Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah expressed shock and outrage that a Klang glove factory was fined a paltry RM1,000 for violating health standard operating procedures (SOPs) after a raid on Thursday.
This is since normal people have previously been punished more severely for offences relating to the violation of Covid-19 SOPs.
"It is shocking that the authorities could only penalise the Port Klang glove factory a meagre RM1,000 for violating the SOPs.
"Other ordinary citizens were known to have been fined up to RM8,000.
"It is also more worrying to learn of corporates, regardless of their size, violating the SOPs and have little regard for its workers’ health and safety conditions," she said in a statement last night.
"The fine for violators was meant to be a deterrent and it is important to have it tiered according to the seriousness of the violation, and as the law stands it could reach up to RM10,000," she added.
Maria highlighted several cases including that of a Brightway subsidiary glove manufacturer in Kajang which was forced to close for seven days after failing to comply with Covid-19 preventive measures earlier this week.
The conditions were exposed in a multi-agency raid led by Human Resources Minister M Saravanan, which uncovered 781 workers living behind the factory in two blocks of shipping containers stacked three stories high.
Saravanan had reportedly said it was one of the worse living conditions he had ever seen.
Maria also noted that two other leading glove manufacturers – Kossan Rubber Industries and Top Glove – have recorded more than 7,000 Covid-19 cases between them.
Top Glove is presently facing legal action for violating SOPs, which resulted in 28 of its branches having to stop work with thousands of workers tested positive for the disease.
"For sure, there is now an urgent need to have a more vigilant and effective monitoring mechanism to ensure corporates' adherence to SOPs for their workers.
"This must be implemented immediately, especially in view of rising Covid-19 cases.
"What happened at the various glove companies must be a stern lesson for businesses to seize the moment to be better placed to support their employees and drive sustainable business performance," Maria said.
She added that Malaysia has the opportunity to rebuild a more equitable, inclusive workplace and healthy workers that will strengthen corporate organisations far beyond Covid-19.