KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today said the government must do more for employee welfare as well as look into the issue of job losses during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a “live” video address on his Facebook page, the PKR president said some employers appear to be using the Covid-19 crisis as an excuse to dismiss staff.
“I don’t understand why the Human Resources Ministry, and the government in general, does not stress such dismissals, as well as the issue of foregoing salaries on account of a company making less profit during the Covid-19 crisis,” said Anwar.
The 72-year-old seasoned politician also claimed it was large and rich corporations which had made billions of ringgit in profits prior to the outbreak that are guilty of this practice.
“Then when there is a small economic crisis and loss, they straightaway pressure and expel those at the bottom.
“This is not a system that we should defend, and I urge the government to be strict and uncompromising in such matters as, left unchecked, it can lead to massive unemployment,” claimed Anwar.
Anwar, who is also the Port Dickson MP, said the act of handing out food is not a long-term solution to the problems faced by the poor, labourers and those who earn a daily wage.
“I believe the government must accept the reality and not waste time addressing the issue.
“I hope that by this Friday at the very latest, the government can introduce a complete plan as to not repeat previous mistakes,” said Anwar, before adding that there’s no point in having various committees chaired by ministers if they don’t have the desired effect due to inadequate implementation.
On Monday, the Human Resources Ministry said employers are not allowed to cut the pay of employees or force them to take annual leave, or even dismiss them without adhering to the employment contract during the movement control order (MCO).
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