by AUFA MARDHIAH / pic source: Zuraida Kamaruddin FB
THE new recruitment system for the foreign workers would mean that the cost will be fully borne by the employers the moment they step into Malaysia.
“The moment they enter the country, everything is paid by the employer, but if it happens in the sourcing company it is outside of Malaysia’s jurisdiction and should not be imposed on the receiving country,” Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin (picture) told reporters after the launch of the guidebook entitled “A Practical Guide for Malaysian Employer: Addressing, Preventing and Eliminating Forced Labour in the Rubber Industry in Malaysia” on Monday.
“Should there be any salary deduction, the issue needs to be reported to the Ministry of Human Resource for them to take action,” she added.
The minister stressed that the government, employers, trade unions and civil societies have taken various actions to adhere to International Labour Organisation (ILO) 2019 to prevent and eradicate forced labour in the country, including the launch of Malaysia’s first National Action Plan on Forced Labour on Nov 26, 2021.
Previously, Malaysia has also rectified the ILO Fundamental Convention no 29 on Forced Labour, and Convention no 182 on Worst Forms of Child Labour, as well as engagements with industry representatives and auditing to ensure that Malaysian companies and industry players adhere to the 11 ILO indicators of forced labour.
Malaysia’s rubber products are exported to 190 countries worldwide. This had increased by 50.6% from RM40.1 billion in 2020 to RM61.7 billion in 2021.
In addition, the rubber gloves subsector continues to be a major contributor despite the rubber industry being in a period of pandemic recovery — Malaysia continues to maintain its position as a major exporter of medical rubber gloves with a recorded value of RM54.8 billion (88.9%).
Malaysia is estimated to account for 55.1% of the market for examination gloves, 10.2% of the market for surgical gloves and 15% of the market for condoms from global exports.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian Rubber Council (MRC) chairman Dr Daroyah Alwi said that MRC has carved out a plan to carry out strategic and impactful initiatives such as capacity building, awareness initiatives and collaboration with industry stakeholders.
“We believe with this guide, companies and stakeholders within the rubber supply chain will be able to practise the key practices and recommendations set in place, as a toolkit to strengthen the principles to address, prevent and eliminate forced labour.
“I hope this mutual collaboration will continue not only on the framework but on the implementation phase as well, with an end-goal dream to eradicate forced labour completely from our soils,” she said during the ceremony.