Malaysia: New law attacks workers’ rights

Malaysian Socialist Party secretary-general S. Arutchelvan.

Malaysian Socialist Party (PSM) secretary-general S. Arutchelvan called the proposed labour law review by the human resources Ministry was “draconian”, said on October 1.

Arutchelvan said it would destroy the few rights workers have left.

“This is the worse amendment in 40 years”, Arutchelvan told a press conference on October 1. He was joined by representatives from the Malaysian Trades Union Congress, the Bar Council, Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas and Suara Rakyat Malaysia, said.

Arutchelvan said the human resources ministry had proposed a new category of employers made up of subcontractors. Employers would have to use these subcontractors for labour supply and workers would also have to use them for job placements.

“Employers do not even have to worry about firing workers”, Arutchelvan said. “The subcontractors do the dirty work for them.

“Workers also cannot take the employers to the Industrial Court because they were employed by subcontractors.

“This amendment will kill unions and destroy job security, which is the basic right of everyone.”