PETALING JAYA: Brightway Holdings and two of its subsidiaries in Selangor will be facing 30 charges in court for alleged offences under the Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990 (Act 446), says the Human Resources Ministry.
The ministry said the Peninsular Malaysia Labour Department was in the process of completing investigation papers and filing 22 charges against Brightway and its Klang-based subsidiary, Biopro (M) Sdn Bhd.
Its subsidiary, La Glove (M) Sdn Bhd in Kajang, will be facing up to eight charges under the same Act, the ministry added.
“Among the offences is the failure of the employer to obtain a Certificate of Accommodation from the department’s director-general under Section 24D of Act 446.
“There is also a violation of regulations under Act 446 involving the provision of facilities that does not meet the minimum specifications set, ” it said in a statement yesterday.
If found guilty, the company can be fined up to RM50,000 for each offence.
“All investigation papers are in the final stages of preparation before being submitted to the Deputy Public Prosecutor, ” the ministry added.
It also noted that the RM1,000 compound issued to the company by the Klang district health office was for the violation of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988.
“The action was unrelated to the enforcement of Act 446 under the jurisdiction of the department.
“The ministry will not compromise on any breach or non-compliance under Act 446 and regulations under it, ” it said.
The ministry appealed to employers and accommodation providers who have yet to apply for a Certificate of Accommodation, to do so immediately to avoid legal action against them.
The statement stated that the ministry, through the department, had conducted operations on Brightway and its subsidiaries, La Grove in Kajang on Dec 21, and Biopro in Klang on Dec 24, in relation to the enforcement of Act 446.
Biopro was fined RM1,000 for failing to comply with Covid-19 preventive measures and providing seemingly poor living conditions for workers.
During the raid conducted on La Grove, its workers were allegedly found to be living in cramped and dirty shipping containers stacked behind the premises. Brightway later issued a statement to deny this.Following the denial, Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan said the ministry had enough evidence to enforce the law.
On Saturday, Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah called for an effective monitoring system and deterrent penalties in view of the high number of Covid-19 cases reported daily.
She criticised the “meagre RM1,000 fine” issued to the glove factory in Klang for flouting the standard operating procedure imposed by authorities to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission.
In a statement on Facebook, Maria noted the disparity in actions taken against different factories for similar offences.
“The fine for violators is meant to be a deterrent and it is important to have it tiered according to the seriousness of the violation, and as the law stands it could reach up to RM10,000, ” she added.