SEPANG Municipal Council (MPSepang) will step up monitoring of workers’ quarters in line with the nation’s fight against the spread of Covid-19.
Its president Datuk Abd Hamid Hussain said there had been Covid-19 clusters originating from these quarters at construction sites, which were a big concern as 365 of such establishments, also known as rumah kongsi, had been approved since 2018.
He said there were reports of cramped living conditions and sharing of beds or mattresses, which were not allowed under the Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990 (Act 446).
“Workers must be provided with their own mattress, pillow, blanket and cupboard. But some companies do not provide the proper basic necessities.
“There is also a limit to the number of people allowed in such premises, to avoid overcrowding, ” Abd Hamid said at the council’s full board meeting yesterday.
He said the council would also check on conditions at workers’ hostels.
He noted that there were between 30,000 and 50,000 airport workers living in hostels in and around the municipality.
Many were not reporting to work due to the pandemic, he said, which meant they would be in their lodgings for long durations.
He further said that many other companies had applied to convert commercial units such as shoplots into workers’ hostels.
“We want to ensure these premises are not overcrowded and that there is no shared bedding, ” he said, explaining that workers in various industries which had shift work were sometimes expected to use the same beds and mattresses at the accommodation provided.
“This practice does not help in stopping the spread of the coronavirus.
“MPSepang’s Building Department will check on the rumah kongsi, while the Town Planning and Landscaping Department will check on the commercial units turned into hostels.
“Employers can be issued with RM1,000 and RM500 compounds respectively if the company-provided workers’ accommodation is found to be overcrowded and dirty.
“Meanwhile, the Licensing and Enforcement Department will ensure that all workers’ hostels have the necessary approvals to operate as such.
“Premises without approval can be issued a RM25,000 compound, ” he added.
On the monthly dengue update, Abd Hamid said 11 cases were recorded in week 16 ending April 25, bringing the total number of cases this year to 166.
This is a big reduction compared to the corresponding period last year, which saw 1,256 cases reported.