Payout rating baffles Government

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 18 Sep 2004

PUTRAJAYA: The World Bank has ranked Malaysia as paying the second highest workers’ compensation in the world after the United States, and the Government wants to know how it reached that conclusion. 

The Human Resources Ministry has asked the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) to prepare a study on compensation to workers for comparison with the report by the bank. 

Its minister, Datuk Dr Fong Chan Onn, said the study could include compensation payments and other benefits paid to workers, especially following retrenchment. 

“We have asked the MEF to prepare a study based on compensation payments determined by the Industrial Court,” he said after chairing a special meeting of the National Labour Advisory Council here today. 

He said the ministry, MEF and MTUC would discuss the study to determine whether the current compensation award needs to be reviewed. 

OPEN FOR DISCUSSION: Dr Fong (left) chairing the council meeting in Putrajaya on Friday. The meeting was attended by Zainal (front, third from left) and other unionists.

MEF president Jafar Abdul Carrim said the report claimed Malaysia paid a month’s salary as retrenchment compensation for every year of service, while many other countries only paid a week’s wage for every year of service. 

On another matter, the MTUC said it would proceed with its nationwide picket on Sept 28 to highlight the grievances of the workforce. The picket, involving 50,000 workers, would take place after office hours, said MTUC president Senator Zainal Rampak. 

He said the picket would be held near various venues which may include the Prime Minister’s Office or Department, the Human Resources Ministry, and offices of chief ministers and mentris besar. 

Zainal, who spoke to reporters after attending the National Labour Advisory Council meeting, said the MTUC was unhappy with many issues, including the recent Budget which did not address the plight of private sector workers. 

He claimed the country’s workforce had been marginalised and Malaysia had not set standard minimum wages for workers. 

“There were cases where employers sacked or victimised union officials to stunt the growth of unions, while some unions were not recognised. 

“It is going to be a peaceful picket to express our grievances to the Government,” he said, adding that a memorandum on the workers’ problems had been submitted to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. 

Zainal said he had asked to meet Abdullah over the matter but had yet to receive a response. 

Dr Fong, who was also present during the press conference, said the Government would work closely with the MTUC and MEF to resolve any problems.  

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