Labour Rights in Malaysia : An Introduction to Current Situation
Date: Saturday, 16 December 2017
Time: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Venue: Ground floor meeting room, KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH), No. 1, Jalan Maharajalela, 50150 Kuala Lumpur
Speaker: Charles Hector, human rights defender and practicing lawyer.
Co-organisers: Democracy Academy of Malaysia & Civil Rights Committee of KLSCAH

In October 2017, 13 migrant workers and a Malaysian supervisor died in a landslide at a hillside construction site in Tanjung Bungah, Penang. There were also several accidents involved migrant workers during the construction of LRT extension projects.

According to Department of Occupational Safety and Health, from January to October 2017, there are total 3,246 occupational accident and 206 deaths. Which means, 9 occupational accidents occurred every day. Manufacturing sector has the highest industrial accident, 1691, but construction section has the highest fatality rate, 63 workers died out of 177 reported accidents. The fatality rate has increased from 4.21 in 2014 to 4.84 in 2016 (per 1,000 workers).

Usually, workers do not receive reasonable compensation if they encountered occupational accident due to lack of insurance, low wages and age. Many accidents happened because of negligence of employers in providing safety and health regulations, workers’ right to decent work and right to life were violated.

On the other hand, a social activist Y. Kohila was sacked by Bank Negara Malaysia because of her participation in May Day rally and Parti Sosialis Malaysia activities in July 2017. She has been actively involved in the Oppressed People's Network (JERIT) that champions various community issues such as housing rights, workers' rights and student rights. This raised question that to what extent an employer can control a worker’s private affairs after working hours.

According to International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Malaysian government has not ratified 3 of 8 core International Labour Conventions, which are Convention on Freedom of Association and Protection of Right to Organise, Convention on Discrimination and Convention on the Abolition of Forced Labour. Until 2010, only 7.8 percent of workers joined trade union as the government refused to enforce trade union rights and imposed stringent conditions for trade union activities.

With so many labour issues in Malaysia, it is important to give an overview picture of current situation of labour rights in Malaysia. We are pleased to have Mr. Charles Hector to be the speaker of the talk, Charles is a human rights defender and practicing lawyer who has been voiced for labour issues for decades.

Please contact us at 0111-0664526 or akademidemokrasi@gmail.com if you have queries.

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