Minister must continue with screening role


  • Letters
  • Wednesday, 11 Jul 2018

I REFER to the letter “Change in law could hike up costs (The Star, June 19) and agree fully with the writer on the need for the Human Resources Minister to continue screening workers’ dismissal cases before referring them to the Industrial Court.

As it is, employers, whether local or multinationals, are already burdened by the increasing costs of operating in Malaysia due to various decisions unilaterally made by the previous administration. These include the Employment Insurance Scheme (EIS), Minimum Wage Act, Minimum Retirement Age Act, the Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF) and from January 2016, the foreign workers levies to be paid by employers.

We have thousands of youngsters who are unemployed because they are unwilling to accept jobs that are not “cool”. As a direct consequence, we have millions of foreigners (both legal and illegal) working in Malaysia to fill that gap. If we do not have these foreigners, more businesses will close down.

Like it or not, governments think they know best when they really don’t. They are not competent about human resource management and its correlation to the nation’s economy, finance, productivity, competitiveness, wealth creation and the rakyat’s wellbeing. Thus, governments introduce law after law that are simply mind-boggling and counter-productive.

The announcement by the Human Resources Minister (HRM) that industrial cases would not be screened at the ministry but would be sent straight to the Industrial Court (IC) is a perfect example of passing the buck.

How about closing down the prosecution division of the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) and telling the police, Malaysian Anti- Corruption Commission (MACC) and other statutory bodies and departments to refer all cases direct to the courts then?

The root cause of the problem is that officers at the ministry are inefficient and take months to study the cases submitted to them by the Industrial Relations Department (IRD).

As employers, we submit evidence and make official submissions based on case laws to the minister through the IRD. But do the people at the ministry, including the legal adviser, study those submissions and make a fair and learned decision?

We know for sure that in the past, ministers took the easy way out and referred cases to the IC even when these were frivolous in nature.

Will the new Human Resources Minister be willing to publicly declare the number of cases that were not referred to the IC over the last five years? The minister must continue to screen all cases meticulously before referring them to the IC because it costs employers a lot of money to engage lawyers to represent them.

TABUNG HARAPAN MALAYSIA DONOR

Kuala Lumpur

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