Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Suaram questions inaction against errant employers (Malaysiakini)

Suaram questions inaction against errant employers
1:38PM Mar 18, 2013     

Suaram has questioned why no action is being taken against employers for not abiding by the government's minimum wage requirement, but instead against Nepali workers who had intended to hold a demonstration over the matter.

protest at nilai negeri sembilanThe human rights group said there was nothing to be proud off in regards to police’s action yesterday.

R Thevarajan, of Suaram's Police, Accountability and Reform desk, claimed that police do not understand the real issue behind the proposed peaceful protest.

He claimed, in a statement today, that the workers had no choice but to show their displeasure by organising a peaceful demonstration.

What is strange, he added, is that the workers were arrested even before the actual protest took place.

“What is their offence and what is the charge against them?” he asked in the statement.

“Why should the foreign workers be arrested and why are the employers, who failed to abide by this (minimum wage) requirement, not brought to justice?”

He went on to call for the Human Resources Ministry to respond to yesterday’s detention.
He said it was not enough to merely state that implementation of the minimum wage policy, which came into effect on Jan 1, could be deferred to a later date.
Right to assemble

Thevarajan said the authorities should respect Article 10 of the federal constitution over the right of citizens to assemble peacefully and urged those picked-up by police to be released.

Police, he said, should understand the bread-and-butter issues affecting workers, regardless if they are locals or foreigners, as their rights are being exploited by the employers.

Earlier, Bernama reported that Muar police had foiled an attempt by 5,000 foreign workers from Nepal to hold a demonstration at the town centre at noon, yesterday.

They had wished to protest against their employers for allegedly failing to pay salaries according to the minimum salary scheme as decided by the government.

It was reported that based on a tip off, police moved in to prevent the group from gathering in front of a supermarket in Jalan Ali, Muar.

Muar police chief ACP Mohd Nasir Ramli had said 106 people, including the alleged masterminds, were detained for further investigations until 1pm, after which they were released.

Last week, Muar police arrested 32 Nepalese workers for creating a riot at a furniture factory as they were unhappy that their salaries had not been paid according to the minimum salary scheme.- Bernama - Malaysiakini, 18/3/2013,
Suaram questions inaction against errant employers

PSM: Stop The Exploitation! Implement The Minimum Wage Now!

 19 MARCH 2013


The PSM condemns the heavy-handedness of the government in dealing with the protest of Nepali migrant workers over non-implementation of the minimum wage in furniture manufacturing factories in Johore and a textile company in Negri Sembilan.

The demand of the affected 5000 over largely Nepali migrant workers is for the minimum wage of RM900 to be implemented as promised by the Malaysian government to the entire Malaysian workforce. All employers, except for the 635 companies that applied for and were granted a 6-month deferment, are required to implement the minimum wage ruling from January 2013.  As such what is criminal in the demand of the protesting workers?

Instead of taking to task the errant employers, the government has ganged up with them against the workers. The migrant workers have been arrested and roughed up. Yesterday over 100 workers were arrested purportedly to prevent a riot from taking place.  It’s a shame that police instead of playing their role of keeping order, have resorted to forcefully preventing the industrial action of the workers against their exploitative employers. In Nilai, the police went into the hostel with the Bosses to ask the workers to go back to work. A police report has been lodged by PSM on this incident as well s a letter to the Minister concerned.

It is shocking that the measures adopted to deal with the now-foiled Sunday rally referred to the deployment of riot police, roadblocks, and illegal assembly notices, as if dealing with a bunch of dangerous criminals. There was not a single mention of the only action needed to resolve the dispute according to Malaysian law i.e the implementation of the minimum wage law by the companies employing these workers!

The furniture industry which is said to be heavily dependent on migrant workers contributes RM7 billion to the economy. Recron Malaysia, the Negri Sembilan textile and polyester manufacturer which pays its migrant workers between RM240 and RM400 is linked to Ambani, India’s richest man. In approving additional migrant workers for the furniture industry, Malaysia’s International Trade and Industry Minister remarked that a shortage of workers could lead to companies going bankrupt thereby affecting the industry and the national economy. What then but a greed for higher profits, explains the denial of the minimum wage to these obviously ‘indispensable’ workers?

The PSM asks the Human Resources Ministry to come to the defence of  all the affected migrant workers who have been victimized for highlighting the denial of the minimum wage of RM900. The ministry should take action against the employers for violating the minimum wage ruling.

Stop the exploitation! Implement the minimum wage now!

Released by

Rani Rasiah
PSM Central Committee Member

Monday, March 18, 2013

SUARAM condemns arrest of 100 over migrant workers and failure to act on employers who are not paring minimum wages

See earlier post, being a background to the statement which SUARAM has issued condemning the arrest of workers....and the failure to act on employers not paying workers minimum wages as required by law
Kenyataan Media: 18hb Mac 2013


SUARAM merujuk kepada berita bertajuk “Pelaksanaan Gaji Minimum: Lebih 100 Warga Nepal Terlibat Tunjuk Perasaan Ditahan” [Sumber: MStar Online(mstar.com.my)] yang diterbitkan pada 17hb  Mac 2013 dan juga beberapa media lain.

Berita itu dengan bangganya menyatakan pihak polis telah berjaya menggagalkan cubaan lebih 5,000 pekerja Nepal mengadakan tunjuk perasaan di tengah bandar tengah hari Ahad setelah mereka mendapat maklumat awal berhubungan perkara itu. Ketua Polis Daerah Muar ACP Mohd Nasir Ramli turut memuji kecekapan pihak polis dalam menghalang protes itu.

SUARAM menegaskan bahawa tiada apa yang patut dibanggakan dengan tindakan polis malah sebenarnya ini menunjukkan pihak polis gagal memahami isu sebenar protes tersebut malah pihak polis telah mencabuli hak asasi pekerja-pekerja ini untuk bebas berhimpun secara aman. Isu pokok ialah majikan gagal laksanakan gaji minima. Golongan pekerja yang terdiri daripada warga Nepal ini, tiada pilihan lain selain daripada menunjukkan ketidakpuasan mereka melalui menganjurkan himpunan aman. Peliknya, semua ditahan sebelum protes berlaku. Apakah kesalahan dan pertuduhan ke atas mereka?

Bukankah tindakan majikan yang tidak mematuhi akta yang telah digubal satu kesalahan? Kenapa patut pekerja luar negara  ini ditahan? Kenapa pula majikan yang tidak mematuhi undang-undang tersebut tidak dibawa ke muka pengadilan? Apakah Kementerian Sumber Manusia tiada komen ke atas penangkapan pekerja-pekerja  Nepal ini? Tidak memadai hanya menyatakan bahawa pelaksanaan gaji minima ditangguhkan ke satu tempoh lain kerana majikan tidak berupaya membayar gaji pekerja luar negara.

SUARAM menggesa pihak polis untuk menghormati Perkara 10 dalam Perlembagaan Malaysia iaitu kebebasan berhimpun, bercakap dan berpersatuan. Setiap individu harus diberi kebebasan dan hak mereka untuk berprotes secara aman bagi menyuarakan pendapat untuk kepentingan bersama. SUARAM menggesa pihak polis supaya segera melepaskan pekerja-pekerja  luar negara yang ditangkap secara ‘random’ yang kononnya tidak mempunyai dokumen sah semasa operasi polis Ahad lepas.

PDRM harus memahami isu periuk nasi kaum pekerja tidak kira tempatan mahupun luar negara. Pekerja Nepal datang ke Malaysia untuk tujuan sara hidup tetapi dieksploitasi oleh golongan majikan bagi tujuan keuntungan kerana mereka umpama buruh murah untuk majikan. Sekiranya polis tidak memahami fakta ini, maka negara hanya akan mempunyai pihak berkuasa yang pandai ikut arahan atasan tanpa sebarang sifat kemanusiaan dalam diri mereka.

SUARAM memahami tanggungjawab pihak polis dalam melaksanakan sebarang arahan yang diberikan. Tetapi pengetahuan asas hak asasi patut difahami dahulu sebelum melaksanakan tugas atas arahan secara membuta tuli.

Diterbitkan oleh,
Thevarajan R
Police Accountability and Reform Desk

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
433A, Jalan 5/46, Gasing Indah,
46000, Petaling Jaya,
Tel: +603 77843525
Fax: +603 77843526
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/suararakyatmalaysia