KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 12 — The Human Resources Ministry will declare war on human trafficking and forced labour, now that a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) has been formed to investigate the death camps in the hilly area of Wang Kelian in Perlis which were uncovered three years ago.
Minister M. Kulasegaran said he has instructed his ministry to study and amend laws that are outdated to cater to the current situation.
“For far too long, Malaysia has been condoning the horrible act of forced labour which have led to deplorable work conditions.
“I am pleased to note that the government has recently set up a RCI to investigate the Wang Kelian issue. This goes to show that ‘Malaysia Baharu’ is serious in combating human trafficking and will do so transparently,” he said today in a press statement.
Kulasegaran said while there are many companies that have adhered to the labour law, there is still blurred practices of forced labour.
“We are going to war against forced labour.
“It has been reported by the International Labour Organisation that millions of workers around the world are victims of forced labour, but let me say that we are determined in our fight against the practice,” he said.
He added the ministry has also made some suggestion to the National Labour Advisory Council, which the ministry has a tripartite cooperation involving government representatives; the Malaysian Employers Federation, Malaysian Trades Union Congress, National Union of Plantation Workers, Malayan Agricultural Producers Association, Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services and workers’ representatives.
Besides the protection provided by legal means, Kulasegaran says his ministry will also ensure all employers obtain insurance coverage for foreign workers under the Foreign Workers Compensation Scheme and mandatory contribution to SOCSO by 2020.