses his/her Exco - his 'agents' in carrying out the functions of the Executive.

But, to try to extend this same treatment to 'Local Councillors' is absurd - they(the Local Councillors) really should be elected. 

It is absurd that the MPPP could have even removed a fellow Local Councillor from working committees and suspend financial allocations. Is this a precedence to say that Local Councils can 'bully', remove from working committees, suspend financial allocations, etc ... so, where is the avenue of appeal? The Chief Minister? The High Court? 

We have to look into this seriously - because we may end up with a domination of the majority - and the 'expulsion' or 'side lining' of the minority... I wonder what was the vote when the MPPP made this decision - unanimous, simple majority, overwhelming majority - we deserve to know what was the vote? We really also deserve to know who voted how... In fact, we are also entitled to look at the minutes of the MPPP - to see the arguments for and against... in fact, people should be allowed to be there and see that MPPP meet LIVE... (Local Council meets are supposed to be open to the public...)

Penang PAS councillor suspended over remarks

Penang PAS leader Iszuree Ibrahim has been removed from all working committees in the Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) following his criticism of the state government's squatter policy at his party's recent muktamar in Johor.
Iszuree, who is the state party's land bureau chief, said he received the letter from MPPP secretary Ang Aing Thye last night at 7pm.

The letter sighted by Malaysiakini stated that the decision to act against Iszuree was decided at a council meeting on Sept 25.

When contacted, state cabinet member in charge of local council Chow Kon Yeow said Iszuree remains a councillor and can still attend MPPP's full meetings held monthly.

He declined to elaborate on Iszuree's removal from the various working committees.

Iszuree when contacted by Malaysiakini said, "This action goes against the spirit of Pakatan Rakyat. We are supposed to be speaking about justice and freedom of speech but looks like it is not being practised here.
"BN is a cruel government and has lost seats during elections due to its actions. The same will happen to Pakatan if it acts unjustly like BN," he said.

"Now whenever people (in the state government) criticise, they get terminated. It happened to others, too," he quipped.

Disappointed with action
Iszuree, who had held the MPPP councillor post for four years said he will let the party decide  the matter and will act accordingly when the time comes.

He denied feeling disappointed at his loss but felt it was too excessive to terminate his appointments in all working committees with immediate affect.

"I have contributed ideas to improving the council and have some projects pending. Now the budget allocations to implement them have also been frozen," Iszuree said.
He had incurred the wrath of the state government when he proposed a squatter policy to address eviction cases by developers.

Iszuree had also urged the state government not to implement policies of the previous BN administration prior to 2008.

His speech at the muktamar was reported by Malaysiakini on Sept 19 with the headline 'PAS delegate says Penang pro-developer, like BN'.

However, Iszuree said he was misquoted in the report, adding he did not slam the state's housing policy but was merely proposing policies to address Penang’s squatter problems. - Malaysiakini, 27/9/2014, Penang PAS councillor suspended over remarks

Who to employ? LOCAL worker or MIGRANT 'slave'...What Considerations: Exploitability? Control? JUSTICE?...

Who would you employ? LOCAL worker or MIGRANT worker....

LOCAL WORKERS, if they are exploited will most probably leave your company...and find other employment. They will also lodge complaints at the labour department/police, etc and pursue their claims at the labour tribunals and courts until the very end....till justice is served..

MIGRANT WORKERS - well, they have no ability to change employer. If the complaint or commence proceedings, all employers need do is simply terminate and get their employment pass/visa cancelled... With no capacity to remain and work legally in Malaysia, they will have to leave Malaysia and go back home or... but in short they will not be able to claim justice or hurt 'oppressive exploitative' employers. Holding their passports also makes them vulnerable to arrest and detention - just another way to 'control' migrant workers...

Oh yes, migrant workers do not know the local language - and the culture... and they are 'obedient' - they can be made to work very long hours.... 
And they cannot form their own trade union or associations....but they can join trade unions in Malaysia but they cannot be in the executive committees formally...
Maybe the Malaysian Trade Union Congress, and all the National/Regional Trade Unions in the different sectors/industries could have special committees('task force') and programs to assist the now 2.9 million documented migrants (and maybe the other 5-6 million undocumented migrants?) 
Alas, the problems in Malaysia are a lot and it affects all workers, local as well as migrants, and also trade unions...
Of late - for issuing a media statement on behalf of the Union - the president of the union is dismissed because according to the employer, it is a misconduct for an employee to issue a statement....  on and on the list goes....

Trade union group blames Putrajaya for 2.9 million illegal migrant workers in Malaysia

MTUC secretary-general N. Gopal Kishnam says some employers take advantage of foreign workers by not giving them days off and not paying their wages. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Raiezal, September 28, 2014.   
MTUC secretary-general N. Gopal Kishnam says some employers take advantage of foreign workers by not giving them days off and not paying their wages. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Raiezal, September 28, 2014.  
The Malaysian Trades Union Congrees (MTUC) has blamed the lack of coordination between the Home and Human Resources Ministries for the large number of undocumented foreign workers in the country.

Its secretary-general N. Gopal Kishnam described the situation as "the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing".

"The MTUC and other specific national unions have repeatedly higlighted this matter to the authorities but it has fallen on deaf ears," he told The Malaysian Insider .

Gopal said this in response to a  revelation by Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem recently that of the 5.8 million migrant workers in Malaysia, only 2.9 million were documented.
 Describing the dumping of foreign workers as worrying, Riot said Malaysian workers need to change their attitude by not being choosy over jobs or just want to work in the public sector.

He said Malaysians should seize job opportunities provided by the 600,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which were currently filled by foreigners.

It is believed that at least 35% of the workforce in SMEs are foreigners, especially from Nepal and Bangladesh.

Gopal said the Human Resources Ministry's excuse was that the approval to bring in foreigners was with the Home Ministry and it had no control on the number needed in the country.

"They ( Human Resources Ministry) do n
ot even have a ratio of foreign and locals employed in the manufacturing sector he said.

Gopal said investigations conducted by the MTUC revealed that almost all foreign workers entered the country legally but became undocumented employees due to exploitation by their employers.

"What was promised at the country of origin was not honoured when they arrived here. Some were paid peanuts," he said.

Even the minimum wage of RM900 per month to workers in the Peninsular was not accorded to most foreigners although the policy came into force in January last year.

Gopal claimed that employers used underhanded tactics like using gangsters to threaten their workers in order to subdue them or remove them from their hostels.

"Some deliberately do not pay their wages for three months. These workers had borrowed money from loan sharks in their county or mortaged their property and livestock to seek employment here," he said .

Gopal said desperate foreigners then would seek employment elsewhere to remit money home and settle their debts.

"They will have to remain in the country for at least two years, sometimes working up to 16 hours a day without weekly rest day or paid annual leave. Some also take up additional jobs," he said.

Gopal said for many workers, their problems were compounded when their employers held their travel documents and made police reports that the foreigners had "disappeared".

He said there were adequate laws to act against irresponsible employers but the problem was lack of enforcement. 
Gopal cited the example of foreign workers who were recruited to work in restaurants, especially in 24-hour outlets.

"We had foreigners who sought our assistance when their salaries were not paid and work permits not renewed although levies were deducted from their wages," he said.

He said the Labour Department finally managed to help the workers get all their wages  but surprisingly, no action was taken against the employer.

"We have asked the department to take action as a deterrent to others but sadly there was no follow-up action," he said.

He also said locals could not be labelled as lazy and choosy because they adapted well in fast-food outlets.

"The wages at these places are reasonable and the working hours are flexible," he said.

He added that many Malaysians were working in Singapore and abroad and they have been complimented for their productivity, diligence and enthusiasm.

The MTUC is the umbrella body for unions in public and private sectors and statutory bodies and close to 175 unions nationwide are affiliated to it. – September 28, 2014.

- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/trade-union-group-blames-putrajaya-for-2.9-million-illegal-migrant-workers#sthash.rlCxzDm7.dpuf

Modern-day slavery rife in Malaysia’s electronics industry? - trapped in debt bondage and have their passports illegally withheld?

'Modern Day Slavery' - very strong words used by the Guardian but it is time for the Malaysian government to wake up and do something...

'...although it is illegal under Malaysian law, more than 90% of workers had their passports taken by managers at their place of work or by recruitment agents,Modern-day slavery rife in Malaysia’s electronics industry...'
Well, the biggest problem is the access to justice - when workers complain, they are 'terminated' - and for migrant workers, this means also the cancellation of their visa/pass that allows them to remain legally in Malaysia - they have to leave the country or they become 'illegal' and risk arrest, conviction, whipping and prison... So, leave Malaysia they must despite the fact that they may have pending complaints or even hearings at the relevant departments/courts where they are claiming justice against violators of rights, be they employers, agents or others. So, it becomes easy(or safe) to exploit...cheat...abuse...violate migrant workers in Malaysia because it is near impossible for migrants to effectively be able to use the channels for access to justice in Malaysia. [All complaints, cases, hearings, proceedings in front of labour tribunals/departments just come to an end when the complainant fails to be present...so perpetrators escape 'scot free']
Compounded with this is the inability of migrant workers to be able 'liberate' themselves from an oppressive and/or exploitative employer. Migrant workers in Malaysia do not have the RIGHT to change employers....so, the choice is work under this oppressive employer or leave Malaysia-- employers know this and some takes advantage of this by cheating and exploiting migrant workers... [In a case, that I did, the court did come to the conclusion that a visa/pass is personal(or belongs) to the migrant worker, who may apply for variations of the conditions and the immigration department can vary these conditions - i.e. change the employer, etc...] Migrant workers, just like any other worker, must have the freedom to escape exploitation and change employers... 
Trapped in a situation where they have no real choice but to work under a cheating and exploitative employer is very wrong .... and Malaysia's silence and/or failure to act is unacceptable...

The keeping of passports by employers/agents, etc - is another way of 'imprisoning' or 'trapping' migrant workers. Without your papers, migrants can easily be arrested, detained, charged, convicted, .... Usually, the authority that detains undocumented migrants will wait for the employer/agent to come forward.... and get their 'migrant workers' - so, do you see the power that these people have over migrant workers when they wrongfully keep the passport and other travel documents?

Did anyone see a Malaysian report to these allegations that have been reported? If you do, just comment under this post ....

Modern-day slavery rife in Malaysia’s electronics industry

Report says a third of migrant workers in industry are trapped in debt bondage and have their passports illegally withheld
MDG :  Electronics industry in Malaysia : Women employees on factory line at Flextronics
Women work at an electronics factory in Malaysia. A report says forced labour is used in the supply chains of many household brands. Photograph: Jonathan Drake/Getty Images
One-third of migrant workers in the Malaysian electronics industry, which produces goods for some of the world’s best-known brands, are trapped in forced labour, a form of modern-day slavery, according to new research.

A report by Verité, an NGO working on supply chain accountability, found that forced labour is present in the supply chains of a wide cross-section of household electronics brands, which use Malaysian factories to produce billions of pounds worth of goods every year.

The NGO interviewed more than 500 workers and concluded that debt bondage and the illegal confiscation of passports and documents were the main drivers of this “systemic” forced labour, which traps workers in low-paid jobs and prevents them from returning home.

Once in the workplace, migrant workers face further exploitation and abuse due to their inability to leave. Verité’s investigations found that workers were forced to live in cramped and dangerous accommodation, that female workers experienced sexual abuse by their supervisors, and migrants were forced to work excessive overtime under the threat of losing their jobs, which would leave them saddled with large debts they couldn’t pay off.

A large number of multinational companies from the US, Europe, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea use Malaysia as their manufacturing base. In 2013, more than $2.6bn (£1.6bn) of investment originated from overseas.

“What was most shocking to us was that this was happening in modern facilities, some of which were owned and operated by major international brands,” said Dan Viederman, chief executive of Verité. 

“This work has led us to conclude that forced labour in this industry is systemic and that every company operating in this sector in Malaysia faces a high risk of forced labour in their operations.”

Thousands of people from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Vietnam and other countries travel to Malaysia every year for work. According to a 2010 Amnesty International report, many enter the workplace at least $1,000 in debt, after being charged high fees by recruitment agents. The vast majority of workers interviewed by Verité were found to have been charged excessive fees by recruitment agencies, both in their home countries and in Malaysia.

Verité’s investigation revealed that 77% of migrant workers had to borrow money for recruitment fees.

Some 95% of those interviewed said they didn’t feel they could leave their jobs until they had paid off their debts. Their situation was made worse after a 2013 change in Malaysian law made it possible for employers to pass on the cost of a per-capita levy the government charges on the use of foreign labour to the workers themselves, increasing their debt by almost $400.

The interviews revealed that although it is illegal under Malaysian law, more than 90% of workers had their passports taken by managers at their place of work or by recruitment agents, with most saying they were unable to get them back.

This year the US state department downgraded Malaysia to the lowest tier of its Trafficking in Persons report, which ranks countries on efforts to end modern-day slavery.

In the report, the state department criticised Malaysia for widespread abuse of its 4 million migrant workforce. Most of the electronics workers interviewed by Verité said they had been detained, harassed, blackmailed or threatened by immigration officials, police or the much-feared Rela, Malaysia’s voluntary citizen security corps, which is charged with rooting out illegal migrants.

Verité refuses to name brands it found to be using forced labour to produce goods, because it fears that would be counterproductive to its mission to create greater accountability in supply chains.

“We didn’t go into this research looking to name and shame,” Viederman said. “What we are concerned about is that the use of forced labour is absolutely systemic and that any company that produces or sources electronics from Malaysia must work to ensure that they are proactively taking actions to eliminate that risk.” - The Guardian, 17/9/2014, Modern-day slavery rife in Malaysia’s electronics industry

Sunday, September 28, 2014

73% Workers In Malaysia - Forced Labour???

Malaysian electronics workers abused, not allowed unions, MTUC says

Most workers in the electronics industry in Malaysia do not have trade unions to look out for their interests. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, September 19, 2014.Most workers in the electronics industry in Malaysia do not have trade unions to look out for their interests. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, September 19, 2014.Malaysian electronics workers are not only abused but are not allowed to form unions to fight for their rights, says Malaysia's main labour group amid a report on widespread abuses in the country's key manufacturing sector.

Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) secretary-general N. Gopal Krishnan told The Malaysian Insider that unlike most other sectors which had national unions to protect workers and ensure they enjoy benefits and privileges, the electronics industry was strongly resistant to the formation of unions and had even sacked workers who attempted to set up unions.

International labour rights group Verite recently released a report in which it claimed that a third of the workers in Malaysia's electronics industry suffered from debt bondage.

Based on a study funded by the United States Department of Labour, Verite found that abuse of workers' rights was rife in Malaysia's RM241 billion electronics industry. "Workers in the electronics industry have long been discriminated against with regard to their right to form trade unions," Gopal said.

"Without a union to look out for their interests, the workers in the electronics industry are vulnerable to being exploited and victims of questionable labour practices."
"Wages are not paid on time, and overtime, benefits and other payments are not paid according to regulations," Gopal said.
Gopal said there had been attempts by workers to set up a union but they were swiftly terminated by their employers.
"Anyone who initiates a move to form a union has found themselves unemployed as the sector is firmly resistant to the formation of unions," he said.
Gopal questioned the electronic sector’s use of such harsh measures against its workers, pointing out that it is the fundamental right of a worker to form a union, as stated in the Federal Constitution.

After a 20-year struggle to unionise workers in the electronics industry, Putrajaya allowed industrial unions to be set up in the sector, although they would be regional rather than national.

In addition, the Electronic Industry Employees Union covered only workers in Peninsular Malaysia.

Gopal said the electronics industry had challenged the validity of the unions by taking the matter to court but the unions were hampered by a lack of funds.

"To date, only one trade union has successfully been recognised and formed in STMicroelectronics Sdn Bhd in Muar, Johor.

"Recognition is essential, for without it, trade unions cannot enter into collective bargaining agreements with the employer."

Gopal said many electronic companies which supplied major brand names had been using various means to prevent recognition, including terminating worker leaders working towards forming unions.

"Pro-union workers are sacked – something made easier by the existence of short-term employment contracts – by simply not renewing these contracts and getting new workers," said Gopal.

"Nowadays, when many employers use short-term employment contracts, it is easy to get rid of those workers who want to form a trade union."

In its report, Verite did not single out any company but blamed a system in which Putrajaya and industry policies gave recruitment firms increasing control over workers' pay and other conditions.

"These results suggest that forced labour is present in the Malaysian electronics industry in more than isolated incidents, and can indeed be characterised as widespread," the labour rights group said.

Several US companies with operations in Malaysia told Reuters they could not comment before seeing the full report.

An Intel spokesman said most of the chipmaker's 8,200 employees in the country were Malaysian and it did not use contractors, while Flextronics said it had "rigorous" policies to prevent abuse of workers.

Putrajaya did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Verite’s study comes three months after Malaysia was downgraded to Tier 3 in the US State Department's annual Trafficking in Persons report, which cited a lack of progress in protecting the rights of about four million foreign workers.

The report, based on interviews with 501 workers, found that 28% of employees were in situations of "forced labour", where work is coerced through factors including indebtedness from excessive fees charged by recruiters.

That figure rose to 32% for foreign workers, who are often charged excessive fees that lead to indebtedness.

Verite also found that 73% of workers in the sector showed "some characteristics" of forced labour.

On average, workers in the group’s survey paid RM2,985 to brokers in their home country and in Malaysia as payment for their passage and jobs. Unable to afford a lump sum upfront, more than two-thirds of workers who paid broker fees had to borrow money.

One in five immigrants was working more than the suggested 60 hours of overtime a week – the industry's international standard limit, the group said.

Malaysian law allows employees to clock up to 72 hours of overtime.

The country's laws have been amended in recent years to encourage the growth of recruitment companies that provide workforce services to multinationals, including paying, accommodating and disciplining employees.

"Liability over violations of worker rights is obscured, creating vulnerability on the part of the worker to exploitation and abuse," the group said.

Verite also found workers' passports were often confiscated by recruitment firms, which is illegal in Malaysia. Some firms were found to charge more than US$1,000 for a worker to "borrow" his or her own passport.

Malaysia's electronics and electrical industry accounted for 33% of exports in 2013. In 2011, foreign investment in the sector accounted for US$2.68 billion, or 86.5%, of the total. – September 19, 2014.
- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/mtuc-slams-electronics-sector-for-objecting-to-trade-unions-despite-reporte#sthash.DJwdoxfx.dpuf

Friday, September 26, 2014

You too can Say No to Precarious Work - support the Thunderclap!

To help raise awareness of the problem of precarious work, IndustriALL Global Union has launched a Thunderclap for the World Day for Decent Work on 7 October.

A Thunder-what?

I'm guessing you've never heard of Thunderclap, so here's the official explanation:

"Thunderclap is the first-ever crowdspeaking platform that helps people be heard by saying something together. It allows a single message to be mass-shared, flash mob-style, so it rises above the noise of your social networks. By boosting the signal at the same time, Thunderclap helps a single person create action and change like never before."
Is that clear?  Maybe not.  Thunderclap allows us to allow send out the same message on the same day and at the same time, automatically, to our friends and followers on social networks including Facebook and Twitter.
IndustriALL Global Union wants trade unionists and trade unions to sign up to their Thunderclap message on precarious work.  The message is due to go out on 7 October, the World Day for Decent Work.

Their message reads:

"STOP Precarious Work! Defend your rights to a secure job. Join the global action on 7 October".
You can support this campaign by clicking here:

( Don't see a link? Click on this: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/16472-stop-precarious-work )
If you've never done this sort of thing before, you'll see that you need to be logged into Facebook, Twitter  or Tumblr (ideally, all three).  And you'll need to give the Thunderclap app permission to send out the IndustriALL message to your friends and followers at a specified day and time.  
IndustriALL needs at least 250 of us to agree to go along with this.  Otherwise, the Thunderclap won't happen.
Among those who've already signed up are the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the Trades Union Congress (UK), and LabourStart. 
STOP Precarious Work
Global capital is driving fundamental changes to the way that people are employed. Secure jobs are becoming more and more rare, while agency work, contract work and temporary work are taking over. For young people, there is practically no other option – the only jobs on offer are insecure.

Workers in precarious jobs have little chance to join a union or to bargain collectively. Pay and conditions are being driven ever lower by companies that rely on precarious work to reduce their labour costs.

Find out more about how trade unions are fighting precarious work at http://www.industriall-union.org/stop-precarious-work

Watch the video exposing how precarious work impacts on workers.

Watch the video message from IndustriALL Global Union General Secretary Jyrki Raina.

Together we can STOP Precarious Work!

IndustriALL Global Union

IndustriALL Global Union represents 50 million workers in 141 countries in the mining, energy, garment, electronics and other manufacturing sectors. It is a force in global solidarity taking up the fight for better working conditions and trade union rights around the world.

OT - workers in Malaysia have a choice to refuse? Reduce draconian OT limit of 104 hours/month to 50 hr/mth

OVERTIME - this was an exceptional situation where by some reason one's employer requires you to work more than NORMAL hours. This is not a common everyday occurrence but happens rarely when an 'emergency' of sorts happen - suddenly there is an increased demand and to fulfill that demand/need there is a need for extra work to meet that demand. Overtime work was never a regular occurence.

But alas, today, we find that every day...every week the employer requires one to do overtime - and this is just not right. What has happened to the right to 8 HOURS WORK 8 HOURS REST 8 HOURS LEISURE? [Note that you may be working 8 hours, but add on the the journey to and from the workplace, it can so easily be eating into our rest and leisure time)

Now we have factories operating 24 hours a day - but surviving with just 2 shifts as workers are 'forced' to work the extra hours? Why is the government not disallowing such practices and compelling any workplace that operates more than sixteen(16) hours to have 3 shifts - not just 2 shifts?

When it comes to overtime, workers have a CHOICE to agree to work overtime or not. If they agree, then employer pays the worker OVERTIME rate of pay, which is at least one and a half times the normal rate..

Do you have a choice to say you do not want to do overtime today to your employer? Well, most workers really do not anymore have the choice to do so.... even if a worker wants to take 'sick leave' or take time to go see the doctor, some employers insist on the worker finding some other to replace him/her on the said shift. The same also happens when the worker wants to take 'annual leave' for some emergency... 

Do employers ask the worker whether he agrees to do overtime everyday when overtime is required by employers? Not really - now, workers are just expected to OBEY and to follow orders... What about that consent required to be obtained from employees - well, sometimes the agreement to do overtime is 'given' when employment agreement are signed...sometimes after that, where consent is given once and for all times... This is just not right...and now maybe the refusal to do overtime or even work on rest days or public holidays may even be considered an 'employment misconduct' or a negative mark on one's employment record. 

Worse still, when workers are on short-term contracts rather than on regular employment until retirement, it is so easy to 'force' the employee to work more that 8 hours a day...and more than 48 hours a week. [Well, these were the limits placed in the Employment Acts, but subsequent amendments to the law allows these limits to be meaningless...]. There workers on precarious short-term contracts or on probation are just so worried to 'upset' the employer, that they do whatever overtime the employer asks of them - they hope that their contracts will be extended, renewed or maybe even they may finally become regular employees with employment security until retirement age...or for those on probation, that they will be confirmed as regular employees (but alas, the law still does not fix the duration of probation - and in some cases, this can even go on for years..). For those already with employment security, being regular employees, they worry about promotions and wage increments... There really is NO CHOICE generally for workers - and this why the government through law must step in to prevent abuse and injustice...

To prevent employers making employees work too many hours per day, the government comes in and creates a limit to the number of hours an employer can make its employees do overtime.

One law that sets limits to overtime was the Employment (Limitation of Overtime Work) Regulations 1980 - and this was amended in 1991, and the limit was increased to one hundred and four(104) hours in any one month. 

The accepted number of working days per month is 26, therefore this regulation allowed for up to 4 hours of  overtime work per day.(104/26).

This is a VERY BAD law - Why? 8 hours normal working hours PLUS 4 hours overtime = 12 hours work everyday. 

I wonder how any CARING government could have past a law stipulating that the limit of overtime work per month was 104 - does this Malaysian government not care about workers...

Workers should be earning sufficient for themselves and their family's well being and livelihood working normal hours - 8 hours per day - and certainly not more than 40 hours a week - the most maybe with overtime 48 hours a week. To improve workers income, what is required is a more just MINIMUM WAGE (not RM900 - maybe at least RM1,500 or more) - and not make workers work 12 hours a day? Workers, as human beings, have families, a social and community life - workers are meant to have a LIFE - not be working 12 hours a day?

So, amend the present limit - for a start reduce the limit of overtime work to maybe FIFTY(50) HOURS PER MONTH - and maybe increase the overtime rate of payment to two times the ordinary rate of pay. 

Oh yes, some will say that migrant workers have no family or social life in Malaysia - and we should allow them to work and earn as much as they want. They want to work 12 hours and more and earn more for their families back home. How can we deny these migrant workers this right to work and earn more? - Well, my answer would be that they are also human persons and deserve to be treated equally as all other workers... The Malaysian government will not give a 'GREEN LIGHT' saying that it is OK to force(or make) migrant workers to work long hours (Remember, the universally accepted right/norm is 8 hours per day). We do not discriminate - or does Malaysia?

As I mentioned earlier, increase wages... and do not cheat them... 

“Twenty-two per cent of foreign workers were deceived about their wages, hours, overtime requirements or pay, provisions regarding termination of employment, or the nature or degree of difficulty or danger of their jobs,”- Even the owner/operator employers want to get rid of 'contractor for labour system' - they want direct hiring..

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Even the owner/operator employers want to get rid of 'contractor for labour system' - they want direct hiring..

Direct employment relationship with the owners/operators of workplaces who need workers to their work is always JUST and REASONABLE - Workers and even the Workplaces want this but why did the Malaysian Government keep and maintain these 'contractors for labour' - a.k.a - the labour outsourcing companies, the labour supplier companies - Well, whoever gets these license/permit to do this makes BIG Money - The worker they supply works in a factory, For work done by the worker, the factor pays these 'contractor for labour' money ...and they take about 30% and pays the rest to the workers - it is Big Money. 

Remember, Malaysia already had the Private Employment Agencies (and laws governing them) - what they did was to find workers for employers that needed them, and once the workers are sent to the factories - the private employment agent is paid a one time FEE. [But these new 'contractor for labour' will continue to earn from sweat and toil of workers indefinitely....WHY?]

On or about mid-2005, the Malaysian government introduced the 'contractor for labour' system with regard migrant workers. Since then, this has been extended to local workers. 

Now, owners and operators of workplaces could avoid EMPLOYING workers - they can simply enter into an agreement with these 'contractor for labour' to supply a certain number of workers to work at their workplaces - these workers will not be EMPLOYEES of the owner/operators of workplaces (the principals) - so no more responsibility for hiring and firing, to ensure all rights to workers accorded in law/employment agreements/Collective Bargaining Agreements are enjoyed by these workers, etc . 

Direct hiring is always better and JUST 

Employers will have a direct employment relationship with their workers - their EMPLOYEES

Employers will be required to ensure all rights and benefits due to employees is respected and protected

Employees can join Unions at the workplace, and enjoy benefits in existing Collective Bargaining Agreements.

Employees can make request directly to employers for improvement of work conditions and benefits - only the owner/operator employer has the ability to do these (A third party labour supplier cannot do this - he supplies workers, get paid by the owner/operator of workplaces, and pays the workers a part of this keeping the rest as the supplier's profits, Why enrich the 3rd party labour supplier?) 
Deputy Home Minister Wan Junaidi Wan Jaafar ... had last year confirmed that the government has terminated the services of outsourcing companies due to complaints of workers’ rights abuses. - Malaysiakini, 12/7/2014, Firm denies utilising outsourcing agents 
But they are still around, are they not? Oh yes, these 'contractors for labour' is referred to also as 'outsourcing companies' - what are they outsourcing? Human Workers....  normally, when we talk about 'outsourcing' we are talking about outsourcing work - not human beings...


See also the following posts and the many other earlier posts to understand better:- 

93 Groups:- Abolish the ‘Contractor for Labour’ system Withdraw the 2012 amendments to Employment Act 1955.

Has Malaysia banned 'outsourcing' - the 'contractors for labour'? Sue the person who holds worker passport?

Malaysia downgraded to Tier 3 - Trafficking in Persons Report 2014 - contractor for labour system, etc.. blamed?

Malaysian Bar Resolution on Employment Relationship and 'Contractor For Labour' (2012)

Direct hiring will curb abuse of workers, say Penang industries

Agencies allegedly take advantage of workers they recruited. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, September 24, 2014.Agencies allegedly take advantage of workers they recruited. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, September 24, 2014.As Malaysia comes under fire for worker abuse by a global labour rights group, industrial firms in Penang want Putrajaya to allow them to hire foreign workers directly to avoid problems caused by agencies who allegedly take advantage of and profiteer from workers.

Heng Huck Lee, president of The Free Industrial Zone, Penang, Companies' Association (Frepenca), said the government should allow only direct hiring as a way to circumvent any problems caused by “third parties”.

“Our members want to go direct, but the government does not allow us to do so,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

He added that quotas given to contract companies, which outsource labourers to firms, also contributed to the problem. Heng was commenting on a recent report by international labour rights group Verite which concluded that a third of the workers in Malaysia's electronics industry suffered from debt bondage.

The report, titled "Forced Labour in the Production of Electronics Goods in Malaysia", was completed this year following funding given by the US Department of Labour in 2012.

Based on interviews with 501 workers, the study found that 28% of employees were in situations of "forced labour", where work is coerced through factors including indebtedness from excessive fees charged by recruiters.

That figure rose to 32% for foreign workers, who are often charged excessive fees that lead to indebtedness. Verite also found that 73% of workers in the sector showed "some characteristics" of forced labour.

Heng said the problem was related to agents who brought in the workers from other countries as well as companies that are licensed to outsource them to industries.

He said as far as possible, the members of Frepenca, which consists of more than 60 firms including US, Japanese and European giants with plants in Penang, try to get their own workers.

He said it was proven in many companies that if the hiring through agents or contract companies were stopped, the problem of abuse of the foreign workers would subside.

“If the workers all are hired directly, they are in fact well-treated, in some cases even better than the locals, with similar salaries and housing provided,” he said.  

He added that companies also benefit by not having to undergo the rigours of going through a third party.

On the assertion by the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) that there was a need for unions to be allowed in companies as a way to curb the problem, Heng said the issue was mainly related to agents.

“This is not a union problem. It is an agent problem,” he said.

He said agents continued to take advantage when companies did not hire directly, and in many cases, they sought to profiteer from the workers.

According to the Verite report, one in five workers interviewed was misled in the recruitment phase about the terms of their employment agreement.

“Twenty-two per cent of foreign workers were deceived about their wages, hours, overtime requirements or pay, provisions regarding termination of employment, or the nature or degree of difficulty or danger of their jobs,” the report said.

Verite also found workers' passports were often retained by recruitment firms, which is prohibited in Malaysia.

Penang’s free industrial zones in Bayan Lepas and Seberang Prai are major hubs for Malaysia’s thriving electronics sector.
- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/direct-hiring-will-curb-abuse-of-workers-say-penang-industries#sthash.s3nkviYO.dpuf

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

8 days without Internet/Phone - Telekom Malaysia Inefficient? - Informed Ministry - Hope service is restored soon

24/9/2014 ,,,,and still TM has failed to restore service after service disruption on 16/9/2014  - see also TM fails to restore phone/internet service to kampung folks - 6 Days and still waiting??

How much of time is wasted calling 100 - and everytime a new person answers - and all they can tell you is 'what is in their system' - they cannot even tell us details of why the delay -- or when the service is to be restored? 

Are these people answering the 100 calls even TM staff? Or are they some company that TM have outsourced work to...

Wasted time filling the online Complaints Form at Telekom Malaysia website, and then  we get this message 'error...tray again... - What? Fill all form again and try to submit ...and how many times. Is it an attempt to DETER people from lodging complaints? Would TM even email us a copy of our complaint - without that so easy for TM to deny receiving any complaints. I could not find any email addresses at TM Website - if there was, I could have also send them an email to complain about this prolonged disruption of service - hello, we pay for phone/internet services - Government must ensure that there are email, phone and addresses to complain... to refer to the company management, etc

An error has occurred when submitting the form, please try again later.
Error Details: Microsoft.SharePoint.SPException: Invalid text value. A text field contains invalid data. Please check the value and try again. ---> System.Runtime.InteropServices.COMException: Invalid text value. A text field contains invalid data. Please check the value and try again. at Microsoft.SharePoint.Library.SPRequestInternalClass.AddOrUpdateItem(String bstrUrl, String bstrListName, Boolean bAdd, Boolean bSystemUpdate, Boolean bPreserveItemVersion, Boolean bPreserveItemUIVersion, Boolean bUpdateNoVersion, Int32& plID, String& pbstrGuid, Guid pbstrNewDocId, Boolean bHasNewDocId, String bstrVersion, Object& pvarAttachmentNames, Object& pvarAttachmentContents, Object& pvarProperties, Boolean bCheckOut, Boolean bCheckin, Boolean bUnRestrictedUpdateInProgress, Boolean bMigration, Boolean bPublish, String bstrFileName, ISP2DSafeArrayWriter pListDataValidationCallback, ISP2DSafeArrayWriter pRestrictInsertCallback, ISP2DSafeArrayWriter pUniqueFieldCallback) at Microsoft.SharePoint.Library.SPRequest.AddOrUpdateItem(String bstrUrl, String bstrListName, Boolean bAdd, Boolean bSystemUpdate, Boolean bPreserveItemVersion, Boolean bPreserveItemUIVersion, Boolean bUpdateNoVersion, Int32& plID, String& pbstrGuid, Guid pbstrNewDocId, Boolean bHasNewDocId, String bstrVersion, Object& pvarAttachmentNames, Object& pvarAttachmentContents, Object& pvarProperties, Boolean bCheckOut, Boolean bCheckin, Boolean bUnRestrictedUpdateInProgress, Boolean bMigration, Boolean bPublish, String bstrFileName, ISP2DSafeArrayWriter pListDataValidationCallback, ISP2DSafeArrayWriter pRestrictInsertCallback, ISP2DSafeArrayWriter pUniqueFieldCallback) --- End of inner exception stack trace --- at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPGlobal.HandleComException(COMException comEx) at Microsoft.SharePoint.Library.SPRequest.AddOrUpdateItem(String bstrUrl, String bstrListName, Boolean bAdd, Boolean bSystemUpdate, Boolean bPreserveItemVersion, Boolean bPreserveItemUIVersion, Boolean bUpdateNoVersion, Int32& plID, String& pbstrGuid, Guid pbstrNewDocId, Boolean bHasNewDocId, String bstrVersion, Object& pvarAttachmentNames, Object& pvarAttachmentContents, Object& pvarProperties, Boolean bCheckOut, Boolean bCheckin, Boolean bUnRestrictedUpdateInProgress, Boolean bMigration, Boolean bPublish, String bstrFileName, ISP2DSafeArrayWriter pListDataValidationCallback, ISP2DSafeArrayWriter pRestrictInsertCallback, ISP2DSafeArrayWriter pUniqueFieldCallback) at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPListItem.AddOrUpdateItem(Boolean bAdd, Boolean bSystem, Boolean bPreserveItemVersion, Boolean bNoVersion, Boolean bMigration, Boolean bPublish, Boolean bCheckOut, Boolean bCheckin, Guid newGuidOnAdd, Int32& ulID, Object& objAttachmentNames, Object& objAttachmentContents, Boolean suppressAfterEvents, String filename, Boolean bPreserveItemUIVersion) at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPListItem.UpdateInternal(Boolean bSystem, Boolean bPreserveItemVersion, Guid newGuidOnAdd, Boolean bMigration, Boolean bPublish, Boolean bNoVersion, Boolean bCheckOut, Boolean bCheckin, Boolean suppressAfterEvents, String filename, Boolean bPreserveItemUIVersion) at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPListItem.Update() at Contact_Us.b__0()
When it comes to asking for payment, TM seems to be super efficient - but otherwise, it is disappointing...


Email found on the Ministry website is only webmaster@kpkk.gov.my -I am not interested in writing to the webmaster - I want to lodge a complaint - well, the Ministry website also no email addresses - and I have to use an online complaint form...but what '...The government of Malaysia will not be responsible for any loss or damage incurred whilst using this service in this system...' - WHAT?

Saya mengaku bahawa saya telah membaca dan memahami takrif aduan dan prosidur pengurusan aduan oleh pihak kerajaan Malaysia. Segala maklumat diri dan maklumat perkara yang dikemukakan oleh saya adalah benar dan saya bertanggungjawab ke atasnya.
Kerajaan Malaysia tidak bertanggungjawab terhadap sebarang kehilangan atau kerosakan yang dialami kerana menggunakan perkhidmatan ini di dalam sistem ini.
Then, we have to fill in a Captcha Code - I had to fill it in several times, and although it was correct, I get the response - 'Captcha salah dimasuk. Cuba lagi!' (Captcha Code wrongly entered. Try again!). I nearly gave up but alas at last it went through - and then they asked me to 'Print Out ... the complaint - hello, I am at the internet shop.... why could they just not send a copy of the complaint directly to my email (which I have already provided in the Complaint Form)

Really, the process for the public to complain must be made easier - and really, in Malaysia you need to have different languages - Enblish, Tamil, Chinese,...and even foreign languages (we have 2.9 million migrant workers in Malaysia) - at least all the ASEAN languages should be available so people can lodge complaints in the language they are familiar with...

Complained to the Ministry - will we get our phone/internet restored today? 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Selangor, Azmin, Constitution Amendment, PKNS Scandal?, RM3 Billion,Open Letter by MI, Things to do ...?

Azmin is Menteri Besar of Selangor - certainly not THE person that enjoyed the confidence of the majority - but a person Pakatan Rakyat was forced to endorse finally to prevent a prolongation of the Selangor MB Crisis...

PKNS Scandal - There really must be an independent body set up to investigate this matter. 

Constitution Amendment -  This must be a priority - the race and religion requirement for the Menteri Besar must be removed, as it is in our Federal Constitution - the only qualification being that he/her enjoys the confidence of the majority of the State Legislative Assembly persons(ADUN)...There have been so many other issues surrounding the appointment of the Menteri Besar, and all these have to immediately be reviewed...and if needed, make the necessary Constitutional amendment... 

OMBUDSMAN -  He will have the power to to enter and look at all documents, interview any or all persons - with the object of exposing 'hanky-panky', abuse of power, mis-management, cronyism, corruption, etc

Abolish the use of the 'Whip' safe for Financial Bills at the State Legislative Assembly and Local Councils.

Remove 'restrictions' on PR ADUNs and allow for freedom of expression - so that they can have the freedom to openly oppose the views/positions of the MB and State Exco, freely express their own views and opinions even if it goes against the State government,.... we do not want to be told tomorrow of the failings of the MB and the State government as what happen in the case of Khalid, the last MB of Selangor. Sadly, Pakatan behaved like the UMNO-led BN here so we were totally not aware of the failings of the previous State government under Khalid...The rakyat deserves better. There must be effective checks and balance...

Ensure Media Freedom  - stop propagating 'cover-ups' and ensure media is able to ply an effective 'check and balance' role. The government official media should be open and transparent.
The editor-in-chief of state newspaper Selangorkini has called on new Menteri Besar Azmin Ali to ensure editorial freedom for all state media.Fazallah Pit (left) said that this is because Selangorkini did not have editorial independence to report on Selangor current affairs prior to this, due to restrictions by "certain quarters". - Malaysiakini,23/9/2014, State media urge for more freedom under new MB
Do not SUE people for defamation - for this is nothing but a means to suppress freedom of expression and opinion. An expression of view, opinion or statement should be responded by words also. In an internet conversation, someone said that Azmin is not fit to be MB, and when others asked why...no one was willing to say anything and one reason advanced was the fear of being sued for libel/defamation. YES - this culture of suing people hinders the revelation of the truth and/or doubts - and this should not be. If it is a false allegation, just respond with the truth and facts... (After all, because of this culture of 'fear', many who know are just too fearful to speak up or be witnesses - and the fact, that there is still a great 'lack of transparency'- people have no ability to investigate and find the truth...

Declaration of Assets - MB and Exco Members must declare their income and assets immediately on appointment - and thereafter periodically every 6 months... This must include those of spouse, children, siblings and family members. [In the event any project of the State government or its various entities are awarded to any company or entity which is any way connected to the MB, Exco Members or political leadership of the PR parties, this information must be immediately disclosed.]

CEOs, Directors and Upper Management of State owned companies and state linked salaries should no longer be paid exorbitant sums as salary, allowances, bonuses,etc.. As a guiding principle, no such persons should be paid salaries exceeding the salary of the Menteri Besar or no higher than RM20,000 per month. Director's allowances should not exceed RM10,000 but if the appointed Director is the Menteri Besar, Exco Member, ADUN or government employee, then there must be NO Director's allowances(and if there is, it should be paid back into the State coffers) - such persons shall only be entitled to travel reimbursements or other reimbursements - they already are being remunerated as 'wakil rakyat' and state employees and all they do as Directors is part of that job already. 

No Exco Member, ADUN, MP, Senators or politicians of Pakatan Rakyat party shall be appointed Directors of state-linked companies unless they have the requisite skills and expertise useful for the business of the entities they are so appointed to as Directors. The appointment of 1 person from the relevant political party is permitted if the intention is for the purpose of 'check and balance' but even so, the person must have requisite knowledge of some aspect of the business operation of such entities.

Select Committee of the State Legislative Assembly to be set up to monitor all government owned companies and government-linked companies(especially where the State has more than 50% ownership directly or indirectly). This committee shall have the power to subpoena witnesses/documents and conduct public inquiries as and when is required.

No agreements shall be signed by the State government, State owned companies or State linked companies before it is first considered, debated and approved by the State Legislative Assembly. Any person in the State of Selangor shall have the right to have full access to such agreement, and there shall be no 'confidentiality clauses' or such clauses that prevent full disclosure to the people of the State. All such agreements shall be subject to review, affirmation or dissolution at the end of the term of the existing government. [No more long term agreements that bind subsequent governments - i.e. 10 year or even 25 year agreements..., and those that impose an exorbitant penalty on the State when the agreement is terminated]. We are a democracy, and we have General Elections every 5 years - and no new government should be deprived of the right to review, reaffirm and/or terminate any agreement/s entered into by a previous government.

Elections shall be held to set up committees at kampungs, kampung barus, kampung orang asli, housing estates (taman perumahan) and other communities just as was done in Perak under Pakatan Rakyat. These leaders and committees shall be consulted before any project and/or decision is made concerning their area or adjacent areas which may have an impact on the people living in their area. Such local committees shall be allocated a sum of RM500(or RM1,000) per month for their meetings and activities with the people in their community. At least 30-50% of the persons appointed to the Local Council shall consists of persons selected by all such elected committees from amongst themselves. Local Council shall have monthly meetings with the representatives of all these elected local community leaders. 

All ADUNs allocated with monies to be spend for small development projects, maintenance and local community activities shall be required to provide detailed accounts of such expenditure - which shall be displayed online and also published in Selangorkini Online.

Enact laws that will allow people to take the MB, State Exco, ADUNs, State Employees to court if they abuse their powers and positions. Laws must be made to ensure that the MB and the Exco members are prohibited to receive any monies/gifts/positions, other than their salary and allowances, during the term of their office. And maybe also include  later on from any person of company that is linked to any person/entity that has benefited by getting a project or other benefits during the period that such person was MB or State Exco. [Why? Because a new form of 'bribe' is to appoint the person as Director or Consultant with a large remuneration/allowance...and we do not want this or any other form of 'corruption']

Azmin comes in wanting to spend RM3 billion Selangor fund reserve - we have to all closely monitor this....Is it right? Should there not be some reserve? Some of these monies should be used to assist workers who have been retrenched...or cheated of their wages by employers... Some of these monies can be used for.... Let us hope that this moneys are not used to enrich 'friends'...and not all the people equally...

Azmin joined UMNO in 1987 - was this after Operation Lallang - and he continued in UMNO for 11 years - leaving when Anwar was expelled - what are his values and his principles today? We really do not know and we have to wait and see....

Meanwhile, Azmin said he would fully utilise the RM3 billion Selangor funds reserve, which he said is held for the benefit of the "Selangor people".

The fund, he said, belongs to the people and it is not owned by any leader.

"The fund will be translated with various programmes for the benefit of Selangor people," Azmin said, adding that he would go to the ground and see the problems faced by the people.- Malaysiakini, 23/9/2014,

No suit and tie for this once goatherd MB

Pakatan Rakyat leadership must really set up a PR State Government Oversight Committee that would continually monitor PR governed State to ensure that all that is done is according to PR policies and principles - and when it is not, it should immediately express it and take action immediately.....'Do not cover up MBs and State Government's departure from PR values and principles' 

Selangor is not Azmin's to do as he pleases - neither is it PLR's to do as PKR wants.... it is a Pakatan Rakyat(PR) State, and what it does will be seen as what PR not PKR stands for... Likewise Penang and Kelantan...

An open letter to Azmin Ali, Menteri Besar of Selangor

Mohamed Azmin Ali, the PKR deputy president, is expected to be sworn in as the new Selangor menteri besar today. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, September 23, 2014. 
Mohamed Azmin Ali, the PKR deputy president, is expected to be sworn in as the new Selangor menteri besar today. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, September 23, 2014. 
Dear Azmin Ali,

Selangor gets a new menteri besar today in you and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) gets to continue running the country's wealthiest state after a messy nine months of politicking that has left people wondering why it even happened.

How different will you be from the previous occupant of the office in Shah Alam, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim?

You cut your teeth in politics, serving Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim from early in the PKR de facto chief's political career, while Khalid has been a corporate man for most of his life and burst into the political limelight in the 2008 general election. In the past six years, we have seen Khalid turn from political greenhorn to a man who shook his own party and coalition, sacked his allies, made deals after years of rejecting them, and hurt PR from the inside.
Here is what we expect from you as you make your debut as the leader of the state government of Selangor.

1. You must avoid back room deals with powerful individuals. One theory floating around is that some powerful lobby was always concerned that Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail would have been a stumbling block to one-sided transactions, etc.

2. You must consult the Selangor people on major projects and be willing to explain the rationale on controversial deals such as the Kidex expressway.

3. You must be fair and even-handed in dealing with minorities in Selangor. For example, instead of staying on the sidelines, you must be willing to speak out and act when the rights of others are trampled upon. The Khalid administration did not cover itself with glory in the handling of the seizure of Bibles earlier this year.

4. You must be prudent in using the RM3 billion funds in the state's coffers. This money belongs to the rakyat, and not PR.

5. You must remember that you owe your allegiance and loyalty to the rakyat, the same small men and women who have supported PKR since its inception and have stood by you and your party even during the most trying days, when it was unfashionable and costly to be a PKR supporter.

The powerful and the connected may demand a pound of you but ultimately, you are where you are today because of that housewife in Sekinchan or that teacher in Subang Jaya.

6. You must remember that this is PR's one shot - the last chance to show Malaysians that it has the ideas and policies to run not just the wealthiest state in Malaysia, but the country also. After all, the "Kajang move" was all about removing the insipid Khalid and replacing him with the dynamic Anwar, who was going to use Selangor as a frontline state for inclusive and just policies.

7. There is no honeymoon period. You have to hit the ground running and do well from Day One. Unfair? Not really.

The people in the state have had to put up with a lot of nonsense of late. This is the laundry list of shame: betrayal by a coalition partner; seeing the Constitution and the rule of law trampled; witness a menteri besar refuse to walk away from his position gracefully; seeing PKR stumble with one snafu after another.

There is little patience among voters for more dithering and mistakes.

8. You are a public official. There is no aspect of your life that can be nicely carved aside as private.

For example, if there is a deal brokered between you and a financial institution or another business entity, it has to be declared to your political party and to the state assembly.

9. You risked arrest and were part of thousands of Malaysians who marched in favour of free and fair elections.

You have been threatened with detention without trial and other draconian laws by a regime that has shown little respect for freedom of speech and disdain for the rule of law. You have been fighting the establishment for more than 20 years.
Being the MB does not make you part of the establishment.

10. It is better to be remembered for doing the right thing and for standing up for the right principles than amassing wealth and influence. Would you rather be Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, or Marcos?

11. Your report card will be marked by the voters in three or four years, and not by Jais or Mais or Umno power brokers or Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad or Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Getting a ringing endorsement by Utusan Malaysia or any of the mainstream media is a death knell and not something to write home about.

12. Your promise is to the people of Selangor. All of them, not just the civil service or your own party. You are the MB for all of them. Serve them well. Praise will come from all quarters, not just the civil service or other vested interests, when it is due.

Azmin, you carry a heavy burden after what has happened the last nine months and even from PR's second term as the Selangor government from 2013.

Most of the issues have been self-inflicted, either by your party, some officials or even allies. Make the most of the remaining mandate left to show that you are the right choice and that the Selangor Sultan has chosen well.

All the best, to you and the people of Selangor. – September 23, 2014.
- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/an-open-letter-to-azmin-ali-menteri-besar-of-selangor#sthash.gSs8qJfC.dpuf