PM: MTUC reps compulsory

KUALA LUMPUR: Government-linked companies (GLCs) and government-linked investment companies (GLICs) are required to appoint a Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) representative to their board of directors, says Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

This was to ensure that the employees’ voices would be heard in all decisions made by the board, said the Prime Minister.

“As part of efforts to add value to transparency, I would like to announce that all GLCs and GLICs must appoint an MTUC representative as a member of their board of directors.

“It is the hope of the government that the worker’s representative will also play a role in administrative matters soon,” he said in his address at MTUC’s triennial delegates conference at Universiti Malaya yesterday.

Also present were Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan and MTUC secretary-general Kamarul Baharin Mansor.

The Prime Minister said the reskilling and upskilling of talent was important to ensure workers in Malaysia remained competitive.

“I urge MTUC to create a holistic, effective and comprehensive education plan for its members under the group and extend it to all workers of the ‘Malaysian Family’,” he said.

Making voices heard: Ismail Sabri at the MTUC conference at Universiti Malaya. — YAP CHEE HONG/The StarMaking voices heard: Ismail Sabri at the MTUC conference at Universiti Malaya. — YAP CHEE HONG/The Star

The government, he added, had agreed to provide an annual grant of RM4mil to MTUC to implement awareness and training programmes.

He also urged MTUC to be mindful of the needs of members who belonged to the B40 and hardcore poor groups.

Ismail Sabri – the first prime minister to be invited to officiate an MTUC conference – said the plight of the working class remained close to his heart.

“The Malaysian Family approach aims to ensure that none of our family members lives in poverty. I understand this situation well because where I came from was surrounded by poverty,” he added.

Ismail Sabri said MTUC, as a body that represents 16.5 million workers, had always been seen as a good partner to the government, adding that each member played a significant role to assist economic recovery as the country moved towards the endemic phase.

He also said the government had outlined short, medium and long-term plans to address the ongoing issue of the rising cost of living, noting that it was a global phenomenon and not only faced by Malaysia.

He reiterated that the government would spend RM77.7bil on subsidies this year to control inflation in the country, which currently stood at 2% and was still low compared with other countries such as the United States (9%), United Kingdom (12%) and European Union members (between 8% and 10%).

“Without such subsidies, our inflation could go as high as 11%,” he added.

Ismail Sabri proposed that MTUC set up a team of volunteers to monitor and report issues related to the increase in the price of goods.

He also said the government had been firm in implementing the new minimum wage despite the resistance of some employers who had asked for a deferment.

Later, at a press conference, when asked about the proposal to have a four-day work week, the Prime Minister said he would leave it to the Human Resources Ministry to scrutinise all the details.

“They can also discuss this directly with MTUC,” he added.

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