Technical committee to ensure labour-related law amendments benefit Sarawakians too

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By Nigel Edgar

KUCHING, Dec 13: A technical committee will be set up by the Ministry of Human Resources to iron out amendments to the laws that will affect labour and workers in Sarawak.

Its minister, M Kulasegaran, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg had proposed to him to set up the committee so that the amendments would also benefit Sarawakians.

“The two laws that have already been amended at the federal level are the Children and Young Persons Act 1966 and the Private Employee Agency Act 2017. Other Acts that we propose to make major amendments are the Employment Act 1955, Sarawak Labour Ordinance Act 1976, Sabah Labour Ordinance, Occupational Safety and Health Act, Industrial Relation Act 1967, Trade Organisation Act 1959, and the Minimum Standard for Housing and Amenities 1990 for workers.

“But there are proposals for most of these be incorporated under the Sarawak Labour Ordinance, meaning instead of putting in different Acts like what we have in the federal government, we just put all of them in the Sarawak Labour Ordinance,” he said to reporters after paying a courtesy call on Abang Johari at the Chief Minister’s Office here this afternoon.

Kulasegaran (fifth from right) and his entourage paid a courtesy call on Abang Johari (fifth from left) at the Chief Minister’s Office in Kuching this afternoon (Dec 13, 2018).
Kulasegaran (right) paid a courtesy call on Abang Johari at the Chief Minister’s Office at the DUN building in Kuching this afternoon (Dec 13, 2018).

Kulasegaran agreed to Abang Johari’s proposal to set up the technical committee as soon as possible and revealed that the Sarawak side would be led by State Secretary Tan Sri Mohd Morshidi Abdul Ghani.

“He (Abang Johari) has agreed to look at those amendments favourably. He suggested, and we totally agreed, that a common technical committee will be formed within my ministry and the Chief Minister’s Office to iron out and to agree to those matters of public importance.

“He is in agreement that if it is related to labour and for protection of labourers in this country, he is in total agreement that there should not be any delay and hindrance. And in this respect, all these Acts we plan to amend will be discussed at the technical stage. We are happy that the formation would be taking place as soon as possible,” said Kulasegaran.

Kulasegaran speaking to reporters after paying a courtesy call on Abang Johari.

He also took note of another proposal by Abang Johari, which is to include the Sarawak Business Federation (SBF) as a party in the National Wages Council.

“We will look at it favourably because previously we have from here (Sarawak) the Malaysian Employees Federation, so we can substitute them with this (SBF) so then we can see what we can do to accommodate them,” Kulasegaran assured. — DayakDaily