KUALA LUMPUR: The move to widen the scope of laws to better protect self-employed workers is apt, says Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye (pic).
"Self-employed workers must be given the means by the government to ensure their safety and quality of life," Lee said.
Lee said this when speaking to reporters after launching the Labour Day celebrations organised by Bank Islam and Uni-Malaysian Labour Centre (Uni-MLC) here on Wednesday (May 1).
The Uni-MLC advisor was commenting on Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's Labour Day address.
In his address, Dr Mahathir said the government is looking at strengthening and enforcing the Self-Employment Social Security Scheme and the Employment Injury Scheme.
This includes widening the scope of the Self-Employment Social Security Act 2017 to cover the self-employed, such as those providing e-hailing services, fishermen, farmers and performing artists.
Earlier in his speech, Lee said employers must provide training to employees to face the Industry 4.0 revolution.
He said this was crucial as workers need to adapt to the changes brought about by the use of automation and artificial intelligence.
The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (Niosh) chairman added that employers must also adopt the use of technology to provide better safety for workers.
He cited the use of embedded personal protective equipment (PPE) with sensors and radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology to improve data-gathering and efficiency.
On a separate issue, Lee suggested that all old residential buildings built by the government must be subjected to yearly compulsory safety audit, including residential colleges of higher learning institutions.
"State governments must come out with a clear-cut policy on the matter as there are many buildings that are already more than 30 years old with some in dilapidated condition," he added.
Lee's call comes after 222 residents of Block F of the Taman Keramat Permai flats were recently evacuated after massive cracks formed on the walls of the four-storey building.