MTUC protests in Putrajaya over planned 1.5m foreign worker influx

MTUC members gather outside complex D in Putrajaya to protest against the intake of foreign workers, February 18, 2016. — Picture by Kamles Kumar
MTUC members gather outside complex D in Putrajaya to protest against the intake of foreign workers, February 18, 2016. — Picture by Kamles Kumar

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 18 — Around 50 members from the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) protested outside the government complex housing the Home and Human Resource Ministries today to condemn Putrajaya’s decision to bring in 1.5 million foreign workers.

The group was earlier barred from entering the complex by the security official, who claimed that they did not have permission.

“We just want to hand over a memorandum but they are saying there is a new procedure and we are not allowed in. This is undermining our rights as citizens if we don’t agree with government policies,” MTUC acting president Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid told reporters at a press conference outside the building.

The group went on to hold up pickets and banners outside the building for half an hour, demanding to meet officials from either ministry.

Eventually the memorandum prepared by MTUC was collected by Human Resource Ministry policy secretary Kun Abun on behalf of its minister Datuk Richard Riot Jaem, who is in Bangladesh currently.

Abdullah, who is also MP for Hulu Langat, added that MTUC will seek legal action against the ministries for barring his group from submitting the memorandum.

Putrajaya is facing resistance and criticism from various civil and trade groups over its plan to bring in foreign workers that it said was needed for “dirty, dangerous and difficult” jobs that Malaysians are purportedly snubbing.

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