PETALING JAYA: A glove company in Kajang has been ordered to shut down for seven days for failing to comply with Covid-19 preventative measures, with media reports saying that its workers were shockingly found living in shipping containers.
The closure notice said the factory has been ordered to shut down from Dec 24-30 to help curb the spread of Covid-19.
In a joint-operation conducted by various agencies on Monday (Dec 21) morning, authorities found that the owner of the factory had allegedly violated several laws including the Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act (Act 446).
During the raid, in which Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan also participated, workers were found living in two blocks of shipping containers.
“The factory hired a total of 781 staff, consisting of 759 foreign workers and 22 locals.
“Aside from the enforcement of the Act, the operations also probed whether the owner of the factory had complied with standard operating procedures to prevent Covid-19, under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 which is under the purview of the Health Ministry," said the Human Resources Ministry in a statement later Monday.
Saravanan said that the joint operation by the Labour Department, Health Ministry and the Hulu Langat Covid-19 compliance taskforce, was a proactive effort by the government to enforce the law.
Meanwhile, according to a report by Astro Awani, Saravanan had expressed shock when he saw the living conditions.
“I cannot believe such places exist in Malaysia, and I’m not sure how they could live in such filthy and terrible conditions.
“I call this ‘modern slavery’ and employers need to ensure their workers' welfare is protected.
“Local governments should have already identified such places. If the Labour Department did not come today, perhaps we wouldn’t have known about this place, ” he added.