KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 28 -- The International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) has organised a webinar in collaboration with the Department of Labour Peninsular Malaysia (JTKSM) and PLANMalaysia to increase manufacturers’ awareness on workers’ accommodation issues.
Themed “Provision of Workers Accommodation for Industries Under the Manufacturing Sector”, the webinar saw the participation of 630 attendees from manufacturing companies in various sectors in Malaysia, as well as industry associations and foreign business chambers.
In a statement today, MITI said the programme helped companies to better understand the measures required in providing safe and conducive accommodation for their workers.
This includes guidelines on the application procedures for the provision of Short-term Labour Quarters and Centralised Labour Quarters, in line with the requirements under the Workers' Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities (Amendment) Act 2019 (Act 446), it said.
In his opening remarks, MITI deputy secretary-general (Industry) Datuk Seri Norazman Ayob noted that issues related to forced labour, accommodation and management of foreign workers have been raised by various parties.
“MITI believes that providing conducive workers’ accommodation plays a pivotal role in driving productivity, which ultimately improves manufacturers’ competitiveness.
“As the nation moves towards building back better under the guidelines of the 12th Malaysian Plan, a strong emphasis on the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) is central to the development of Malaysian manufacturing industries.
“Workers’ accommodation, in particular, is key, as far as the social and governance elements are concerned,” he said.
MITI also urged industry players to seriously adopt ethical recruitment to prevent forced labour malpractices that could be detrimental to their business sustainability.
“The government views this very seriously. We have been urging industries -- particularly those employing foreign workers -- to comply with the labour law and maintain the required standards in terms of housing and amenities,” Norazman said.
He also noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had become a catalyst to a more expansive policy approach to protect the migrant workers in the country.
In February, the Malaysian government announced that it is providing free COVID-19 vaccines to all migrant workers in the country through the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme.
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