The Labour Solidarity and Learning Resources Association (LLRC, previously known as the Labour Law Reform Coalition), welcomes the green light given by the Sabah and Sarawak governments on the Sabah Labour Ordinance and the Sarawak Labour Ordinance.
We urge the governments to ensure that the two bills are tabled in Parliament in October 2023. The governments should make sure the updated Sabah Labour Ordinance and Sarawak Labour Ordinance are on par with the federal government’s Employment Act (Amendment) 2012 and the Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities (Amendment) Act 2019.
The trade unions and workers in East Malaysia have been longing for equal labour standards with workers in West Malaysia for decades. We are disappointed the outdated labour ordinances have permitted discrimination and exploitation of workers in East Malaysia.
The awkward situation of ‘one country, three set of labour laws’ must be ended. In future, the amendments to the Employment Act, the Sabah Labour Ordinance and the Sarawak Labour Ordinances should be tabled simultaneously in Parliament without delay.
This press statement was issued after the LLRC Sabah and Sarawak leaders’ joint advocacy planning meeting on 15 September in Kota Kinabalu, attended by 20 union leaders from the bank, hotel, medical services, postal services, timber, plantation, commercial, port, petroleum and drinks sectors. – LLRC