KLANG, Jan 25 — Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri V. Sivakumar today said that action will be taken against employers who do not provide their foreign workers with appropriate living conditions.
Although foreign workers are brought in to provide the country with manpower, they should not be taken for granted, he told reporters this morning during an operation to check on workers' living conditions in Klang.
“In the pursuit of profit, employers must not neglect their duties and responsibilities to ensure their workers receive the welfare that they should,” the Batu Gajah MP said.
He said investigation papers will be opened against offending employers.
“This investigation can be taken as a warning by other employers,” he said.
Sivakumar said the living conditions of the first two locations the ministry checked today were not up to par and involved issues such as overcrowding and lack of cleanliness.
Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri V. Sivakumar during an operation to check on foreign workers' living conditions around Klang January 25, 2023. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
“This is not just an issue of their welfare, but also their cleanliness, safety, and health,” he said, adding that it was an issue of human rights.
“We cannot take this issue lightly.
“When we bring in workers from other countries, we must ensure that their welfare is protected,” he explained.
He said overcrowding is also unsafe because it allows illnesses to spread easily such as during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In one of the locations, the workers did not even have mattresses, he said.
Last Wednesday, Bernama reported Sivakumar as saying that 500,000 foreign workers will be brought into the country in phases through the Foreign Workers Employment Relaxation Plan, which will address the manpower shortage.
The Plan will allow employers to hire foreign workers from 15 source countries without having to adhere to quota requirements and employment eligibility conditions, Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail reportedly said.