Minister of Human Resources M. Kulasegaran has urged the stakeholders to uphold the principles of social dialogue and tripartism in formulating labour policies going forward. He made the call at the Malaysian Employers Federation 60th Anniversary Dinner in Selangor. He added that a harmonious relationship between government, employers and employees is crucial to ensure growth and sustainability of the nation’s workforce. “That is why the government practises ‘tripartism which is essentially a three‐way consultation among the Ministry of Human Resources, the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF), and the Malaysian Trade Unions Congress (MTUC).”
Referring to the Ministry’s ongoing efforts to update current labour laws, Kulasegaran said a modern system of labour legislation would be established to ensure all workers are protected and, at the same time, provide enough space and flexibility needed by the industry to grow. “The policies formulated should take into account the flexibility of the labour market, which will promote increased employment rates, economic stability, and productivity increases that would improve the living standards of the rakyat as a whole.”
The Minister also denied an allegation by the MTUC that there was no consultation over labour law reforms, including amendments to the Industrial Relations Act (IRA) which were tabled in the Dewan Rakyat on Monday. “We have conducted nine National Labour Advisory Council meetings this year and various technical committee meetings since January. “We have also conducted meetings and stakeholder engagement with various parties. MTUC secretary-general J. Solomon had accused Kulasegaran of lying about consulting with stakeholders before tabling the amendments. He claimed that Kulasegaran had unilaterally decided to submit proposed amendments to the IRA, Employment Act and Trades Union Act to the Attorney General’s Chambers for approval.
Meanwhile, Kulasegaran said the Social Security Organisation (SOCSO) scheme for the self-employed will be extended to other informal sectors next year, including those involved in agriculture and fisheries and in small businesses and the arts. Initially, the Act was enforced on self-employed drivers of taxis, rental cars, e-hailing and private buses. “The documentation for this extension to those sectors are currently being handled by the Attorney-General’s Chambers,” he said. SOCSO chief executive Datuk Seri Dr Mohammed Azman Aziz Mohammed said contributions by the self-employed ranged between RM157.20 and RM592.80 for each individual a year.