Deputy minister hopes Sarawak Labour Ordinance amendments can be tabled in Parliament in June or July

Gerawat (second right) speaking to reporters after officiating at the State-level Labour Day 2024 event at a hotel on May 1, 2024.

By Wilfred Pilo

KUCHING, May 1: Deputy Minister of Labour, Immigration and Project Monitoring in the Sarawak Premier’s Department Datuk Gerawat Gala says that the amended Sarawak Labour Ordinance has been submitted to the Ministry of Human Resources (MHR) and hopes it can be tabled in the forthcoming parliamentary session in June or July 2024.

Gerawat said the Sarawak government has made every effort to finalise the amendments and is pleased that they have an agreement with the federal ministry to pursue the matter.


“A lot of amendments are put in the ordinance for the benefit of workers in Sarawak,” he told reporters after officiating at the State-level Labour Day event organised by Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) Sarawak Chapter at a hotel here today.

Gerawat explained the law in the Sarawak Labour Ordinance used by the State is a federal law once tabled and approved by Parliament and it does not have to be tabled in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly.

“This means that the MHR minister will determine the enforcement date of the law that includes the amendment,” he elaborated.

On foreign workers in the State, Gerawat highlighted that due to its regularisation of employing foreigners, employers must adhere to registration procedures.

He advised employers employing foreigners to get permits from the Immigration Department.

Gerawat reminded employers who sought such workers they have a six-month grace period up until June 2024.

“This regularisation is to ensure that those foreign workers whose work permits have expired or have yet to get a work permit and are already here have time to register.”

He stated that Sarawak regularised the employment of foreign workers to comply with the law and to prevent the employment of illegal workers in the State.

Gerawat revealed that he was informed that 4,000 to 6,000 workers have registered in the second phase of the registration exercise this year. In the first phase of the exercise from July to Dec 2023 also saw registration in the thousands.

“These foreign workers are mainly from the neighbouring country of Indonesia working mostly in plantations and some in the construction industry,” he said.

Also present was MTUC national secretary-general Kamarul Baharin Mansor and MUTC Sarawak chairman Zaidi Nassar. — DayakDaily