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Safety first

Harsher penalties for Malaysia’s negligent bosses?

The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) is urging the government to impose more severe penalties on employers who are neglecting workers’ safety.

Speaking to Bernama, MTUC’s deputy secretary-general, A. Balasubramaniam, said the congress took workplace accidents very seriously and see the need for “severe action”.

“MTUC is of the view that severe action must be taken against errant employers who are responsible for the death of workers and that a maximum penalty should be imposed as provided for by the law,” Balasubramaniam said.

Currently, offending employers are liable to a fine of up to RM50,000 or imprisonment for a maximum of two years, or both.

However, Balasubramaniam said Malaysia could follow Singapore’s lead, where recently, an errant employer was fined SGD150,000 (about RM380,000) for breach of safety rules, resulting in a worker’s death.

Read more: 30 workers have died at Singapore workplaces this year

Workers’ safety in Malaysia was recently brought into the spotlight after three Bangladeshi men were killed at a construction site in Kota Damansara.

Also read: Construction workers to be issued “safety passports”

Image: Shutterstock


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