KUALA LUMPUR: Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran has denied allegations made by the Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) that there was no consultation over labour law reforms.
He said the statement claiming that there was no consultation with the ministry was incorrect, irresponsible and uncalled for.
“For the record, we have conducted nine National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) meetings this year and various technical committee meetings since January.
“We have also conducted meetings and stakeholder engagements with various parties. I am only required to two meetings a year and have given utmost importance to our tripartite consultations by conducting these meetings monthly, ” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby on Wednesday (Oct 9).
It was reported that MTUC secretary-general J. Solomon had accused Kulasegaran of allegedly lying about consulting with stakeholders before tabling the amendments, including amendments to the Industrial Relations Act (IRA).
The amendments were tabled for their first reading in the Dewan Rakyat on Monday (Oct 7).
He also accused Kulasegaran of unilaterally deciding to submit proposed amendments to the IRA, Employment Act and Trades Union Act to the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) for approval.
In response, Kulasegaran said that the online public consultation on the IRA began in December last year.
“The ministry also conducted consultations with state governments, Suhakam, the International Labour Organisation, the Bar Council and NGOs and these amendments were sent to the AGC for review.
“ It is unfortunate that such an irresponsible statement was issued when effective consultation started in January and has continued for nine months; the due process of effective consultations has been completed.
“Solomon does not have the right to make wild accusations just because he did not get what he had demanded.
“Let me ask Solomon, how many NLAC meetings have you had under the previous government from 2012? Our records shows there were only four meetings in 2012, one in 2013, two in 2014, one in 2015, one in 2016 and one in 2017. Why was he silent then, ” asked Kulasegaran.