PUTRAJAYA (Bernama): Human Resource Minister M. Kula Segaran (pic) has brushed aside comments from people he labeled “armchair critics” and said his ministry’s efforts to boost productivity are taking place at a quick pace.
Efforts to boost productivity by reskilling and upskilling workers are happening at a quick pace to improve the socio-economic position of the country, he said.
Citing examples, he said the increase in the minimum wage to RM1,050 and its standardisation throughout the country, the Productivity-Linked Wage System (PLWS), Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) restructuring, and amendments to eight labour laws are among the initiatives in the Pakatan Harapan government's next step towards reform.
Kula Segaran said criticism from armchair critics are a bane to those who have the gargantuan task of cleaning up in the wake of a “particularly negligent and corrupt predecessor”.
“The Pakatan Harapan administration cannot and should not become prickly over criticism from within the stable of its own executive class.
“It should be noted that rash talk is cheap, especially on the part of those who do not have the responsibility,” he said in a statement.
Kula Segaran said the human resource situation in Malaysia comprises complicated laws – some outdated and others merely flawed, and they are in need of an overhaul.
He said the labour laws which will see amendments are the Industrial Relations Act 1967, Trade Unions Act 1959, Workers' Minimum Standard of Housing and Amenities Act 1990, Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994, Children and Young Persons (Employment) Act 1966, Employment Act 1955, Sabah Labour Ordinance, Sarawak Labour Ordinance, and Perkeso.
They are being readied for tabling in Parliament, he said, adding that all of them will make major changes to the human resource environment in Malaysia.
Citing an example, he said the amendments to Perkeso will enable 1.2 million housewives to qualify for benefits should misfortune strike them, and 2.5 million foreign workers will gain protection under proposed changes to the Act.
“These amendments will impact beneficently on the situation of Malaysia's human resources. They will alter considerably for the betterment of the country.
“Overall, the employment situation would be much improved and our workers abroad, blue collar ones especially, will be induced to thinking about returning home,” he said.
Kula Segaran said that as the Human Resource Minister, he is open to discussions with all stakeholders with respect to the labour situation in the country.
“Since the third week of May this year, after the victory of Pakatan Harapan took hold, the discursive process within which policies are formulated began in the Ministry of Human Resources to which I was appointed.
“Probably because of this openness, there has not been a single stakeholder who has complained that the minister is not open to discussion and consultation,” he claimed. – Bernama
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