Local company in Dyson allegations to be hauled to court, says Saravanan

KUALA LUMPUR: The local company embroiled in allegations of forced labour by the electrical products company Dyson will be hauled to court, says Datuk Seri M. Saravanan (pic).

"It is erroneous to say we did not take action as we opened investigation papers when complaints were received. We had given a compound notice to them and it was not paid as of today," said Saravanan.

"As such, we will bring them to court," the Human Resources Minister added when wrapping up his ministerial replies on Budget 2022 at the committee stage in the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday (Nov 30).

Saravanan was responding to questions raised by several MPs over Dyson's allegations of forced labour against local supplier ATA IMS Bhd.

The high-tech manufacturer had recently terminated its ties with ATA IMS after an audit of the Malaysian company's labour practices had been triggered by a whistleblower's allegations.

On Dyson's move to terminate its relationship with ATA IMS, Saravanan said there are "two sides to the story".

"I read the news that Dyson had terminated their contract with the company on social media. Based on the initial information we received from the company (ATA IMS), it was due to lack of manpower," said Saravanan.

"There are two sides to the story on whether the contract was terminated by Dyson or that the company itself did not take up the contract due to lack of manpower," he added.

Saravanan said that the Labour Department is looking into the claims as it is a serious matter.

ATA IMS had previously denied allegations of forced labour.

The allegations are being investigated by the United States after an American activist flagged complaints raised by several factory workers.

The US Customs and Border Protection agency has not commented on the investigation.

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