Bandar Seri Begawan - The Minister of Home Affairs, YB Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Awg Othman, called for employers to be responsible to their employees and not to run businesses merely just to gain profits.
"Some 700 raids and operations have been conducted last year to nab foreign workers who violated the country's rules and regulations like overstaying, abusing licences and so on. We also enforce laws to punish errant employers who failed to provide foreign workers with proper accommodation," he said.
The minister was responding to YB Pehin Kapitan Lela Diraja Dato ,Paduka Goh King Chin's call at the Legislative Council session yesterday for the relevant authorities to look after the welfare of workers, such as their accommodation and their journey to workplace, as well as to take serious action on such problems.
It is also a violation of Article 23 on Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Meanwhile, when asked on the need to blacklist foreign workers who gave problems to employers, like quitting the job before the contract expires, as raised by YB Awg Hj Mohd Shafiee bin Ahmad, the Minister of Home Affairs said that employees are blacklisted for criminal offences or those pertaining to security threats.
There could be other ways to solve such disputes like consultations amongst employees, employers and the Labour Department.
Asked on the need to streamline minimum wages to entice them to work in the private sector as raised by YB Awg Hj Mohd Shafiee bin Ahmad, the minister said that his ministry would not be able to set policy on guidelines on minimum wage in the private sector.
The Labour Department is taking efforts to discuss wage rates with employers, especially those who have undergone training at the Local Employment and Workforce Agency (APTK). The salary must not be less than $400.
Meanwhile, YB Awg Hj Mohd Yusof bin Hj Dulamin urged the Ministry of Home Affairs to advertise the list of licensed local employment agencies in the media to prevent locals from becoming the victim of bogus agencies. The Minister of Home Affairs replied that there are 90 local employment agencies which are available from their website.
YB Awg Hj Jumat bin Akim meanwhile called for the extension of service at the Labour Department's counter beyond office hours and to allow officers and staff to work on shifts to cater to the needs of customers where they would not have to leave the office during working hours to deal at the Labour Department.
In his reply, the Minister of Home Affairs said that he would look into this matter.
YB Awg Hj Jumat bin Akim also suggested for the foreign workers to undergo orientation to familiarise themselves with culture and ethics as practised by certain companies like BSM, BLNG, Tasamul, CFBT and so on. The Minister of Home Affairs welcomed such a move and would look into it.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin