OUR country has been battling the Covid-19 pandemic for more than 16 months now, but we continue to record a high number of new infections daily, and the number of workplace clusters has also been on the rise.
The authorities should go on the ground to find out the root cause of new clusters at workplaces. Just blaming employers and employees for not adhering to the standard operating procedure (SOP) isn’t enough. If workers and their employer are not following SOP, then the full brunt of the law must be thrown at them.
More checks should be carried out at workplaces and stern action be taken against employers who are not adhering to SOP.
Hostels for foreign workers should be checked at random, but bearing in mind that the deadline to meet the minimum standard of accommodation set out by the Human Resources Ministry has been extended to December
following appeals by some companies. In this case, the authorities must be firm with the deadline.
Checks on undocumented workers should also be carried out at workplaces. Employers must be held responsible for getting their employees tested for Covid-19 to ensure that all are safe and free from infection.
On another note, it is mind-boggling that a company whose undocumented worker committed suicide recently was not prosecuted. The reason given by the authorities concerned was that the appointment/contract letter given to the worker was not available as proof. The company had allegedly not paid the worker’s salary in full for six months. This itself is an offence.
Unless companies that are found to be hiring undocumented foreigners are severely dealt with, Malaysia will continue to attract more people to come through its porous borders to work here.