Tuesday, May 03, 2016

BN government fails as we are losing more public bus routes and services?

Bus Services is an essential public transport service - not just for the poor, and Malaysian government has been not so bothered in maintaining, let alone improving this service.Sadly, it has been alleged that getting a license is getting tough - whereby that decision is allegedly not with the Federal Government. Realistically, it will be the Local Council and maybe the State Government  should be more aware of the local needs of the ordinary people...and hence, approval and permits should be at this level.

Now, many routes have been discontinued by major bus services over the years, and this has affected the loss of jobs for local drivers and staff. 

And, yet again, Transnasional is going to cut more routes...

Now, the bus operators many a time, big companies, are only concerned with PROFITS - but public bus transportation is an essential service that really should be under the government. True, for some areas, there will not be too many customers - but even for the few, they need to be provided public transport. Yes, some routes will never be profitable - but that does not mean, you can discontinue the services. If that happens, pity the people who live in kampungs, small tamans and housing areas. Not right...This is the problem in giving licenses to big companies...

Now, in many of the rural areas and even smaller towns, there is still no metered taxi service, enabling taxi drivers and operators to be able to charge exorbitant charges - and yes, there is also no radio taxi, meaning very very difficult to call for a taxi. Why? 2016 - we should already be having radio taxis, with call in service, and fixed rates(metered).

Given the expansion of towns, and the fact that there are many kampungs and people living in the outskirts, what is essential is that there should also be localized town/district bus services that will give ordinary people, especially the poor and those who have no other means of transport easy ability to travel from one place to another, and these bus services must be regular, at the very least every half an hour. Take Temerloh for instance, there is still no regular bus service to even get to the hospitals...from the Temerloh bus stand and back. If there are regular and dependable bus service, then people will use less their cars - for after all even parking rates have increased, and parking space availability is a major problem even in a place like Temerloh.

We should be having government-run bus services in some cases, whereby the operation and management should be by the Local Government, monitored by the State government. Operation also would mean, provision of covered bus-stops and also provision of 'schedule' information at all bus stops. Services should be regular, and should be frequent at least once every 20-30 minutes. And during peak periods, when people go for work, the frequency must be higher. It is the 'non-dependability' of bus services that is deterring people using public bus services. Bus services also need to operate at least until 11.00 pm, noting that the closing of supermarkets and shops usually is at 10.00pm. It is best that operation is 24 hours, where the frequency should maybe be once every hour during non-peak hours.

Like electricity and water, public transportation is a basic right that should be enjoyed by everyone. It should be available to all even to the smaller settlements where very few people live...like kampungs, plantations, FELDA settlements, orang asli communities...

There should be flexibility to allow also the usage of school buses especially when they are not involved in sending kids to and from schools. Maybe like 'school busses', which enter every little kampung - similar community bus services should be allowed...

 

Transnasional suspends 19 Cityliner routes

cityliner-transnasional01
 Source: Bernama
KOTA BARU, 1 MAY 2016: 

The Konsortium Transnasional Bhd announced today that 19 of its Cityliner stage bus routes will be discontinued as of today.

The company stated in a statement that the routes were discontinued as the company was not able to sustain the operations cost as it no longer had financial backing from the government.

The routes discontinued are Machang-Tanah Merah, Machang-Pasir Puteh, Kota Baru-Tok Bali-Kampung Raja, Kota Baru-Cabang Empat-Tumpat, Kota Baru-Bunut Susu-Pasir Mas, Tumpat-Palekbang-Kota Baru, Kuala Krai-Dabong, Kota Baru-Pasir Puteh-Jelor and the Jeli-Kuala Balah-Dabong.

Other affected routes are Kota Baru-Kemubu-Machang, Pasir Mas-Repek-Rantau Panjang, Kota Baru-Kemumin-Sabak, Kota Baru-Pantai Cahaya Bulan, Kota Baru-Tiong-Bachok, Kota Baru-Bukit Marak-Bachok, Kota Baru-Bachok-Pengkalan Baru, Kota Baru-City, Rantau Panjang-Panglima Bayu and Pasir Puteh-Kuala Besut-Jerteh. _ Rakyat Post, 1/5/2016


More stage bus route services may stop

CHANGSHA CHINA - NOV 4 2015. Colorful buses parked in the station in Changsha China. Start price is CNY 1 for common buses and CNY 1.5 for air-conditioned buses. Running hour buses is 5:30 to 21:00.
Source:
Bernama

JOHOR BARU, 2 May 2016: 
The Johor Bus Operators Association today urged the federal government to continue with disbursements under the Interim Stage Bus Support Fund (ISBSF) to enable the bus services involved to continue their operations.

Its president Jotisrop Suchdav said a total of 16 bus companies within the state faced losses since all of them did not receive the distribution of funds involved from the Land and Public Transport Commission (SPAD), for the past four months.

“We are concerned as the last date in which we received the funds was Dec 31 last year, and subsequently, we had to use our savings to manage our bus operations.

“If we don’t get the funds, the bus services will have to stop as we have no other financial source, and we are facing problems in paying wage increases to be implemented on July 1.” 

Suchdav said they did not want to follow the footsteps of several bus service companies in Kelantan, Pahang, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan that have ceased bus service operations as they were unable to bear the cost of their bus operations.

He said, currently, a total of 600 buses were operated by 16 companies within this state that used the 50 main routes.

He said the companies would usually receive a monthly fund of RM10,000 to RM30,000 depending on their respective operational cost.

He said, since 2008, the bus service had not increased their bus fare by 24%, as required following the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

He said, consequently, if the bus services ceased their operations, a total of 3,000 bus drivers would lose their jobs and 100,000 bus users nationwide and in Singapore would be affected.- Rakyat Post, 2/5/2016

Monday, May 02, 2016

Sarawak - at least 183 dilapidated schools - indication of BN failure?

Why are there at least 183 dilapidated schools in Sarawak - when Barisan Nasional has been ruling all the time? There should have been all good and well-maintained schools...Najib's election promise a fumbling confession of the incompetence of the BN government?
“In the many places I have been to Sarawak, the schools are in poor condition. Many school buildings are old and dilapidated. 
“Some of the Sarawak election candidates have also told me that the school block which they used to go to was still being used today with very little repairs done. Some of the buildings are already slanting,” - Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak
Take a look at Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya - and compare the state of affairs not just in Sarawak, but also the rest of Malaysia - and we see that there are many schools in which the Barisan Nasional government has failed to maintain ...repairing of the broken doors and windows...painting...repairing the cracks on the floor, broken chairs, etc...

Some say that these are all 'small' projects - and so the government not bothered, so no allocations - but, if it is a BIG project, like building new schools...well, that they are interested...WHY?

All these schools really may need is 'repairs' - so, why is Najib talking about ' prefabricated Industrialised Building System (IBS)' - because, that is used to build maybe new buildings - but not really for repairing of doors, walls, windows, roofs, furniture... Is he thinking of just another new building using 'prefabricated Industrialised Building System (IBS)' - now, which company is the supplier? Which company will be allocated the contract? 

All that many schools really need is a necessary allocations... Headmasters/Pengetua would be able to make the assessment of what really needs to be repaired in the school, and then just give the money directly to the school and I am sure it will 'save' a lot of money... There has been to much leak of public funds...

But Najib is not talking about necessary repairs, is he?...but really 'one school building block containing six classrooms and a science laboratory to be built within seven to eight weeks'

Please do not waste peoples' money ....Do the schools need repairs or do they need a new (or additional) school building block? How many students are there ...talk to the Parent Teacher Association(PTA), teachers, Education Ministry - do not waste money...

Build to last...not some 'weak' structure that will not last long...

BN government should not be making 'Election Promises' like this, when ensuring the best schools was already their responsibility as ruling government ....It makes sense for Opposition to make such promises as and when they come into power...

  




Monday, 2 May 2016 | MYT 3:28 PM

Sarawak polls: Najib voices ambition to restore 183 dilapidated schools

Pix by ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE / THE STAR
Pix by ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE / THE STAR
BETONG: A total of 183 dilapidated school buildings in Sarawak will be restored over the next six to seven years by using the prefabricated Industrialised Building System (IBS), Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced Monday.  

The Prime Minister said this method enables one school building block containing six classrooms and a science laboratory to be built within seven to eight weeks, which is much faster than building a totally new school.  

“If we can complete maybe 20 to 30 a year, in six to seven years, we can complete the restoration of 183 dilapidated schools in Sarawak. This is my ambition,” Najib said when opening SK Pusa in the Beting Maro state seat here, located 308km by road east of the state capital Kuching.  

The construction of the school, which cost RM21mil, started in June 2008 and was completed in 2010. The school has 18 classrooms and 433 pupils.  

Also present were Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid; Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Karim, and the Barisan Nasional candidate for Beting Maro Razaili Gapor.  

Najib said that he was well aware of the problems many schools in the state, especially in the interior, were facing.  

“In the many places I have been to Sarawak, the schools are in poor condition. Many school buildings are old and dilapidated.  

“Some of the Sarawak election candidates have also told me that the school block which they used to go to was still being used today with very little repairs done. Some of the buildings are already slanting,” he said.  

The Prime Minister said the poor condition of many schools was the reason he came up with the IBS method as a quick way to rectify a pressing problem.- Star, 2/5/2016

Malaysians Giving Up? Barisan Nasional Wins? Just Survive or Fight for Better Malaysia?

For a long time, a lot of Malaysians were 'self-centred' - being concerned only about their own well-being, the well-being of their families and maybe their friends... They were on the 'Survival' Mode - not the 'Living' Mode. 

The 'Living' mode would have required trying to improve matters - human rights, justice, administration of justice, ending of exploitation, promoting greater democracy,... whilst the 'survival' mode would have been to not attract attention and just make the best out of what we have... and what we can get.

There was a genuine belief that our leaders and government will do the best to improve our life in Malaysia... So, we were not bothered about laws, policies, 'politics', etc... Well, so long as my and my family livelihood were not affected, I do not care about the other matters...

Well, that started to change of late because government's actions/omissions were directly affecting me and my families' livelihood. 

Well, things were getting bad to worse - cost of living was rising suddenly ... There was the 'GST" and suddenly, prices went up...then, when the Malaysian ringgit also dropped - that too led to prices going up. The increasing cost of living also affected my future - for now my EPF and savings may no longer be enough to even sustain me and my family needs in the future..

HEALTH - well, Malaysia did not have a 'FREE' healthcare system - but, at least it was cheap and affordable - Then, suddenly there was the IJN - and government hospitals stopped providing healthcare for the heart... and, we needed to pay tens of thousands of ringgit for heart healthcare... 

1MDB, 'Donation' to Prime Minister - Well, that issue woke up Malaysians...

But then the BN Government wanted Malaysians to remain indifferent and 'survive' - and hence, the use of the Sedition Act and the laws... deterring people to care and express their feelings or opinion of how Malaysia was and being administered... Actions were taken against those who commented online - on Facebook, Whats App,...even those who pressed 'Like' to a comment on Facebook. Everyone was a 'target' - in an attempt to make Malaysians remain as they were...uncaring, and just bothered about themselves...'under the coconut shell'...

Alleged Wrongs were highlighted but alas, the attention was directed at not investigating the wrongs...but rather 'targetting' those who highlighted the wrongs...Media was also not spared - and today, we do not anymore have the Malaysian Insider(one of the top two alternate media sites), and have been denied access to the Malaysian Chronicle..and several other websites...

What Najib and the BN seem to want is for people to go back to their TV, serial dramas, EPL Football,...and go around saying 'I love Najib'...

Malaysian media and Malaysian Opposition was embarassed by the fact that the 1MDB and RM2.6 Billion wrongdoings had to be highlighted by foreign media like WSJ and 'Sarawak Report'...when in fact, it should have been the Local Media or the Opposition or the Government Backbenchers?

Malaysian Airlines - losing money...but to date still no enquiry as to what happened, and who is responsible. But after the 1MDB, maybe we should be looking at all these government owned companies and GLCs...

Now, this 'poor' government recently gave Proton a loan of RM1.5 Billion... Why did this happen? Could Proton just have gotten a private bank loan like other private businesses? What was the terms of the said Loan - the interest? the security?...

No money - but Malaysis still gives Proton a loan of RM1.5 Billion?

Looking at the state of the national debt, which remained almost constant at about 40 billion ringgit during the premiership of Dr Mahathir, which today is about 600-800  Billion Ringgit.
Development - well, the focus have been the Klang Valley, has it not? What about the rest of Malaysia? What about Sabah and Sarawak? Talk about railway - well, every developed nation is investing on this form of public transport - but Malaysia has not build any more new railway lines in Peninsular, and in Sabah and Sarawak the railway is still not existent...

Have the non-tol roads been maintained, and improved? 

Public Transport - well, the BN Federal Government is not inclined to issue the required licence even to state governments, even when the Penang Government wanted to start their own bus services. There certainly is no town bus service here in Temerloh... Why?

Transnational also is now cutting off services to certain places - citing reasons like profitability... well, this is PUBLIC TRANSPORT - and it is a basic necessity and the government should be ensuring that everywhere has bus services - for that is the mode of travel of the poor...

Transnasional hentikan operasi bas Cityliner di 19 laluan di Kelantan

- See more at: http://www.utusan.com.my/berita/nasional/transnasional-hentikan-operasi-bas-cityliner-di-19-laluan-di-kelantan-1.300859#sthash.b62NE8tg.dpuf


If this was Japan or even Korea, Prime Minister Najib being also the Finance Minister would have resigned - but alas, not in Malaysia... 

Even Investigation involving abuse of public funds are taking too long...

What do we do? Give up and just wait for the next General Elections...yes, the next General Elections will be the time to vote in new Members of Parliament - but, now is the time to make the rest of the Malaysians aware of the failings of the present MPs and the government, be it at the Federal level or at the State level...but that is against the best interest of the 'ruling governments' - they prefer to keep the majority of Malaysians ignorant and fearful of change. Do not access alternative news, viewpoints or opinions...just listen to the TV and Radio and Media that the government control or have significant influence... Why don't the government liberalize and make it easy for people to get licence to operate new TV, Radio and newspapers? How many radio channels discuss alternative viewpoints -- most of it just give us songs to hear... and advertise consumer products...

What ALTERNATIVES do we have? The Opposition...well, how many of these MPs even have a BLOG or a channel to communicate with the people. How many even take up issues, and issue media statements? Sadly also is the fact, that many just point out wrongs done by the ruling government and offer no alternatives...

SARAWAK Elections - well, the main issue that the Opposition seems to be talking about is how so many Opposition persons and others have been denied entry into Sarawak... Frankly, I am fed-up with this 'same old...same old'. Tell us about the changes that you will bring - tell us specifics. Is the Opposition even calling for SAME Minimum Wages for Sarawakian workers as what is enjoyed by the Peninsular workers? 

GIVE UP - well, determination will succeed ultimately .... Continue knocking at the door of justice...and ultimately it will be opened...

 



Sunday, May 01, 2016

Charge the Immigration Officer, Who beat up migrant/foreigner, in Court. Internal disciplinary action insufficient?

NO - Charge her in court, for this is a criminal offence, and worse still it was committed by a public servant.  
 
Internal disciplinary measures could be there - and if, convicted by court, well, one should even consider termination.DETERENCE - we, in Malaysia, really need this especially for public servants ('penjawat awam') - we must pun a stop to torture, corruption and even killing....
 
See also:-
 


Malaysian immigration officer transferred after videos of her beating foreign detainee go viral

Videos showed the woman attacking the foreigner as another man reads through documents.

Published Apr 30, 2016, 3:23 pm SGT

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A female immigration officer who allegedly beat a foreign detainee is now under investigation.

Three videos uploaded onto Facebook showing the woman punching and kicking the man have gone viral, with one of them garnering over 400,000 views.

The Immigration Department director-general, Datuk Seri Sakib Kusmi, said the officer has been transferred out of the enforcement unit to the administration unit of Negri Sembilan's immigration department.

"The Immigration Department of Malaysia will conduct a detailed investigation on the case.

"If the outcome of the investigation finds the officer guilty of breaching regulations as a civil servant, the department will not hesitate to take disciplinary action," he said in a press statement on Friday (April 29).

Crime watchdog MyWatch's chairman R. Sri Sanjeevan uploaded the three videos on his Facebook page separately on Monday and Tuesday.

The videos showed the woman attacking the foreigner as another man, presumably also an immigration officer, reads through documents given to them by the foreigner earlier on.

Two other foreign men were seen sitting on the floor watching the assault. - Straits Times, 30/4/2016

Friday, April 29, 2016

Abolish 'Contractor for Labour System' That is Weakening Unions and Workers Capacity to Protect Rights?

The 'contractor for labour' system weakens worker and trade union rights to the detriment of workers. The 'contractor for labour' is essentially a labour supplier - a supplier of workers.

It allows employers to use a large number of workers whilst evading employer responsibilities and obligations. Workers supplied are not considered 'employees' of factories and businesses they end up working, but Malaysia sadly considers them 'employees' of the labour supplier - the contractor for labour. If factories and businesses want to get rid of a 'supplied worker', it is as easy as picking up the phone, and the said worker no more works in the factory or businesses. Hence, no need for disciplinary proceedings, domestic inquiries and/or legitimate 'retrenchment' as means of getting rid of 'undesireable' workers.

These supplied workers, although they do the same work as the employees of the factory or business, can easily be discriminated - by being less or even being denied some of the other worker benefits. 'Supplied workers' also have no right to demand better rights and working conditions from their real bosses, the employer of these factories and/or businesses they work at. The labour supplier, of course, have no power to improve work conditions at the workplace...

Being supplied workers, they cannot even join the in-house trade unions at their workplace and hence this not only is a gross denial of 'trade union rights' - but also causes the existing trade union of employees at the work place to become 'WEAK' - well, this happens when number of supplied workers just keep increasing... in some workplaces, the number of these 'supplied workers' (some call them outsourced workers) may even exceed 50% of the total workforce at the workplace. Obvious weakening of trade unions - their bargaining powers...[Malaysia still does not place any legal limit on the permissible numbers of 'non-employee' workers working in the workplace...

Supplied workers can join national or regional unions....BUT they will not be able to enjoy the benefits and rights contained in a Collective Bargaining Agreement, that being an agreement between Union and Employer of the Workplace.

Contractor for Labour or 'Labour Suppliers' - supply worker to many different sectors and industries, and considering that Malaysia only allows national/regional unions based on sectors/industry/... it is near impossible for these supplied workers to be able to join a national or regional trade union and for that union to get the recognition of the employer, the said Labour Supplier/Contractor for Labour... The Southern Regional Electronics Union did try, but the 'government' also denied them the right to be recognized - not even a 'Secret Ballot"...

Malaysia had (and still has) the Private Employment Agencies -whereby they found 'workers for employers' or 'employers for workers' - and, when employer and worker meet, they enter into an EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT and there is an employer-employee relationship. For their service, the Private Employment Agency receives a FEE - a one-time fee.

In comparison, these Labour Supliers (Contractor for Labour) remains employer to the supplied workers - and is PARASITE on the sweats and toils of these workers. The more the workers work and earn, the more Profits the Contractor for Labour earns. Like 'toll collectors', they continue to earn...and earn, and so those who get the license/permits to be able to do this is akin to 'striking gold'...and, who does the government give these permits to? They are akin to the 'kanganis' of old or even the 'slave masters' - use my 'slaves' and pay me.... 

The contractor for labour system is grossly unjust to workers and trade unions, it undermines worker-solidarity and certainly weakens unions... Bad factories and businesses like this - use the labour with no employer obligations is a great deal, and Malaysian government allows this. 

Malaysian Trade Unions including MTUC and so many civil society groups oppose the 'contractor for labour system' and want it gone...

Malaysia amended some labour legislations, giving statutory recognition to this practice - and, the government to pacify some unions and parties agreed not to make these new amendments applicable to some sectors. VICTORY - no, it is not for the 'contractor for labour system' is still going on everywhere, and all that is not in force is some provisions of law...

Has the Malaysian Trade Unions abandoned their demand for the abolition of the 'contractor for labour system' - I do not believe so, even if the demand seem to be 'forgotten' in some memorandums ...

See the joint statement below to understand better why the 'contractor for labour system' must be abolished. 

In the interim period, Malaysia could limit the usage of such 'non-employee workers' to no more than 5% - and/or insist that all such workers are made employees of the factory or actual workplace.

See also:-

What does Malaysian Trade Union Congress(MTUC) want? What 'clearer definition' of provision in law?

MTUC sends 'secret' MEMO to Prime Ministers? What MTUC asking unclear..?

Worker and trade union rights in BN-ruled Malaysia(Part 1)

Workers’ and trade union rights in BN-ruled Malaysia (Part 2)

Without Employment Security, Household Debt Obligations can be Onerous for Workers?

Union busting in Malaysia - Unions reduced, Union membership declining.

Electronic Union win in 'Union Busting' Case against Renesas Semiconductor? HRD Wan Noorulazhar?



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


Joint Statement – 3/5/2012

Abolish the ‘Contractor for Labour’ system

Withdraw the 2012 amendments to Employment Act 1955.

We, the undersigned 93 trade unions, civil society groups and organizations object to the actions of the government of Malaysia in destroying direct employment relationship between the principal, as employer, and their workers, as employees, with the latest amendments to the Employment Act 1955.
The Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) , which not only represents the about 800,000 unionized workers but also the over 12 million workers in Malaysia,  have strongly and consistently opposed the proposed amendments since it was first tabled in Parliament vide Bill No: D.R.25/2010 in July 2010, which the government later withdrew. The government re-introduced the Bill with minor changes in June 2011 vide Bill No: D.R.15/2011. MTUC came out even more strongly and also picketed at the Parliament House on 3rd October 2011 and in spite of strong resistance from many quarters, including on the Dewan Rakyat  floor, the controversial Bill was passed on  6th October 201, did finally come into effect on April 1st 2012.

We would like to address just one of several aspects of the new amendments that is the main bone of contention, i.e. the introduction of the new provision for the definition of “contractor for labour”.

With the amendment, the contractor for labour will be the third party (or the middleman) who will come in between the now direct employment relationship between the owner-operator of trade or business (defined as the “principal”) and their worker-employee.

BACKGROUND

The Employment Act 1955 was introduced before independence (Merdeka) by the British Administration effectively abolishing indentured labour, bonded labour and the “kanggani” system in Malaya. (collectively then known as the “contract system”). The Act also did establish two very important principles of law which are considered sacrosanct to this day. They are, security of tenure – ensuring permanence of employment, and proprietary right to the job – where termination of worker, shall be only with just cause and excuse and by due process.

The employment scenario in the country began to change in the early 1990s. In 1992 the government allowed migrant workers for the construction and plantation sector. In 2000, it was extended to manufacturing and service (hotel and restaurants) sectors and in 2002, it was extended to all sectors.

Originally migrant workers were employed directly by the principal employer but this started to change in 2005, when the Cabinet Committee on Foreign Workers in its meeting on 5-July 2005 agreed to the recruitment of foreign workers through outsourcing companies (now known as ‘Contractor for Labour’ in the amended Act). The issuance of these outsourcing licenses was strangely done by the Ministry of Home Affairs, not the Ministry of Human Resources. There are today about 277 registered labour outsourcing companies in the country today. (The Star, 23-Feb 2010).  

This establishment of the outsourcing companies allowed for the re-emergence of the old ‘contract system’. It opened doors resulting in a direct assault on the basic foundation of labour rights, the undermining dignity of labour, perpetuating the establishment and operation of dehumanized and bonded labour. The practice, which started with migrant workers, was then extended to local workers.

These outsourcing companies recruited local workers and migrant workers, some on fix term contracts, with terms and conditions usually less favourable than that of workers directly employed by principals.

The incidence of principals using workers supplied by outsourcing companies is growing. The principal company pays the outsource company an agreed sum of money for the number of workers supplied, whether they be local or migrant workers. The principal company effectively is able to avoid the employer’s duty and obligation to ensure their workers’ rights and welfare are protected. This practice also saved principal company money that would have ordinarily been expended for workers like medical cost, insurance, bonus, wage increments, retirement benefits, transportation and accommodation, service awards, and several other benefits. It also allows them to evade statutory contributions to the Employees Provident Fund and for social security schemes. The principal company also evades all obligations and safeguards in law when workers are hired or terminated, including domestic inquiries and lay-off and termination benefits. If the principal wants to now get rid of workers, it now merely have to inform the outsource company.

To convert the workforce from permanent employees to short-term contract employees, and now outsourced workers, most principals either retrenched their workers, used “voluntary separation schemes” or other methods, or simply terminated their employees substituting them now with workers supplied by the outsourcing companies.

REASON FOR THE AMENDMENT

These outsourcing companies have been allowed to operate outside the law with no law regulating them. Even though they were manpower/labour suppliers, they were not created under and/or regulated by the Private Employment Agencies Act 1981, which would have also ensured these manpower/labour suppliers would only provide workers and not become employers of workers supplied.  

The recent amendment to the Employment Act is to give these outsourcing companies statutory recognition under the Employment Act, and at the same time institutionalize and legitimize employment through the outsourcing companies, which  now legally will be legally known as the “contractor for labour”.  

A primary reason for the creation of the ‘contractor for labour’ and the introduction of labour outsourcing is to stifle workers and trade unions capacity to demand and negotiate for better rights and benefits. The MTUC Memorandum to the HR Minister dated October 7, 2008 refers to an interview with Datuk Ishak Mohamed, the Enforcement Director of the Immigration Department that was published in New Straits Time, July 20, 2008, where he, amongst others, said, ‘…outsourcing is good as it will attract foreign direct investment. Investors do not want unions to be formed in their establishments. Through outsourcing, it would be difficult for unions to be formed as outsourcing company, and not the factory, would be the employer…’ is indicative of the intention of the government.

SUB-CLASS OF WORKERS.

The creation of this new sub-class of workers, who are not considered employees of the principal, also jeopardizes existing employment relationship between the principal and their current worker-employees, likewise the relationship with their trade unions. Today, these new sub-class of workers, made up of both local and migrant workers, are found in most workplaces, including even government-linked companies, whereby in some factories they currently make up about  50% of the total workforce. Trade unions are being weakened, and their bargaining powers for better rights and benefits for workers are slowly eroding by the increasing presence of workers who are not employees of the principal, and also by the loss of security of tenure created by short-term contracts.

‘Contractor for labour’ is actually outsourcing of labour which is very different from outsourcing of work. Outsourcing of work is when principal employer outsources some specified work or operations which are not their core operation, to another company who carries out the work for the principal using their own employees under their own control and supervision. For example, in several manufacturing companies, cleaning, turf/gardening, canteen and security services are examples of outsourced work. This outsourcing of work is legal, and the workers of those who are doing outsourced work are protected by the Employment Act.
Contrary to the principle that workers doing core operation work should be employees of the principal, this amendment to the Act now allows the ‘contractor for labour’ to supply workers to perform the core operation under the control and supervision of the principal’s supervisory staff and managers. The ‘contractor for labour’ merely collects the salary of the labour supplied and apportions a part to himself  and pays his workers, usually less than the workers who are under the direct employment of the principal, though they do the same work. The principle of equal pay for equal work is thus breached. 
The principal, who is considered not the employer of the workers supplied, absolves himself of all liabilities and employer’s obligations with regard these workers supplied by ‘contractor for labour’ who are working for the principal’s benefit,

EMPLOYMENT (EXEMPTION) ORDER 2012

The MOHR Minister, in an attempt to placate the MTUC, trade unions, civil society groups and workers issued an exemption order, effective April 1st 2012, which, amongst others, stated:-
 “…Any person who enters into contract for service with a principal to supply employees required by the principal for the execution of the whole or any part of any work for the principal in any industry, establishment or undertakings other than the agriculture undertakings, is exempted from sections 31, 33A, 69 and 73 of the Act...”
However, the words used in the said exemption order, which by the way also did not include the amendment in section 2, which was the very amendment that gave statutory recognition to the ‘contractor for labour’ and its practices, only further affirms the contractor for labour and their practices. The exempted sections referred to in the said Order merely dealt with ancillary matters like registration of employees when supplied to principal and priority of debt. The exemption order also would deny access to justice for workers now being supplied by these ‘contractor for labour’ in all the exempted sectors. 
MTUC and all groups that opposed the amendments were not appeased by this exemption order, and continue their objections to the ‘contractor for labour’.
PROTEST
We strongly object to the ‘contractor of labour’ system. All workers that work under the control and supervision of the principal must be the employees of the said principal not some third party. The Malaysian government’s action is in breach of article 8 of the Federal Constitution. In 1998, Malaysia also ratified the ILO Declarations on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work but this amendment is in  contravention of the said Declaration. Further, it also is in contravention of the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda which Malaysia has committed to. 
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), many trade unions and civil society groups, also opposed, and still oppose this amendment. The Malaysian Bar also recently passed unanimously a resolution on March 10th 2012, amongst others, calling for the maintenance of existing 2-party employment relationships, and also that labour suppliers and/or contractors of labour should never be or continue to be employers of workers after they are supplied, accepted and start working at the workplaces of principals.

The contractor for labour and their practices should not be allowed in any sectors including the plantation and agricultural sector.

DEMAND

We, therefore, demand for the repeal of all amendments to the Employment Act 1955, in particular the amendments to section 2, 31, 33A, 69, 73 brought about by Employment (Amendment) Act 2012 [ACT A1419] relating to the ‘contractor for labour’ and their practices,  and pending repeal for an immediate stopping operation of the said amendments.

We call for the abolition of the contractor for labour and their practices and that all workers, currently supplied by these 3rd party manpower/labour suppliers (contractor for labour) who are still not direct employees of the principal employer be immediately made employees of the said principal and be accorded same benefits and treatment as accorded to all other employees without discrimination, including the right to form/join trade unions or afford protection and entitlement to the benefits accorded through their respective Collective Agreements.

We call for the abolition of precarious employment, and for retention of a just 2-party employment relationship between principals and workers, and for the respect of worker and trade union rights.


Charles Hector
Pranom Somwong
Bruno Pereira

For and on behalf,


ALIRAN (Aliran Kesedaran Negara), Malaysia
Amalgamated Union of Employees in Government Clerical and Allied Services(AUEGCAS )
Amalgamated Union Employees Tenaga Nasional Berhad (AUETNB )
Anak Muda Sarawak (AMS)
Asian  Migrants Center (AMC)
Asia Monitor Resource Centre(AMRC)
Asia  Pacific  Forum on Women , Law and Development  (APWLD)
Asian Network for the Rights of Occupational and Environmental Victims (ANROEV)
Association for Community Development -ACD, Bangladesh
BASF Asia Pacific Network
BASF-PETRONAS Malaysia
Burma Campaign Malaysia (BCM)
Burma Partnership
Centre For Reflection And Action On Labour Rights (Cereal Guadalajara), Mexico
Center for Indonesian Migrant Workers-CIMW
Center for Migrant Advocacy, Philippines (CMA-Phils)
Centre des travailleurs et travailleurs immigrants / Immigrant Workers' Centre (Montréal, Québec)
Centre d'appui aux Philippines - Centre for Philippine Concerns (Montréal, Québec)
Christian Development Alternative (CDA)-Bangladesh
Clean Clothes Campaign

Communication Workers Union Victoria,Australia
Community Action Network (CAN), Malaysia
Democratic Party for a New Society (DPNS), Burma
Dignity International
Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER), Philippines
Electronic Industry Employees Union Western Region Peninsular Malaysia (EIEUWRPM)
FAIR (Italy)
Families Against Corporate Killers, UK
Federation Independent of Trade Union (GSBI) Indonesia
FSPMI ( Federasi Serikat Pekerja Metal Indonesia)
Future In Our Hands, Norway
Garment and Allied Workers Union, India
Hsinchu Catholic Diocese Migrants and Immigrants Service Center (HMISC), Taiwan
Institute for Occupational Health and Safety Development (IOHSAD),
International Metalworkers' Federation (IMF)
International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF)
Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (JERIT), Malaysia
Kesatuan Pekerja-Pekerja Polyplastics Asia Pacific (KPPAP)
Kesatuan Sekerja Industri Elektronik Wilayah Selatan
Kesatuan Sekerja NUTEAIW Isuzu Hicom (M) Sdn Bhd, Pekan, Pahang, Malaysia
Kesatuan Industri Elektronik Wilayah Timur Semenanjung Malaysia
Konfederasi Serikat Nasional (National Union Confederation)[KSN] , Indonesia.
Labour Behind the Label, UK
Lal Zenda Coal Mines Majdoor Union (LZCMMU), India
Lembaga Informasi Perburuhan Sedane-Sedane Labour Resource Centre Bogor-Indonesia
LHRLA - Lawyers for Human Rights & Legal Aid (Pakistan)
MADPET (Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture)
Malayan Nurses Union(MNU)
MTUC (Malaysian Trade Union Congress)
Migrant CARE, Indonesia
Migrant Forum in Asia(MFA)
Migrante International
National Domestic Workers Movement- AP Region
National Hazards Campaign of UK
NLD-LA (National League for Democracy-Liberated Areas), Malaysia
National Union of Banking Employees (NUBE)
National Union of Petroleum & Chemicals Industrial Workers (NUPCIW), Malaysia
National Union of Transport Equipment and Allied Industries Workers (NUTEAIW), Malaysia
Network of Action for Migrants in Malaysia (NAMM)
Occupational and Environmental Health Network of India (OEHNI)
Pakistan Rural Workers Social Welfare Organization (PRWSWO)
Paper & Paper Products Manufacturing Employees Union(Reg No 444), Malaysia
Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM)
Perak Women for Women Society (PWW)
Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor dan Wilayah Persekutuan (PERMAS)
Persatuan Sahabat Wanita, Selangor (PSWS)
PINAY - The Filipino Women's Organization in Quebec
Public Services International, Malaysian Affiliates National Coordinating Committee
Pusat Komunikasi Masyarakat (KOMAS)
RightOnCanada.ca, Canada
Sarawak Medical Services Union (SMSU)
Solidarity of Cavite Workers, Philippines
Tenaga National  Berhad Junior Officers Union (TNBJOU)
Tenaganita, Malaysia
Thai Committee for Refugees Foundation (TCR)
Thai Labour Campaign, Thailand
The Live And Livelihood Foundation, Bangladesh
The Women's Caucus (Southeast Asia Women's Caucus on ASEAN)
Think Centre – Singapore
United Filipinos In Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK)
United Students Against Sweatshops,  US
University of Malaya General Staff Union (UMGSU)
WARBE Development Foundation, Bangladesh
Women's Legal and Human Rights Bureau, Inc.(WLB),Philippines
WOREC Nepal
Workers Assistance Center, Inc., Philippines
Workers Hub For Change (WH4C)
Yayasan LINTAS NUSA Batam-Indonesia
Yokohama Action Research (Japan)
Clean Clothes Campaign, the Netherlands
Migrant Forum India
BRAC Safe Migration Facilitation Program, Bangladesh
IMA Research Foundation, Bangladesh