Bid to curb minister’s clout

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 14 Jun 2018

PETALING JAYA: The Human Resources Minister's proposal to revoke his powers over reference and screening workers’ dismissal cases is expected to be tabled at the coming Parliament meeting.

Minister M. Kulasegaran began his brainstorming sessions with 25 senior labour law practitioners yesterday.

“I am currently preparing the necessary amendments and these lawyers will assist me. I expect it to be tabled and debated at the next parliament meeting,” Kulasegaran said.

The 14th Parliament, the first under the Pakatan Harapan government, is to convene on July 16.

Last week, Kulasegaran pledged to propose the cancellation of the minister’s powers to the Cabinet before tabling it in Parliament.

The suggestion was to remove the power of filtering cases before being referred to the Industrial Court.

With the amendment, cases of worker dismissals would go straight to the Industrial Court without his intervention.

Kulasegaran told The Star yesterday that his meeting with the lawyers covered “extensive ground”.

He said that it was of utmost importance for labour lawyers to be involved in the improvement of labour matters.

“We discussed, among other matters, the Industrial Court issue and how to split up the process of disposal of cases, the appeal process in the court and issues involving Socso,” he added.

Industrial law practitioner Muhendaran Suppiah, who attended the meeting, said the lawyers would revert to Kulasegaran over how to restructure the process for worker's dismissal cases.

Currently, most cases take an average of two to three years to be resolved, Muhendaran said, adding that the aim was to shorten the time frame to nine months.

Another labour law practitioner, Datuk Thavalingam Thavarajah, commended Kulasegaran for his swift action on the matter, adding that the previous ministers had not moved on it.

“We had a very good discussion and we are confident that things will move forward from here,’’ he added.

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