Ismail Sabri: Local factories being probed over improper housing for workers amid Covid-19 threat

Shahrin Aizat Noorshahrizam
·2-min read
Officers from the Labour Department conduct checks on a worker’s hostel in Tasek, Ipoh November 26, 2020. — Picture by Farhan Najib
Officers from the Labour Department conduct checks on a worker’s hostel in Tasek, Ipoh November 26, 2020. — Picture by Farhan Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 2 — The National Security Council (NSC) announced today that a total of 21 investigation papers have been opened under the Workers Standard of Housing and Amenities Act 1990 to curb the spread of Covid-19 among factory workers.

Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri said that the Ministry of Human Resources is actively carrying out inspections nationwide and will investigate employers that fail to provide proper housing for workers.

“So far 21 investigation papers have been opened against employers that failed to observe the Workers Standard of Housing and Amenities Act 1990.

“As we know, one of the reasons why the Covid-19 virus spread is due to foreign workers being placed in cramped and squeezed spaces,” he said in a press briefing.

He said the recent spike of Covid-19 positive cases among foreign workers was because their employers had failed to provide adequate accommodation.

One of Malaysia’s biggest concentration of cases, the Teratai Cluster in Klang, Selangor with 4,278 infections as of yesterday, has been blamed on Top Glove Corporation Berhad.

More than half of the cases in the cluster were said to have involved Top Glove factory workers, many who are foreigners.

A total of 19 investigation papers have been opened against the company with the federal government considering legal action.

However, Top Glove said it is committed to improve housing for its workers and has spent RM70 million to find them better lodgings since July. It added it hopes to complete the exercise by December 31.

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