Friday, October 24, 2014

Pope: no to death penalty and to inhuman prison conditions

Pope: no to death penalty and to inhuman prison conditions

Pope addresses International Association of Criminal Law - RV

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday called on all men and women of good will to fight for the abolishment of the death penalty in “all of its forms” and for the improvement of prison conditions.

The Pope was addressing a group of members of the International Association of Criminal Law whom he received in the Vatican.

In his discourse the Pope also addressed the need to combat the phenomena of human trafficking and of corruption.

And he stressed that the fact that the enforcement of legal penalties must always respect human dignity.

In a dense and impassioned discourse to the Jurists assembled in the Vatican for a private audience, Pope Francis said that the “life sentence” is really a “concealed death sentence”, and that is why – he explained – he had it annulled in the Vatican Penal Code.

Many of the off-the-cuff comments  during the Pope’s speech shone the light on how politics and media all too often act as triggers enflaming “violence and private and public acts of vengeance” that are always in search of a scape-goat.

Recalling the words of Saint John Paul II who condemned the death penalty as does the Catechism, Francis decried the practice and denounced  “so-called extrajudicial or extralegal executions” calling them “deliberate homicides” committed by public officials behind the screen of the Law:

“All Christians and people of goodwill are called today to fight not only for the abolition of the death penalty be it legal or illegal, in all of its forms, but also for the improvement of prison conditions in the respect of the human dignity of those who have been deprived of freedom. I link this to the death sentence. In the Penal Code of the Vatican, the sanction of life sentence is no more. A life sentence is a death sentence which is concealed”.

And Pope Francis had words of harsh criticism for all forms of criminality which undermine human dignity, there are forms of his – he said - even within the criminal law system which too often does not respect that dignity when criminal law is applied.

“In the last decades” – the Pope said – “there has been a growing conviction that through public punishment it is possible to solve different and disparate social problems, as if for different diseases one could prescribe the same medicine.”  

He said this conviction has pushed the criminal law system beyond its sanctioning boundaries, and into the “realm of freedom and the rights of persons” without real effectiveness.

"There is the risk of losing sight of the proportionality of penalties that historically reflect the scale of values upheld by the State. The very conception of criminal law and the enforcement of sanctions as an ‘ultima ratio’ in the cases of serious offenses against individual and collective interests have weakened. As has the debate regarding the use of alternative penal sanctions to be used instead of imprisonment”.

Pope Francis speaks of remand or detention of a suspect as a “contemporary form of illicit hidden punishment” concealed by a “patina of legality”, as it enforces “an anticipation of punishment” upon a suspect who has not been convicted. From this – the Pope points out – derives the risk of multiplying the number of detainees still awaiting trial, who are thus convicted without benefiting from the protective rules of a trial. In some countries – he says – this happens in some 50% of all cases with the trickledown effect of terribly overcrowded detention centers:

“The deplorable conditions of detention that take place in different parts of the world are an authentic inhuman and degrading trait, often caused by deficiencies of criminal law, or by a lack of infrastructures and good planning. In many cases they are the result of an arbitrary and merciless exercise of power over persons who have been deprived of freedom.”

Pope Francis also speaks of what he calls “cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments and sanctions,” and compares detention in maximum-security prisons to a “form of torture”. The isolation imposed in these places – he says – causes “mental and physical” suffering that result in an “increased tendency towards suicide”. Torture – the Pope points out – is used not only as a means to obtain “confession or information”:

“It is an authentic ‘surplus’ of pain that is added to the woes of detention. In this way torture is used not only in illegal centers of detention or in modern concentration camps, but also in prisons, in rehabilitation centers for minors, in psychiatric hospitals, in police stations and in other institutions for detention or punishment”.

And Pope Francis said children must be spared the harshness of imprisonment – as must, at least in a limited way – older people, sick people, pregnant women, disabled people as well as parents if they are the sole guardians of minors or persons with disabilities.

The Pope also highlighted one of the criminal phenomena he has always spoken out against vehemently: human trafficking which - he says – is the result of that “cycle of dire poverty” that traps “a billion people” and forces at least 45 million to flee from conflict:           

“Based on the fact that it is impossible to commit such a complex crime as is the trafficking of persons without the complicity, be it active or of omission of action of the State, it is evident that, when the efforts to prevent and combat this phenomenon are not sufficient, we find ourselves before a crime against humanity. This is even truer if those who are responsible for the protection of persons and the safeguard of their freedom become an accomplice of those who trade in human beings; in those cases the State is responsible before its citizens and before the international community”.

Pope Francis dedicates an ample part of his discourse to corruption. The corrupt person – according to the Pope – is a person who takes the “short-cuts of opportunism” that lead him to think of himself as a “winner” who insults and persecutes whoever contradicts him. “Corruption” – the Pope says “is a greater evil than sin”, and more than “be forgiven, must be cured”.

“The criminal sanction is selective. It is like a net that captures only the small fish leaving the big fish to swim free in the ocean. The forms of corruption that must be persecuted with greatest severity are those that cause grave social damage, both in economic and social questions – for example grave fraud against public administration or the dishonest use of administration”.

Concluding, Pope Francis exhorted the jurists to use the criteria of “cautiousness” in the enforcement of criminal sanctions. This – he affirmed – must be the principle that upholds criminal law:

“The respect for human dignity must operate not only to  limit the arbitrariness and the excesses of State officials, but as a criteria of orientation for the persecution and the repression of those behaviors that represent grave attacks against the dignity and the integrity of the human person”.

(Linda Bordoni) - Vatican Radio, 23/10/2014, Pope: no to death penalty and to inhuman prison conditions

Thursday, October 23, 2014

A bad suggestion to classify Malaysians into those deserving subsidy and those that do not - RON95?

A rather foolish suggestion, in my opinion. So, what you want to do - give us poor and middle income Malaysians a 'subsidy card' - so another project, I believe... to get these cards to have this information 'this person is qualified to get subsidized petrol' ...and yes, you will need a reader in all petrol stations too.... a 'big project' that will enrich some. Who gets the contract? 

Second problem - Malaysians have our DIGNITY - we do not want to be branded poor and middle incomed persons that need financial assistance.  Note, many a Malaysian who now qualify for BR1M do not even go and register, let alone receive these 'handouts'. We have our pride and dignity.

Third, the obvious fact is that the rich would have not changed from Ron 97 to Ron 95 - the differences in prices really do not affect them at all. It is Malaysians who are already poor or middle incomed that did change to Ron 95, although experts would have stated it would have not been good for their cars.

Well, this Malaysian government PROMISED us that it will continue to provide subsidy if we use Ron 95 - so now would not this move be a breach of that promise after so many of us changed from RON97 to RON95? 

Well, maybe for those with cars valued at more than RM100,000 save for 'station wagon type cars' used by people with bigger families should not be entitled to subsidized RON 95 - but enforcement would be a lot difficult. 

All in all, a poorly thought off suggestion. 

Of course, the rich and the very rich should be contributing more for the wellbeing and welfare of all in Malaysia - and the correct and easiest way was to increase the income tax rates of the rich and super rich >>> BUT alas Malaysia is reducing their rates... Our rates of income tax for the rich and super rich should be high at 35 - 45% or taxable income --- but this government has been reducing it to what now....24% - see earlier posting

Budget:- Little help for the poor but Great help for the rich and very rich

Increase Individual Chargeable Income Tax Rates - 30 - 50%? Malaysia desperately needs money...

So the classes would be :- Malaysians Requiring Subsidy AND Malaysians Not Requiring Subsidy {Will we get different coloured MyKads...or maybe there will be a new category - Orang Miskin 1Malaysia and Orang Kaya 1Malaysia

Hello, we Malaysians have DIGNITY - treat us equally...stop treating us like 'Beggars"...

High-income Malaysians to pay more for RON95 next year – Bernama

Starting June next year, the purchase of RON95 petrol for those in the high-income bracket will be according to market prices, said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan (pic).

He said the mechanism and methods of implementation were being finalised by the Finance Ministry and Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry either through the use of MyKad or other cards.

"They will pay the cost of RON95 according to market prices. For example if the price is RM2.58 sen, then it is RM2.58 sen," he told a news conference after presenting a talk on the goods and services tax (GST) for senior officers of the Regional and Rural Development Ministry and its agencies in Bangi today.

He said those in the low- and middle-income groups would continue to enjoy RON95 at subsidised prices. "This system is fairer as only those qualified will receive the subsidy," he said, adding that a similar system would be implemented for diesel consumers starting January next year via the fleet card.

At present the price of RON95 is RM2.30 a litre.

At the news conference, Regional and Rural Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said the GST talk was important so that the people were not be easily influenced by inaccurate information being spread by irresponsible quarters.

He said information to rural residents would also be intensified not only through talks nationwide by the finance ministry but also involved agencies under his ministry. – Bernama, October 23, 2014, Malaysian Insider
- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/high-income-malaysians-to-pay-market-price-for-ron95-next-year-bernama#sthash.dtR6pBD2.dpuf

8 Days Now Without TM Internet/Phone - Complain to Ministry on 19th October ineffective?

16/10/2014 - Loss of TM Phone/Internet Service
23/10/2014 - Still TM failed to restore service - to date TM or their technicians have failed to contact me or even send an SMS telling me the reason for their failure to restore service within 23 Hours

6 days without Internet/Phone Service - TM fails to restore service to kampung

TM again fails to restore service within 24 hours... 3 days now (and not even a call or SMS updating the consumer)?

The phone bill  of my neighbour arrived, and monthly charges are required to be paid despite the disruption of service also in September 2014  - 8 days without Internet/Phone - Telekom Malaysia Inefficient? - Informed Ministry - Hope service is restored soon

Phone/Internet disruption in September 16 September, and it was restored in a day after I complained to the Ministry on 25/9/2014 - TEN DAYS WITHOUT TM INTERNET/PHONE SERVICE

* Today, we send again a complaint to the Ministry




Budget an eyewash, no help to workers, says MTUC

See also:- A Serious Lack Of Concern For Workers In Budget 2015?

Budget an eyewash, no help to workers, says trade union group

Gopal laments the lack of benefits to workers in the private sector, especially in terms of minimum wage increase and cost of living allowance. - The Malaysian Insider pic, October 11, 2014.Gopal laments the lack of benefits to workers in the private sector, especially in terms of minimum wage increase and cost of living allowance. - The Malaysian Insider pic, October 11, 2014.Some seven million private sector workers who earn less than RM3,000 a month are no better off under Budget 2015 as it does not adequately address their financial concerns, the Malaysian Trade Union Congress said today.

Expressing disappointment with the budget proposals tabled by the prime minister yesterday, its secretary-general N.Gopal Kishnam said the umbrella body for trade unions had expected Datuk Seri Najib Razak to advise private sector employers to pay monthly cost of living allowance to workers.

"It was done in the 1970s when Najib's father Tun Abdul Razak was the prime minister and later, employers absorbed the allowance as part of the salary package," he told The Malaysian Insider.

Gopal said public sector workers were paid such an allowance ranging between RM200 and RM300 per month, depending on the locality they worked. He said Najib also did not touch on the minimum wage to workers which should be revised from January next year.

Currently the minimum basic salary for employees in the peninsula is RM900 per month and RM800 for those  in Sabah and Sarawak.

MTUC is proposing a figure of RM1,200 to the National Wage Council.

Gopal further said BR1M was not a solution to ease the financial burden of the low income group as traders would take the opportunity to raise prices.

"Prices of goods and services will be higher when the Goods and Service Tax is introduced in April next year," he said.

Najib said those earning RM3,000 and below will be given RM950 instead of the current RM650 but in three instalments.

For those earning RM3,000 to RM4,000, BR1M will be increased to RM750 (from RM450).

"To me, BR1M is like giving fish to the poor. The government needs to create an economic environment for the people to earn a higher income," said Gopal.

He also said the reduction in income tax by one to three percentage points was negligible.

"Whatever little savings will go into paying for the potential hike in goods and services next year," he added.

He said Najib's proposal that families with monthly income of less than RM4,000 would not have to pay tax was at best hollow as this group did not contribute to the government’s coffers after taking into account tax reliefs provided to them.

Gopal said the RM200 monthly financial aid for borrowers in the first two years to reduce their burden of monthly instalments under the Youth Housing Scheme was intended to help developers sell their properties.

"There is no will by the government to check the price of houses in rural and urban areas," he said.

On Najib’s announcement that the Employment Act and related labour laws would be amended to suit the changing times, Gopal said: "MTUC hopes any changes are not biased towards employers and make it easy for them to hire and fire workers.”
- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/budget-an-eyewash-no-help-to-workers-says-trade-union-group#sthash.8YcV8jPZ.dpuf

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

6 days without Internet/Phone Service - TM fails to restore service to kampung

16/10/2014 - Loss of TM Phone/Internet Service

21/10/2014 - Still TM failed to restore service - to date TM or their technicians have failed to contact me or even send an SMS telling me the reason for their failure to restore service within 23 Hours 

When I call 100, they are shocked that I have not been contacted - for last 2 times, they referred my complaint to the 2nd level....but alas still no restoration of service..

Maybe, we should nationalize telecommunication and internet service - for TM seem to be incapable to doing the needful speedily... (The last time, it took 9-10 days - but when the Bill comes, they do charge for the full month - they should not only deduct the days they could not provide service - but also compensate the consumer for the additional costs incurred - yes, I have to travel to the internet shop daily...)

Reason, someone cut or stole the phone cable - did TM make the relevant police reports. I am sure police could have identified the perpetrators easily - who buys 'stolen' telephone cables? Who buys copper that is apparently found in these cables? Surely not many suspects...

Some suggest that these are done by the contractors who have been outsourced the task of dealing with complaints and doing repair work...How are these contractors paid - depending on the number and kind of work done? The relevant Minister should look at this as apparently this 'cable theft' cases are on the rise...  

I have brought it to the attention of the relevant Ministry but.....

See earlier post:-

TM again fails to restore service within 24 hours... 3 days now (and not even a call or SMS updating the consumer)?

Since 2012, only 273 police have been nabbed for corruption - 43 charged in court??

Excellent start in nabbing 273 policemen on suspicions of accepting bribes since 2012 - but one wonders whether the figure maybe a bit too low...Better for us to have an Independent Body where people can lodge complaints against the police....

When action is taken against public servants for corruption - it must be highlighted in the media. This will act as a deterrent, and will also encourage people to come forward and complain.

Corruption today takes many forms - no more just the simple giving and accepting of monies. It could also be the promise of a well-paid Directorship after retirement. It may also be support for promotions, etc..

Corruption may be for doing something ...and also not doing something. 

I recently called 911 - because I suspected that a housing developer (or his agents) were in the process of encroachment into government land reserved for road extension, and stealing soil. A tractor was being used to dig up land and transport - possibly selling it to 3rd parties. Now, one lorry load of soil costs about RM300-RM400 - so, when they took away about 30 lorries, that is big money. I called 911, as the alleged perpetrators of the crime were in the process of doing what I verily suspected was a crime.The police turned up in a car, and out stepped 2 policeman, one lit a cigarette... I explained to them what was happening. The person with the tractor driver said that they had permission...but there was no evidence of this...

What the police should have done was to take down the names of the alleged perpetrators...take some photos... and, if they are uncertain whether a crime was being committed or not, then make a police report so that the crime is investigated. They tried to ask me to go make a police report....why? The police knows the allegation - so all they need to do is make a report and the police investigators may investigate. Remember, this was not my land - but government land. Was this just laziness? or incompetence? or maybe even corruption? If only the police had done the needful after a member of the public did his duty to bring to the attention of the police the possibility of a crime?  I do not know but if this is the attitude, many a concerned citizen will just not bother to call the police...


'273 policemen caught for bribery since 2012'

The police have always allowed the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate policemen who are suspected of accepting bribes.
Inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar said police had never sheltered its errant officers or policemen but would hand them to MACC for prompt action.
"Indeed, police have been leaving it to the MACC to investigate while the police are more towards investigations related to indiscipline and standard procedures," he told reporters after receiving a MACC delegation at the Dewan Theatrette, Menara 1, Bukit Aman yesterday.
Since 2012, 273 police personnel were nabbed on suspicion of accepting bribes and of the total, 43 were charged in court and 168 are still being investigated, he said.
According to Khalid (right), the number of policemen accepting bribes during the three-year period had dropped by 12.4 per cent.
"Offences involving corruption does not only involve policemen but also involves any agency with enforcement officers and personnel," he said.
However, at the same time, there were 17 cases this year involving 50 personnel and officers who rejected bribes.
"Of the total, 36 policemen were awarded for turning down bribes from April to September this year," he said.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Workers and Unions call for support to end Union Busting and promotion of worker rights....

These 150 over workers and unionist walked against 'union busting' activities - and are now calling upon the Malaysian Bar, Human Rights Commission (SUHAKAM) and in fact all persons concerned for justice and human rights to push for changes in policy and law of the Malaysian government, etc... so that 'union busting' activities will end and there will be respect for worker and union rights

See earlier Blog post, which also contains the memorandum handed over

Malaysian workers marched against Union Busting amd worker right violations in Malaysia

Malaysiakini - BM

Kesatuan jalan kaki bantah isu cabul hak berpesatuan

Kira-kira 150 pekerja termasuk 20 pemimpin kesatuan pekerja hari ini berjalan kaki bagi menyerahkan memorandum membantah pencabulan hak berpesatuan.

Kumpulan ini bergerak daripada stesen Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) bermula jam 10 pagi dalam dua kumpulan secara berasingan menuju ke pejabat Majlis Peguam dan Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia Malaysia (Suhakam).

Mereka yang memakai baju berwarna hitam melaungkan "Hidup pekerja" dan "Hentikan pencabulan hak pekerja" dan ada di antara mereka menyanyikan lagu KTMB sambil memegang sepanduk "Jangan cabul hak kami".

Bagi kumpulan pertama, mereka menyerahkan memorandum di Majlis Peguam terlebih dahulu sebelum bertemu kumpulan kedua yang berkumpul depan pusat membeli belah Sogo bagi menyerahkan memorandum kepada Suhakam.

Antara wakil kesatuan sekerja yang terlibat dalam kempen itu ialah Kongres Kesatuan Sekerja Malaysia (MTUC), Kesatuan Pekerja Keretapi Tanah Melayu (RUM) dan Kesatuan Kebangsaan Pekerja-pekerja Bank (NUBE).

Hadir sama Setiausaha Eksekutif Kesatuan Kebangsaan Pekerja-pekerja Perusahaan Alat-alat Pengangkutan dan Sekutu, Syed Shahir Syed Mohamud.

Sementara, Presiden MTUC Khalid Atan yang mengetuai kumpulan pertama menyerahkan memorandum itu kepada Timbalan Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif Majlis Peguam Chan Oy Sim di pejabat Majlis itu.

Memorandum itu antara lain meminta Majlis Peguam dan Suhakam mendesak kerajaan menghentikan segala dakwaan pencabulan hak kesatuan pekerja dan memperkenal undang-undang yang lebih berkesan bagi menghalang majikan melakukan pencabulan hak berpesatuan di kalangan pekerja.

Mereka kemudiannya berjalan kaki menuju ke pusat membeli belah Sogo bagi menyerahkan memorandum kepada Suhakam bersama-sama dengan ahli kesatuan yang lain.

Sementara itu, kira-kira jam 12.00 tengahari, Khalid bersama Presiden RUM Abdul Razak Md Hassan dan beberapa wakil RUM dan Nufam menemui Pesuruhjaya Suhakam James Nayagam untuk menyerahkan memorandum dan mengadakan perbincangan selama 10 minit.

Sebelum itu, Abdul Razak berkata kempen berjalan kaki secara aman ini adalah kemuncak terhadap tindakan menamatkan perkhidmatan 41 pekerja KTMB kerana berpiket.

“Kita berjalan kaki hari ini untuk mengutuk pencabulan berpesatuan yang boleh menghancurkan kesatuan pekerja di negara ini”

“Pencabulan ini memberi kesan yang buruk kepada masa depan pekerja di negara ini,” katanya.

Sebelum ini, RUM mencabar presiden syarikat Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB), Datuk Elias Kadir berdebat dengan pihak kesatuan bagi menjelaskan sebab pemecatan anggotanya dari syarikat tersebut.

Kira-kira jam 12.45 tengahari peserta yang menyertai perhimpunan itu bersurai secara aman.- Malaysiakini, 20/10/2014,
Kesatuan jalan kaki bantah isu cabul hak berpesatuan

Malaysian Insider

MTUC gesa henti ‘union busting’, serah memorandum kepada Suhakam

Kongres Kesatuan Sekerja Malaysia (MTUC) hari ini menyerahkan memorandum kepada Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia Malaysia (Suhakam) bagi menggesa majikan menghentikan segala bentuk penindasan "Union Busting" terhadap pekerja mereka.

Presiden MTUC Khalid Atan berkata, pihaknya mewakili pekerja yang tertindas mengharapkan campur tangan badan hak asasi manusia itu untuk membela nasib pekerja yang diberhentikan majikan tanpa sebarang alasan yang munasabah.

Kumpulan berkenaan mengadakan bantahan secara aman di perkarangan pejabat Suhakam dengan membawa plakad tertera perkataan "Hentikan Union Busting" sambil melaungkan "Henti Penindasan", "hidup, hidup pekerja", dan "hidup Suhakam".

"Kita hari ini di Suhakam, berbincang dengan pesuruhjaya atas tindakan majikan yang tidak bertanggungjawab, dan kita mahu Suhakam memberi pembelaan kepada pekerja yang dibuang tanpa sebarang alasan. "Mereka (Suhakam) mungkin akan anjurkan pertemuan antara majikan dan pekerja untuk membincangkan permasalahan ini," kata Khalid dalam ucapannya sejurus penyerahan memorandum kepada Anggota Pesuruhjaya Suhakam James Nayagam.

Sebelum itu, MTUC turut berarak ke pejabat Majlis Peguam untuk memorandum yang sama.

"Hari ini kita berhimpun membantah tindakan majikan membuang pekerja tanpa sebab munasabah.

"Pagi tadi kita serah memorandum kepada Majlis Peguam, dan mereka janji akan kaji aduan kita dan membawa perkara ini kepada pihak atasan," kata Khalid di depan lebih 50 peserta piket.

Program yang dikenali sebagai "MTUC Walk" itu bermula sekitar jam 9.30 pagi dengan peserta berhimpun di depan bangunan Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) sebelum bergerak ke pejabat Majlis Peguam.

Program berkenaan kemudiannya tamat sekitar jam 12 tengahari sejurus memorandum bantahan diserahkan kepada Suhakam.

"Union Busting merupakan satu trend yang semakin ketara di mana majikan memberhentikan, menamatkan, memecat, menggantung dan mengambil tindakan disiplin terhadap pemimpin kesatuan sekerja dan ahli serta pekerja yang terlibat dalam aktiviti kesatuan sekerja yang dianjurkan secara sah," kata memorandum mereka.

Selain itu, kumpulan berkenaan turut menyatakan contoh beberapa pemimpin kesatuan sekerja yang dikenakan tindakan oleh syarikat mereka.

Antaranya ialah Presiden Kesatuan Pekerja Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (RUM) Abdul Razak Md Hassan, Presiden Kesatuan Sekerja Pembantu Penerbangan Malaysia (Nufam) Ismail Nasaruddin dan Naib Presiden Kesatuan Sekerja Pekerja Bank (NUBE) Abdul Jalil Jalaludeen. – 20 Oktober, 2014.
- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/bahasa/article/mtuc-gesa-henti-union-busting-serah-memorandum-kepada-suhakam#sthash.av5EV7XJ.dpuf

NTV7 News
20 Oct 2014, 06:09pm BY Sobana Damodaran

The Malaysian Trade Union Congress, MTUC has submitted a memorandum to the Bar Council and the Malaysian Human Rights Commission, SUHAKAM, over alleged mistreatment of union members by certain companies.

MTUC wants the two institutions to investigate complaints of misconduct levelled at several companies, including suppressing union members.

The memorandum was handed over during a peaceful gathering in front of the Bar Council and also at the SUHAKAM office.

About 150 members and leaders from various unions were present.

MTUC Secretary General, Gopal Krishnam said the unions understand the employers' needs, but they must not interfere with union's business unless they broke the law.

National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia, NUFAM former president Ismail Nasaruddin, who was recently sacked by Malaysia Airlines, said they wanted their rights to be protected.

According to the MTUC, more than 100 workers from several companies have been fired and suspended for trivial reasons.

- See more at: http://www.ntv7.com.my/7edition/local-en/MTUC_WANTS_COMPANIES_TO_STOP_SUPRESSING_UNION_WORKERS_1413799965.html#sthash.A72Hb8ib.dpuf

Malaysian workers marched against Union Busting amd worker right violations in Malaysia

On 20th October, about 150 workers and unionists marched against Union Busting - memorandums were presented to the Malaysian Bar and the Malaysian Human Rights Commission(SUHAKAM) calling for involvement in the struggle to end Union Busting and violations of worker rights in Malaysia...


17 October 2014 

A disturbing ‘UNION BUSTING’ trend is immerging, whereby employers have been terminating, suspending and taking disciplinary actions against TRADE UNION leaders and members, and workers involved in legitimate TRADE UNION and worker activities.

1. For picketing in front of Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) on the issue of worker future welfare and rights, which the Union saw as being impeded by the current President of KTMB, KTMB terminated the Railway Union Malaysia (RUM) President (Abdul Razak Md Hassan), Vice President (R. Subramaniam), 41 others and suspended 27 others union members that participated in the said picket.

2. For the issuance of a media statement as the President of the National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (NUFAM), Ismail Nasaruddin was terminated by Malaysian Airlines Systems Berhad (MAS) by reason that it is misconduct for an employee to issue a Statement. NUFAM Secretary General (Mohd Akram Osman) and 5 union members have also been terminated for union activities.

3. For the National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE) activities, Vice-President (Abdul Jamil Jalaludeen) and Treasurer General (Chen Ka Fatt) was terminated by bank management.

4. For someone else being raised issues about worker injustices in a closed Facebook group of union members, the President of Electronic Industry Employees Union Western Region, Peninsular Malaysia (EIEUWR)/ Kesatuan Sekerja Industri Elektronik Wilayah Barat Semenjung Malaysia (KSIEWBSM), Wan Noorulazhar bin Mohd Hanafiah was terminated by RENESAS.

5. For the submission of a Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) memorandum to candidate contesting in the General Elections to get commitment to worker rights, 18 union members from National Union of Transport Equipment and Allied Industries Workers/ Kesatuan Kebangsaan Pekerja Pekerja Perusahaan Alat Alat Pengangkutan dan Sekutu (NUTEAIW) were terminated in DRB HICOM subsidiaries in Pekan, Pahang including the MTUC Pahang Chairman Rusaini Ramli.

6. For issuance of a media statement as a President of National Union of Journalist (NUJ), Mohamed Hatta Wahari, Deputy President and Branch Chairman Amran Ahmad and Deputy Secretary Norazri Abdul Rahman was terminated by Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd.

7. President and 16 Union leaders and workers of Kesatuan Kakitangan Pekerja-Pekerja Westport (M) Sdn Bhd was terminated for union activities.

8. For picketing in front of Ansell NP Sdn.Bhd, Malacca on the issue of worker welfare and rights, Ansell NP Sdn. Bhd terminated the Branch Deputy Chairman (NUECMRP) and 9 union members that participated in the said picket.

The above, are some of the cases in which workers have been terminated, and/or disciplined by reason of their involvement in union activities.

The Industrial Relations Act 1967, section 5 – Prohibition on employers and their trade unions in respect of certain acts’ provides that ‘…(1) No employer or trade union of employers, and no person action on behalf of an employer or such trade union shall-(a) impose any condition in a contract of employment seeking to restrain the right of a person who is a party to the contract to join a trade union, or to continue his membership in a trade union;(b) refuse to employ any person on the ground that he is or is not a member or an officer of a trade union;(c) discriminate against any person in regard to employment, promotion, any condition of employment or working conditions on the ground that he is or is not a member or officer of a trade union;(d) dismiss or threaten to dismiss a workman, injure or threaten to injure him in his employment or alter or threaten to alter his position to his prejudice by reason that the workman- (i) is or proposes to become, or seeks to persuade any other person to become, a member or officer of a trade union; or (ii) participates in the promotion, formation or activities of a trade union; or (e) induce a person to refrain from becoming or to cease to be a member or officer of a trade union by conferring or offering to confer any advantage on or by procuring or offering to procure any advantage for any person….’ is the particular provision now available to protect termination, disciplinary action and/or discrimination against union members but is found to be insufficient.

The government talks about industrial harmony, and promotes the usage of complaint mechanisms but a great injustice happens because business and employers continue unaffected making profits, whilst the wrongfully dismissed workers is left to languish without employment and income which affects the welfare and wellbeing of workers and their families. The process of resolving wrongful dismissal cases take years to resolve, and at the end of the day majority of the workers do not even get reinstated.

Union registration and recognition takes too long, and is further delayed by employers making judicial review applications and appeals to the courts. This delay, which can last many years, deprives workers of their right to an fully functional TRADE UNION and the benefits of a Collective Agreement.

What is most disturbing is some of these ‘UNION BUSTING’ actions are being committed by Malaysian government owned or linked companies like KTMB, MAS, WESTPORT and DRB-HICOM.


1. End of all forms of UNION BUSTING, and for the respect and promotion of all worker rights.

2. More effective legislations that will prevent employers from ‘UNION BUSTING’, termination or taking disciplinary actions against union leaders and union members for union activities. employers must be prevented from using union activities, or legitimate actions of workers promoting worker rights, and struggling against injustice into employment misconducts.

3. Employment misconducts need to be strictly confined to misconducts related to workplace, and not used to prevent union and worker activities, standing up against injustice and worker right violations, or the promotion of rights for workers.

4. Reinstate all union leaders and members who have been terminated, and cease all suspension and disciplinary proceedings against workers by reason of their union activities;

5. Expedite the process of registration and recognition of trade unions;

6. Expedite the process of resolving trade disputes and wrongful dismissal cases;

7. End all forms of UNION BUSTING activities.


Source: MTUC Website


17 Oktober 2014 

‘Union Busting’ merupakan satu trend yang semakin ketara di mana majikan memberhentikan, menamatkan, memecat,  menggantung dan mengambil tindakan disiplin terhadap pemimpin-pemimpin kesatuan sekerja dan ahli-ahli serta pekerja-pekerja yang terlibat dalam aktiviti kesatuan sekerja yang dianjurkan secara sah. Antaranya:

1. Pekerja-pekerja yang berpiket di hadapan bangunan Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) bagi menuntut hak kebajikan dan hak-hak masa dalam satu piket telah dikenakan tindakan disiplin. Presiden KTMB telah memecat Presiden Kesatuan pekerja-pekerjaKeretapi Tanah Melayu (RUM-Abdul Razak Md Hassan), dan Naib Presiden-R. Subramaniam bersamaan dengan 41 pekerja lain dan 27 orang lagi digantung dari kerja kerana mengambil bahagian dalam piket tersebut.

2. Manakala Presiden Kesatuan Kebangsaan Penerbangan Atendan Malaysia (NUFAM) Ismail Nasaruddin telah dipecat oleh Malaysia Airlines System Berhad (MAS) kerana telah mengeluarkan kenyataan media. Beliau telah dihentikan dengan alasan bahawa ia adalah salah laku bagi seseorang pekerja untuk mengeluarkan Pernyataan tersebut. Setiausaha Agungnya-Mohd Akram Osman bersama lima ahli kesatuan lain juga telah ditamatkan perkhidmatan kerana terlibat dalam aktiviti kesatuan.

3. Naib Presiden NUBE-Abdul Jamil Jalaludeen dan bendaharinya-Chen Ka Fatt telah ditamatkan perkhidmatan atas alasan terlibat dalam aktiviti kesatuan oleh pihak pengurusan bank.

4. Seterusnya RENESAS telah memecat Wan Noorulazhar bin Mohd Hanafiah, Presiden Kesatuan Pekerja-pekerja Industri Elektronik Wilayah Barat, Semenanjung Malaysia (EIEUWR), kerana menyuarakan dan membangkitkan hak-hak pekerjaserta ketidakadilan pekerja dalam kumpulan Facebook tertutup kesatuan.

5. Seterusnya penyerahan memorandum Kongres Kesatuan Sekerja Malaysia (MTUC) kepada calon yang akan bertanding dalam Pilihan raya Umum bagi mendapatkan sokongan terhadap hak-hak pekerja, 18 anggota kesatuan dari Kesatuan Kebangsaan Pekerja-Pekerja Perusahaan Alat-alat Pengangkutan dan Sekutu (NUTEAIW) telah dipecat oleh anak syarikat DRB HICOM di Pekan, Pahang termasuk Pengerusi Bahagian MTUC Pahang Sdra. Rusaini Ramli telah dipecat.

6. Presiden Kesatuan Kebangsaan Wartawan (NUJ), Mohamed Hatta Wahari, Timbalan Presiden, Ketua Cawangan Amran Ahmad dan Timbalan Setiausaha Norazri Abdul Rahman telah dipecat oleh Utusan Melayu(M) Bhd bagi mengeluarkan kenyataan media.

7. Presiden kesatuan, 17 pemimpin kesatuan  dan pekerja-pekerja dari Kesatuan Kakitangan Pekerja-Pekerja Pelabuhan Barat telah dipecat oleh majikan kerana melibatkan diri dalam aktiviti kesatuan.

8. Bagi melakukan piket di hadapan Syarikat Ansell NP Melaka, yang menuntut hak kebajikan pekerja, Majikan Syarikat Ansell NP telah memecat Timbalan Pengerusi Cawangan (NUECMRP) dan 9 ahli kesatuan yang mengambil bahagian dalam piket tersebut.

9. Presiden dan Setiausaha Kesatuan Pekerja-pekerja Trinekiens telah dipecat bagi mengeluarkan pekeliling kesatuan untuk boikot Sambutan Hari Keluarga.

Senarai-senarai diatas adalah beberapa kes di mana pekerja telah dipecat dan diambil tindakan disiplin oleh majikan-majikan mereka kerana penglibatan mereka dalam aktiviti-aktiviti kesatuan.

Akta Perhubungan Perusahaan 1967, seksyen 5 memperjelaskan bahawa:
The Industrial Relations Act 1967, section 5 – Prohibition on employers and their trade unions in respect of certain acts’ provides that ‘…(1) No employer or trade union of employers, and no person action on behalf of an employer or such trade union shall-(a) impose any condition in a contract of employment seeking to restrain the right of a person who is a party to the contract to join a trade union, or to continue his membership in a trade union;(b) refuse to employ any person on the ground that he is or is not a member or an officer of a trade union;(c) discriminate against any person in regard to employment, promotion, any condition of employment or working conditions on the ground that he is or is not a member or officer of a trade union;(d) dismiss or threaten to dismiss a workman, injure or threaten to injure him in his employment or alter or threaten to alter his position to his prejudice by reason that the workman- (i) is or proposes to become, or seeks to persuade any other person to become, a member or officer of a trade union; or (ii) participates in the promotion, formation or activities of a trade union; or (e) induce a person to refrain from becoming or to cease to be a member or officer of a trade union by conferring or offering to confer any advantage on or by procuring or offering to procure any advantage for any person….’ Peruntukan ini kini memberi perlindungan terhadap pemecatan, tindakan disiplin dan/atau diskriminasi terhadap ahli kesatuan tetapi didapati masih tidak memadai.

Kerajaan sering melaungkan keharmonian industri, dan mempromosikan penggunaan mekanisme aduan tetapi ketidakadilan sering berlaku kerana peniaga-peniaga dan majikan terus mementingkan keuntungan, manakala pekerja-pekerja diberhentikan dibiarkan merana tanpa pekerjaan dan pendapatan yang menjejaskan kebajikan dan kesejahteraan pekerja dan keluarga mereka. Proses bagi menyelesaikan kes pemberhentian  mengambil waktu bertahun-tahun untuk diselesaikan dan ramai dikalangan mereka tidak dapat kembali ke jawatan mereka pada peringkat akhir penyelesaian.

Pendaftaran kesatuan dan pengiktirafan mengambil masa terlalu lama, apatah lagi majikan  membuat permohonan bagi semakkan kehakiman dan rayuan kepada mahkamah. Kelewatan ini, tertangguh bertahun-tahun dan sekaligus menafikan hak pekerja dari tertakluk kepada fungsi penuh KESATUAN SEKERJA dan memperolehi manfaat dari Perjanjian Bersama.

Apa yang paling membimbangkan ialah beberapa tindakan ‘union busting‘ sedang dilakukan oleh syarikat-syarikat milik kerajaan Malaysia atau syarikat yang ada hubungkait seperti KTMB, MAS, WESTPORT dan DRB-HICOM.


1. Mengakhiri segala bentuk aktiviti union busting, dan menghormati serta promosi hak-hak asasi pekerja;

2. Memperkenalkan lebih undang-undang yang lebih berkesan yang akan menghalang majikan dari melakukan ‘union busting‘, memecat atau mengambil tindakan disiplin terhadap pemimpin-pemimpin kesatuan dan ahli kesatuan yang menyertai kegiatan kesatuan. Majikan harus menghentikan tindakan mengambil tindakan undang-undang dan disiplin terhadap pemimpin dan ahli kesatuan yang melakukan aktiviti-aktiviti kesatuan, mempromosikan hak-hak pekerja, dan berjuang menegakkan ketidakadilan di tempat kerja;

3. Salah laku Pekerjaan perlu secara tegas dihadkan kepada salah laku yang berkaitan dengan tempat kerja, dan bukannya menghalang kegiatan kesatuan dan pekerja yang menuntut hak serta menegakkan keadilan atau mempromosikan hak asasi pekerja;

4. Memulihkan dan mengambil semula kerja semua pemimpin kesatuan dan anggota yang telah dipecat, ditamatkan kerja, dihentikan, digantung kerja dan dikenakan tindakan disiplin kerana terlibat dalam aktiviti kesatuan;

5. Mempercepatkan proses pendaftaran dan pengiktirafan kesatuan sekerja;

6. Mempercepatkan proses menyelesaikan pertikaian perhubungan perusahaan dan kes-kes pemberhentian kerja serta salahlaku;

7. Menamatkan segala bentuk kegiatan UNION BUSTING.
Bagi maklumat lanjut sila hubungi Sdra. N. Gopal Kishnam (Setiausaha Agung MTUC) H/P: 019-3174717.
Source: MTUC Website

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Serious Lack Of Concern For Workers In Budget 2015?

A Serious Lack Of Concern For Workers In Budget 2015
It is a sad day for workers in Malaysia, more so for those in the private sector, when our Prime Minister, in his Budget 2015 speech seem to have forgotten to make serious allocations to end the exploitation and precarious state that workers and unions find themselves in today.

Workers should have been a major priority in light of the US State Department Trafficking in Persons Report 2014, which downgraded Malaysia to Tier 3 from the previous standing of Tier 2 Watch List, and the main reason was because of worker exploitation.

Workers should have been a major priority when Malaysia was ranked among the worst countries in the world to work in, according to the recently released International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) Global Rights Index

Minimum Wage – Only 3 Employers Taken To Court?

Malaysia’s priority has been, and maybe still is, to draw in the foreign investor to invest in Malaysia, and one of thing that Malaysia offered was cheap docile labour. Even when it came to basic minimum wages, it was only finally in 2012 that Malaysia made it mandatory, but even then so many employers were given exemptions by the government, and the finally all workers in Malaysia became fully entitled to receive minimum wage on 1 January 2014.

But even recently, the Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Abd Muttalib stated that about 10,000 employers in the private sector have yet to implement the Minimum Wage Scheme since it was enforced on 1st January.(Malay Mail, 20/9/2014, Malaysia Nearly 10,000 employers yet to implement Minimum Wage Scheme)

The Deputy Minister tried to belittle this failure to protect workers by stating that this was only five per cent of the 200,000 employers – but the real question is how many thousands or millions of workers have been denied this right to get a basic wage of RM900 per month in Peninsular Malaysia, or RM800 per month for those in Sabah and Sarawak which rightly they should have been enjoying since latest July 2013, if not by reason of the exemptions granted to certain employers and also the lack of enforcements. The disturbing fact is that only 3 employers out that 10,000 have been taken to court. I would want to believe, that this lack of enforcement and taking of action against errant employers could only be by reason of lack of human resources and resources in the Human Resource Ministry. I would not want to believe that this was because of a lack of political will or a ‘pro-employer – not bothered about workers’ policy of the Malaysian government. 
Hence, there should have been a big budget allocation so that there be more enforcement, investigative and prosecuting officers in the Ministry of Human Resources so that the Minister would be able to come back in 2015 and tell us all those 10,000 errant employers have been taken to court, and all the affected workers have received all the outstanding backwages and payments due.

Propagating an environment of worker exploitation?

The Deputy Minister suggested that workers should lodge complaints – but alas, workers are just too afraid for worry that their employers would simply terminate them if they do so. What is needed is active enforcement, and this means the Human Resource Ministry officials must take an active proactive role to ensure that all employers are actually paying their workers basic minimum wages, and respecting all worker rights and the law.

We find that even in 2014, save for capitals of States and Federal Territories, there is not even an Industrial Relations Department(IRD) in all the towns, and this is the place a worker who wrongfully gets dismissed will go to lodge complaints. To expect a worker to travel 100 plus kilometers to lodge a complaint about wrongful dismissal and claim justice may lead one to the conclusion that the government really is not interested in justice for workers. Remember the meetings for conciliation is also there. Unemployed and with no income makes it a real burden for workers.
There are also still no Industrial Courts in most  States, when it really should be available not just in capitals but also reasonably sized towns – where it should be easy for workers and their witnesses, who are usually other workers, to be able to come to court easily. There are currently Industrial Courts only in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Perak, Johor, Sabah and Sarawak when really it should be there at least in every town which we have a High Court.
Again, there was no budget allocations so that we can set up IRD offices in all towns, and Industrial Courts in each and every State to make it easier for workers to claim justice. 

No Allocation For Legal Aid For Workers Claiming Rights

At the Human Resource Departments (or Labour Office), workers can go and lodge complaints against employers for non-payment of wages, overtime, rest days and various other violation of worker rights – but the fact is that the ordinary workers really needs legal assistance to be able formulate and quantify their claim, and more important prove their claim in the Labour Court if and when attempts of reconciliation fails and it proceeds to trial. 
In most cases, the employers are represented by lawyers or persons familiar with labour law, whilst workers are unrepresented and this unfairness prevents workers from getting justice.  Legal Aid is needed for workers before and when they submit their claims and when they have to prove their claims, and the government can provide resources to make this legal assistance for workers available. There should have been budget allocation for legal aid for workers, maybe also for para-legal training for unionist to enable them also to be able assist workers in their quest for justice.

Inadequacy Of Officers And Courts Delays Justice

Access to justice for workers is there in the Industrial Relations Department and the Human Resource (Labour) Department, and if unresolved by conciliation by the Labour Courts or the Industrial Courts – and the biggest complaints by workers and trade unions is slowness of the entire process. A wrongful dismissal case can take several years which is most detrimental to justice, remembering that the worker and their families are the ones suffering while the employer happily carries one with their business and profit making. Again, this state of affairs can only be because of the lack of officers, judges, IRD offices and even courts, and there should have been a substantial budget allocation to improve this situation to demonstrate that Malaysia is indeed truly concerned about workers.
In the middle of October 2014, we have the case in Johor where a factory closed down leaving over 500 workers stranded with no job or income, most of them also not having been paid for several months, one wonders whether there is enough officers to speedily investigate, tabulate the claims and get justice for these workers. If there was regular enforcement, this could have been avoided. 
Should there not be greater allocation for the Ministry of Human Resource to be able to become more capable in ensuring justice be done speedily?
Government Failure in Curbing Precarious Employment Jeopardizes Employment and Financial Security for Worker and Families
The Malaysian government failed to ensure that workers continued to enjoy regular employment until retirement – hence opening the doors to more precarious forms of employment like fixed term or short term contracts and the ‘contractor for labour system’. The later allows workplaces to be able to use workers of third parties hence able to avoid employer obligations and duties for after all these 3rd party workers are not their employees. Thanks to these, without employment security, workers so easily lose their jobs and become unemployed maybe not for long but maybe until they find a new job, and the government has to really provide for a government unemployment benefit scheme because today monthly financial commitments continue and without income, it is so easy for workers and their families financial situation to slide affecting general wellbeing of the family 

Growing income and benefits for workers will be guaranteed by regular employment until retirement. On the other hand, precarious short-term employment contracts and the contractor for labour system throws the worker out in the employment market repeatedly forcing them to find new jobs whereby this may mean income and benefits may actually decrease or even stagnate.

Wasted Skills By Reason of Precarious Employment

The government talks about getting more skilled workers, and skill is also achieved at the workplace. A worker in the electronic industry who has gained skills is let go after his 9 months contract expires despite the fact that the workplace still requires workers. The worker then is forced to find another job when there may be no other nearby electronics factory hiring and the worker ends up employed in a totally different industry – hence a loss of all the skills obtained in his prior employment.

Budget 2015 – Private sector workers not a priority and no financial allocations?

Well, looking at paragraph 96 in the Prime Minister’s speech talked about reviewing labour laws, something that the government has always been talking about and most amendments of late have generally not been helpful to workers or their unions. He talks about an ‘employment Insurance System aimed at assisting retrenched workers by giving temporary financial assistance as well as providing opportunities for reskilling and upskilling’ – but what about other employed workers by reason of end of their short-term employment contracts, those who have been allegedly wrongfully dismissed by employers and those who escape exploitative employers or maybe even sexual harassment who are unemployed through resignation. 
Oddly, there is no mention of any money that was allocated for this at all or even a time frame for implementation. 
He talks about the JobsMalaysia portal, when really what workers want is employment security which will generally provide increasing income and benefits, and most importantly financial stability for the worker and their families. 
There is a provision for educational and vocational training of RM30 million for Indian youth, but I would feel in 2014, we should not be talking about this with an ethnic condition. What about other youths?

Low Interest Loans For Private Sector Employees - MBSB
Private sector workers also need to get homes, and unlike public sector employees who have access to low interest loans, no provision for such loans is made available to private sector workers. Now, the money of the private sector workers are in the Employees Provident Fund(EPF), who at present owns about 65% of the shares in Malaysian Building Society Berhad(MBSB), which provides housing loan. Maybe, this could be used to provide housing loans at the same terms as what is now available to public sector employees.

We Want Rights Not Discretionary ‘Handouts’

In this budget, the government continues to treat Malaysians, including workers, like 'beggars' through uncertain financial assistance like the BR1M which is not a guaranteed right, but something that depends on the discretion of the government. We may have it in 2015 but in 2016 may be no more. Malaysians prefer not to be dependent on such ‘charity’ but would rather prefer employment and financial security.

Workers And The Marginalized Must Be Priority

Malaysian government must never forget that it serves all of us here in Malaysia, and priority should really be given to the poor and marginalized – workers included. Like Malaysia, workers desire economic and financial stability – whereby regular employment until retirement will guarantee increasing income and benefits that grows with tenure. When denied of rights or exploited, they demand speedy justice. Workers also need active proactive enforcement by officers of the Human Resource Ministry, just like our police and Local Council Workers are doing to catch drivers who fail to display their parking tickets. Workers also need Unemployment Benefits when they are in a state of unemployment. But alas, the Budget speech seems to have failed to address the concerns of the majority of workers, especially those in the private sector.

If this does not change, Malaysia may very well continue to be listed as one of the worst countries for workers and trade unions.