Govt in the midst of amending labour laws, says Dr M

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Cabinet ministers attend the National Labour Day Celebration in Putrajaya May 1, 2019. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Cabinet ministers attend the National Labour Day Celebration in Putrajaya May 1, 2019. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

PUTRAJAYA, May 1 ― The government is in the process of amending several labour laws to ensure that all workers are aware of their rights in line with the increased target of one million workers’ membership in trade unions by 2020.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the amendment being done by the Human Resources Ministry involved, among others, the Trade Unions Act 1959, the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994, the Industrial Relations Act 1967 and the Employment Act 1955.

He said the government was aware of the importance of the efforts to improve the laws related to labour and manpower in the country to create the best mechanism in solving employer-worker disputes in a harmonious way.

“In general, the amendment includes the minimum standards of employment, trade unions, industrial relations, and occupational safety and health,” he said at the 2019 Workers’ Day celebration at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre here today.

Dr Mahathir said the amendment was also aimed at improving worker’s wellbeing and their social security without denying the roles and contributions of the employers in nation development.

The Human Resources Ministry had also amended the Private Employment Agencies Act 1981 in 2017 and the Children and Young Persons (Employment) Act 1966 in 2018, he added.

Meanwhile, Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran said the process to amend the labour laws had reached the final stage and the amendment bills were expected to be tabled to the Parliament by June this year.

“The amendment to those labour laws will strengthen the employment sector and provide more comprehensive protection to workers in the country,” he said when met at the event.

Kulasegaran said the amendment Bills were vital to strengthen and give more protection to workers, while at the same time to encourage productivity.

“We want to prepare our workers to face the Industry 4.0 and also the mechanism towards it. The HR Ministry will give a big push to encourage Industry 4.0 as it does not only improve productivity but also increase wages,” he added. ― Bernama