The Penang division of the Malaysian Trades Union Congress refers to an FMT post yesterday about the “monopolisation and manipulation” of the recruitment of workers from Bangladesh and is shocked at the revelation that Malaysian politicians and officials were allegedly paid bribes in the employment of those workers.
It is also shocking that even human resources managers were bribed in the exercise.
We note FMT’s post, which cites the Daily Star newspaper of Bangladesh as the source of the matter. According to the newspaper’s report, the then Home Affairs Minister, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, placed the monopoly, given to IT company Synerflux, under Malaysia’s Official Secrets Act.
Penang MTUC had registered its objection to such an unjustified abuse of the home minister’s power even then (FMT, 17 March 2016, “Placing workers related contract under OSA a smoke screen”).
In the light of this latest exposure, MTUC Penang Division calls upon the authorities to immediately commence investigations to identify the government officials, human resources managers and anyone else implicated in the matter. Such investigations must include the then Home Minister, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, and even government officials who have left service.
If the Daily Star of Bangladesh’s report is of substance, it would stand as testimony to the fact that workers of that country were subjected to exploitation that can only be best described as bonded labour and, that too, allegedly for the enrichment of politicians and civil servants in Malaysia.
MTUC Penang Division, noting that the Dhaka High Court of Bangladesh has ordered an inter-ministeral committee to be formed to investigate the matter within six months, hopes that the same urgency over the matter can be adopted by our government.
MTUC Penang Division wishes to extend our salutations to the Daily Star newspaper of Bangladesh for its exposure of the said issue.
K Veeriah is secretary of the Malaysian Trades Union Congress, Penang Division.