‘Two-month deadline to house foreign workers too short’

JOHOR BARU: The two-month deadline to house foreign workers in registered centralised labour quarters (CLQ) is just too short of a notice, say business groups in the state.

South Johor SME Association adviser Teh Kee Sin said the state government’s directive is good because it would ensure that the migrant workers’ welfare is well taken care of during their employment.

“However, the two-month deadline given to employers could be a bit of a challenge for most of them.

“Employers should be given more time, which will then allow them to discuss with the relevant authorities on setting an achievable milestone for it,” he said here yesterday.

The state government, said Teh, should select a few critical industrial areas to kick-start such a mammoth project to provide a good base for others to follow.

Johor Makmur Indian Contractor Association chairman S. Suppayah said housing foreign workers at registered CLQs will add more financial burden on small-time contractors.

“Small-time contractors like us don’t have many foreign workers and for us to put them at CLQs will be more costly as we need to pay between RM1,000 and RM1,500 a month for their rent.

“We are not big established contractors with major projects all the time. Now, it is even more difficult for us to get awarded with projects on a monthly basis,” he said.

Suppayah is hopeful that the state government will give some leeway for small contractors on this matter.

On Friday, Bernama reported that the Johor government had ordered developers and contractors as well as manufacturers in the state to resolve the placement issue of migrant workers by housing them in registered CLQs within two months.

State youth, sports, entrepreneur development, cooperatives and human resources committee chairman Mohd Hairi Mad Shah said the directive was issued following complaints over the placement of foreign workers in public settlements.

He said the directive had to be complied with in accordance to Minimum Standards of Housing, Accommodation and Employee Facilities Act 1990 (Act 446).

“The problem of placement of foreign workers and complaints of nuisance in public settlements are often raised. I stress that this matter is very serious and the Johor government will never compromise in dealing with this issue.

“I do not want Johor to be embroiled in this migrant worker placement issue, oppression or any action that will ultimately lead to the issue of forced labour... and tarnishes the image of the state, or even the country.

“Indirectly, this contributes to the lack of confidence of foreign investors who want to invest in Johor,” he said.

Mohd Hairi also asked the local authorities in each district to identify the location of foreign workers staying in public settlements and to carry out integrated operations with the Johor Labour Department starting from May.

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Johor , foreign workers , CLQ , housing , government


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