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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Kemasukan Cherie Blair hanya sekelibat masa depan Malaysia

Kemasukan Cherie Blair hanya sekelibat masa depan Malaysia

Sebagai rakyat Malaysia, saya merasa malu dan segan apabila terbaca lapuran akbar yang menyatakan bahawa sebuah syarikat Malaysia, Fawziah Holdings, mahu mengambil seorang peguam daripada England untuk mewakili mereka di Mahkamah Persekutuan dalam kes Metramac, iaitu kes yang telah menimbulkan isu alegasi korupsi terhadap seorang bekas Menteri Kewangan.

Bukankah Malaysia sudah merdeka lebih kurang 48 tahun tetapi mengapakah sifat setengah rakyat dan syarikat Malaysia mengagungkan rakyat negara bekas kolinialis kita masih tidak luput daripada hati dan minda?

Di Semenanjung Malaysia sahaja kini ada tidak kurang daripada 12,000 peguam yang berkelayakkan, di mana antara mereka ada terdapat peguam yang handal belaka bertaraf antarabangsa yang mampu mewakili, menghujah dan berlawan di dalam mana-mana kes di Mahkamah Persekutuan. Malaysia Boleh.

Mengikut lapuran akhbar Star dan Malaysiakini( 30/5/2006), peguam yang bakal dilantik jika Mahkamah kita membenarkan permohonan Fawziah Holdings tersebut bukan lain daripada isteri Perdana Menteri British, iaitu Cherie Blair (atau Cherrie Booth). Pada tahun 70an, peguam di Malaysia tentu telah bangun membantah kemasukkan peguam warga asing tetapi pada hari ini nampaknya barisan kepimpinan peguam Malaysia sudah lemah dan seolah-olah sudah tidak terdaya melawan agenda kerajaan untuk membenarkan peguam asing masuk ke Malaysia.

Pada lebih kurang tahun 1995, Kerajaan Malaysia, kerajaan Barisan Nasional, tanpa merujuk kepada rakyat Malaysia telah pergi dan menyertai Badan Niaga Dunia (World Trade Organisation [WTO]) dan telah kini terikat kepada beberapa perjanjian-perjanjian WTO tersebut.

Malaysia juga telah menandatangani berbagai Free Trade Agreement(FTA) dengan Negara-negara lain, di mana yang bakal ditandatangani tidak lama lagi adalah dengan US.

Akibat daripada tindakan melulu kerajaan Malaysia, tanpa memikirkan kesan jangka panjang kepada rakyat Malaysia, adalah pembukaan pasaran di Malaysia kepada semua orang dan syarikat luar negara. Perkhidmatan guaman juga terjejas, di mana tidak lama lagi peguam warga asing boleh masuk ke Malaysia bertanding dengan peguam warganegara untuk pasaran perkhidmatan guaman dan timbangtara.

Untuk menyediakan diri untuk pertandingan yang bakal mereka perlu hadapi apabila bank-bank asing mula masuk ke alaysia, bank-bank tempatan telah berusaha untuk menjadi lebih berkesan dan mempunyai daya penyaingan yang tinggi, di mana satu daripada langkah yang diambil adalah mengurangkan tenaga kerja. Beberapa tahun yang lepas, beribuan pekerja bahagian IT bank tempatan telah hilang pekerjaan mereka tetap di bank. Kini, kalau dilihat, bank di Malaysia giat ke arah otomasi di mana pekerjaan yang biasa dilakukan oleh manusia kini boleh dibuat oleh mesin. Tidak lama lagi dijangkakan bahawa beribuan rakyat pekerja bank akan kehilangan kerja.

Penswataan perkhidmatan letrik, telefon, pembinaan jalanraya, perkhidmatan kesihatan, pembentungan dan air semuanya adalah berkait rapat dengan tindakan kerajaan Malaysia menandatangani perjanjian WTO dan FTA tersebut, di mana mula-mula apabila penswastaan dimulakan rakyat telah ditipu dengan alas an bahawa ini akan memastikan perkhidmatan lebih efisyen dan murah tetapi kini nyata bahawa tahun demi tahun kadar bayaran semua perkhidmatan yang telah diswastakan naik dan rakyat semakin lama semakin menderita. Kerajaan yang sepatutnya bertanggungjawab untuk menyediakan perkhidmatan-perkhidmatan asas kini telah melepaskan tanggungjawab mereka kepada pihak swata, di mana apa yang harus tidak dilupakan adalah bahawa kepentigan satu syarikat swasta adalah hanya keuntungan dan bukan kebajikan rakyat.

Akhirnya akibat tindakan kerajaan Malaysia yang dibuat tanpa penyelidikan menyeluruh dan tanpa pengetahuan dan persetujuan rakyat akan mengakibatkan satu situasi di mana yang kaya dan yang masih ada kerja dengan gaji lumayan dapat hidup di Malaysia tetapi yang lain akan menderita. Ramai rakyat Malaysia yang dahulu mempunyai kerja tetap dan kekal, yang terpaksa meninggalkan kerja mereka dengan menerima VSS mendapati sukar sekali mencari kerja tetap yang baru, khususnya mereka yang sudah berusia lebih daripada 35 tahun. Ramai yang lain mendapati sukar mendapat kerja tetap. Kini suami isteri terpaksa bekerja untuk menampung kehidupan keluarga mereka. Adakah ini satu cirri Negara membangun?

Tindakan kerajaan menukar daripada system pencen kepada system Kumpulan Wang Simpanan Pekerja juga akan ada padahnya kepada rakyat Malaysia. Kini faedah KWSP pun sangat rendah, dan dengan sistem boleh mengeluarkan sebahagian daripada wang simpanan hari tua, persoalannya adalah sama ada apa yang tinggal dalam akaun ‘wang simpanan hari tua’ itu akan memaadai untuk menampung kehidupan semasa kita tua nanti. Dengan kenaikan kos kehidupan tahun demi tahun, masalah Malaysia pada masa depan adalah masalah warga tua yang tidak akan mempunyai sumber kewangan yang memadai untuk hidup.

Tidak lama lagi, ramai daripada rakyat Malaysia di dalam situasi tidak boleh dapat pekerjaan, akan kemungkinan besar terpaksa menjadi buruh migran untuk menampung kehidupan dan keluarga mereka. Kerajaan Malaysia kini malangnya tidak meletakkan hak pe kerjaan tetap di Malaysia sebagai satu keutamaannya dan nampaknya hanya mementingkan kepentingan syarikat dan orang perseorangan tertentu di Malaysia.

Kedatangan Cherie Blair ke Malaysia adalah bukan satu perkara yang harus kita berasa megah tetapi satu yang kita harus takuti kerana ini hanya sekelibat masa depan Malaysia di mana mereka daripada luar negara akan masuk bertanding dalam ‘pasaran terbuka dan bebas” dengan rakyat Malaysia. Perjanjian-perjanjian yang sudah dimasuki tidak akan membolehkan Malaysia meletakkan apa-apa syarat-syarat atau halangan untuk tujuan menjaga kepentigan rakyat Malaysia.

Adakah kita akan menerima sahaja realiti masa depan ini secara senyap-senyap dengan alasan “apa boleh kita buat sekarang” kerana Malaysia sudah terikat dengan perjanjian. Atau adakah kita akan bangun sekarang dan membantah supaya kerajaan Malaysia dapat memperbetulkan kesilapan yang mereka telah lakukan setakat mana boleh supaya rakyat Malaysia tidak bakal menderita tanpa kerja tanpa sumber kehidupan di Negara kita sendiri.

Ramai yang telah protes pendirian negeri Sabah dan Sarawak yang menghalang rakyat Semenanjung masuk kerja atau berniaga di dalam negeri berkenaan, tetapi mungkin kerajaan negeri tersebut telah bertindak untuk menjaga kepentingan rakyat negeri-negeri tersebut. Kerajaan Malaysia juga seharus bertindak sedemikian untuk menjaga kepentingan rakyat Malaysia tetapi nampaknya kerajaan kini tidak mempunyai matlamat sedemikian. Pada bulan Disember 2005 di dalam mesyuarat WTO di Hong Kong, satu daripada kefahaman yang dicapai adalah bahawa semua negara akan memberhentikan subsidi kepada petani mereka dan akan mengeluarkan apa-apa halangan bahan pertanian daripada negara luar masuk. Adakah gulungan petani di Malaysia dapat hidup tanpa subsidi-subsidi kerajaan? Adakah gulungan tani kita bertanding harga dengan bahan tanian daripada negara jiran kita, Thailand? Kesan jangka panjang apabila perjanjian tersebut adalah gulungan petani kita akan lupus.

Keadaan sudah genting kerana pada masa ini pun jurang pendapatan antara sepuluh peratus terkaya dan sepuluh peratus termiskin di Malaysia adalah yang paling teruk di Asia Tengara. 10 peratus terkaya di Malaysia adalah 22.1 kali lebih kaya daripada 10 peratus termiskin, di mana secara perbandingan jurang pendapatan di Philippines adalah 16.5, Thailand 13.4, Indonesia 7.8 dan Vietnam (8.4). Harus kita juga tidak lupa bahawa Menteri Pendidikan kita telah mendedahkan lewat tahun lepas bahawa daripada 4,036 sekolah kerajaan, 794 tidak mempunyai bekalan letrik dan 1,555 tidak mempunyai tandas.

Keadaan negara kita sudah genting. Rakyat mesti bangun daripada leka mereka dan bertindak untuk menjamin masa depan mereka dan anak-anak mereka di Malaysia.

Charles Hector
31 Mei 2006

Monday, May 29, 2006

SUPRESSION OF PEOPLES’ VOICES & USE OF VIOLENCE UNACCEPTABLE IN A DEMOCRACY


SUPRESSION OF PEOPLES’ VOICES & USE OF VIOLENCE UNACCEPTABLE IN A DEMOCRACY

A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government - Edward Abbey

There are some Malaysian patriots that are willing to speak out fearlessly about the failings of this Barisan Nasional government under the leadership of premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, but unfortunately the government and its police force are too just too immature (or just too intolerant) to allow freedom of expression, freedom of opinion, the right to dissent and the right to peaceful assembly in Malaysia.

It was yet another depressing day, when the Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, through the police, used water cannons and unreasonable force to curtail freedoms and rights of about 500 Malaysians who gathered in front of Kuala Lumpur Twin Towers to protest the almost 20% fuel hike and the 12% increase in electricity tariffs that is affecting the majority of Malaysians. 20 persons were arrested and 3 of them suffered serious head injuries.

A picture in the Malaysiakini (28/5/2006) report entitled “Brutal end to anti-fuel hike demo” showed a policeman using the butt of his tear-gas canister launcher to hit the head of a protester is shocking, and the Independent Police Complaint and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) must and should have investigated this incident of unreasonable and brutal conduct of this police officer – but alas we still do not have the IPCMC which our premier promised us.

Maybe SUHAKAM could look into this – but then to date none of SUHAKAM’s reports and recommendation have been debated and considered by Parliament. So, who will investigate this matter – and history has shown us that it is of no use to get the police to investigate the misconduct of their own officers. To date almost no police officer has been charged in court for torture, assault, battery, abuse of power or for killing for the numerous incidences of torture, deaths in custody and the shoot to kill incidents.

The Malaysian Barisan Nasional government under the leadership of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi must listen to the people, and not forget that we are a democracy – not a dictatorship.

Listening to the people means the giving persons the freedom of expression and opinion, and this must also include the right for these expressions and opinions to reach the Malaysian people who can consider differing opinions on matters of concern. It is thus sad when we see that there has apparently been a “black-out” in the local mainstream media of Sunday’s KLCC event.

It is wrong, no a sin, for the Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to suppress peoples’ voices of dissent and just use the mainstream media to propagate his and his own government’s position and viewpoints. For, many Malaysians, who only get information via the mainstream media only, are being misled into believing that our new Prime Minister is a loving, caring and humane individual but incidents like what happened on Sunday at KLCC shows his true colours.

We must not forget that one of the limited means of expressions remaining in Malaysia is the right to peaceful assemblies and demonstrations.

Mainstream media are controlled by government and many of them are just too fearful to even publish comments and opinions critical of the present government.

Barisan Members of Parliament are gagged as they cannot function as peoples’ representatives and express the opinions of their electorate when it goes against a government decision, position, policy and stance – and if it was first raised by an Opposition, they cannot even say that their constituents share similar sentiments. With regard the about 15 Opposition members in Parliament, the limitations in the current Parliamentary procedures and system makes it near impossible for them to raise anything – and even if they do, the BN Members of Parliament will be required to oppose it blindly as this is what is expected by them according to our Prime Minister.

One wonders why persons resort to terror tactics – and many believe that this comes about when peaceful means of expression are just lacking or is suppressed by the state. We do not want persons to resort to terror tactics in Malaysia, and as such fundamental rights of peaceful assemblies, protest and opinion, and press freedom must be recognized and respected at all times.

Many Malaysians are against the fuel hikes, the increase in electricity tariffs and the ever increasing toll rates. Many Malaysians are disturbed about the way the government wastes the peoples’ money to bail out certain companies and utilize it for unnecessary matters.

Barisan Nasional’s handling of the countries development is also most disappointing when Malaysia is now embarrassingly one of the countries with the highest income disparity between the rich and the poor in Asia. The richest 10 percent in Malaysia controls 38.4 percent of the country’s economic income as compared to the poorest 10 percent controlling 1.7 percent.

Malaysia, which has the largest gap between rich and the poor in Southeast Asia, where the top 10 percent is 22.1 times richer than the poorest 10 percent. Malaysia’s income gap is higher than Philippines (16.5), Thailand (13.4), Indonesia (7.8) and Vietnam (8.4). We also recall in late 2005 when The Education Minister revealed that out of 4,036 national schools, 794 were without electricity, and 1,555 without toilet facilities. There can be no other government save the Barisan Nasional government who have been in power all this while.

Repent Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, and remember that you and the Barisan Nasional government is there to serve the people of Malaysia, not merely yourselves, some selected companies and personalities. What is important is the welfare of the individual Malaysian not just the “national economy”. Almost 48 years have lapsed since our independence, but the government has miserably failed in ensuring prosperity, freedom and rights for the ordinary Malaysian.

Charles Hector
Petaling Jaya
29TH May 2006

ANOTHER VIOLATION OF THE FREEDOM OF PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY & EXPRESSION

Brutal end to anti-fuel hike demo
May 28, 06 2:09pm (Malaysiakini Report)


It was supposed to be the climax of a series of anti-fuel hike demonstrations, yet it ended on a tragic note when police today forcefully broke up the protest with at least two seriously injured.

At 10.30am, the 500-strong crowd gathered near the Jalan Ampang entrance of the iconic Kuala Lumpur City Centre and began their peaceful protest with noisy chants and fiery speeches.

One of the protest banners said: "Cronies get rich while workers are oppressed".

The protestors also slammed a government's decision last week to raise electricity tariffs by 12 percent - the first hike in nearly a decade.

Some 100 riot police wielding batons and rifles stood guard in front of KLCC Twin Towers, alongside several water cannon trucks, as helicopters flew overhead.

"Everybody is suffering from the fuel hike. Now electricity prices are also up. These two hikes will hit us hard, whether our pay is large or small," chief protest organiser Dr Hatta Ramli told the crowd.

Things took a turn for the worse when the third speaker at the demonstration, DAP representative Ronnie Liu, expressed his gratitude for the support given by voters to the opposition at the recent Sarawak state elections.

Immediately, the police through loudhailers issued an order for the crowd to disperse. The crowd ignored the warning, and five minutes later, water cannons were fired.

Despite being drenched profusely, most of the crowd defiantly held their ground, prompting plainclothes police officers to move in and make random arrests.

Those arrested include Liu, PAS Kubang Kerian member of parliament Salahuddin Ayub and Parti Keadilan Rakyat deputy information chief Badrul Hisham.

As the crowd moved out of the water cannons' range, the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) charged at them sending many protestors, including women and children, running for cover as shocked Sunday shoppers looked on.

Excessive violence

Eyewitness reports tell of excessive violence being used by the FRU on several protestors, including PKR deputy secretary-general Zahir Hassan (left and below), who was kicked a number of times while sprawled on the road.

Zahir was walking away from the protest venue with his two daughters when he was repeatedly shoved from behind by a FRU officer using his shield.

The FRU officer then turned to Zahir’s two daughters, both in their 20s, pushing one of them. Enraged, Zahir attempted to protect his daughters from the police officer.

Instead, Zahir was assaulted by several FRU personnel. He was thrown to the floor, endured several blows of police baton and at least three kicks - two on the back and one on the abdomen - prompting his daughters to scream hysterically.

All this while, Zahir was clutching onto the anti-fuel hike booklet that was distributed at the protest. According to PKR information chief Tian Chua, Zahir - who was arrested by the police - had been sent to the hospital for medical attention.

An X-ray was taken before Zahir was sent to the Pudu police station where other detainees were held.

In another altercation, one protestor was subdued by at least 10 FRU personnel.

The protester held on to a police officer in a bid to shield himself from the blows, which included one from the butt end of a gas canister launcher (second photo from top).

Traces of blood stains were also found at the entrance of KLCC, where a scuffle between FRU personnel and an unidentified protestor had allegedly taken place. The protestor was believed to have been hospitalised for lacerations to the head.

Cops act in self-defence

Dang Wangi OCPD ACP Kamal Pasha (right) told reporters after the police wrapped up their operations at about 11.30am, that 18 individuals were arrested, including two women.

Asked by malaysiakini if the use of force, especially the repeated kicking by his men, were justifiable, Kamal told reporters that his men had acted in self-defence.

"They (the protestors) resisted arrest. They started kicking first. (Retaliation) for us is self-defence. Minimum force was used," insisted Kamal.

After the FRU and the bulk of the police had left the scene, some remaining 300 protestors regroup for a short address by PAS central committee member and chief protest organiser Hatta.

He told the crowd that past protests had been peaceful and this protest was to be the last before they begin a new phase of their anti-fuel hike campaign.

When he asked the crowd if they should continue street protests in reaction to today's violent response from the police, he was met with boisterous shouts of agreement.

A crowd later gathered outside the Pudu police station where the detained protestors were held. At about 4pm, all 18 were freed on police bail.

The protestors said that they might go the Human Rights Commission, or Suhakam, tomorrow to lodge a complaint against the police.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

MALAYSIA : WORST INCOME DISPARITY IN SOUTHEAST ASIA


10 percent in Malaysia earn 22 times more than the poorest 10 percent

Richest 10 percent in Malaysia controls 38.4 percent of the country’s economic income as compared to the poorest 10 percent controlling 1.7 percent.

"Over the past 30 years, Malaysia has made great strides in slashing absolute poverty, from 58.6 percent of families in rural areas and 24.6 percent in urban areas in 1970 to 11.4 percent for rural areas and 2 percent for urban areas in 2002. Nevertheless, the figure has been criticised as the poverty line is fixed at RM529 in Peninsular Malaysia, RM600 in Sarawak and RM690 in Sabah, for each family - an amount which is far too low, especially for those who are living in urban areas." ** Note last year (2205) this Gross Poverty Line Income(PLI) was revised at last overall poverty ranged today from RM634 (Johor) to RM888 (Sabah), and from RM367 (Perlis) to RM503 (Sabah) for the hardcore poverty category.



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M’sia has worst income disparity in SEA, gov’t flayed

Feb 2, 05 5:42pm


Malaysia has the distinction of being the country with the worst income disparity in Southeast Asia, according to a United Nations report.

The latest United Nations Human Development Report 2004 shows the richest 10 percent in Malaysia earn 22 times more than the poorest 10 percent, resulting in the country having one of the worst income disparity in Asia.

According to the report, the richest 10 percent in Malaysia controls 38.4 percent of the country’s economic income as compared to the poorest 10 percent controlling 1.7 percent.

Economic income is generally defined as the income derived by an individual or family, and it includes gross wages as well as any appreciation or depreciation of one’s net assets.

Malaysia’s top 10 percent of the population is 22.1 times richer than the poorest 10 percent. The country’s income gap is higher than Singapore (17.7 times), the Philippines (16.5), Thailand (13.4), Vietnam (8.4) and Indonesia (7.8).



Helping the rich

DAP leader Lim Guan Eng, who is an accountant by training, has a ready explanation for this sad state of economic affairs.

“Such unequal and unfair distribution of wealth is caused by (ruling coalition) BN’s (Barisan Nasional) pro-rich economic focus of producing more bumiputera millionaires instead of creating wealth that can be enjoyed by all Malaysians,” he said.

Lim gave the example of Malacca Chief Minister Mohd Ali Rustam (left), who boasted in the state assembly last October that he had created 10 bumiputera millionaires since 1999.

“When DAP Melaka opposition leader Betty Chew asked whether it is better to have 1,000 Malaysians with RM10,000 instead of only 10 persons sharing RM 10 million, the chief minister preferred the 10 millionaires to the 10,000 ordinary Malaysians,” he lamented.

Lim, who is DAP secretary-general, argued that “economic wealth should be distributed to all deserving Malaysians and not to produce the few millionaires, whether bumi or non-bumis, who are beneficiaries of crony capitalism”.

Enriching crony companies

The opposition leader pointed out how government policies help enriched certain well-connected companies at the expense of Malaysian taxpayers.

This include the generous terms given to the North-South Expressways (Plus), allowing the company to increase the highway toll rates by 10 percent every three years.

“Plus made RM760 million in 2004 before the toll increase and will add an extra RM154 million from the 10 percent toll hike to record a RM937 million profit in 2005.

“Despite such huge profits not one cent goes to Malaysian taxpayers as Plus is exempted from the 28 percent corporate income tax. Additionally, interest payments is waived for Plus RM1.65 billion loan from the Malaysian government.”

Over the past 30 years, Malaysia has made great strides in slashing absolute poverty, from 58.6 percent of families in rural areas and 24.6 percent in urban areas in 1970 to 11.4 percent for rural areas and 2 percent for urban areas in 2002.

Nevertheless, the figure has been criticised as the poverty line is fixed at RM529 in Peninsular Malaysia, RM600 in Sarawak and RM690 in Sabah, for each family - an amount which is far too low, especially for those who are living in urban areas.

But while Malaysia has done well in reducing absolute poverty, relative poverty has since ballooned.

“Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should prove his commitment towards economic justice by creating and distributing wealth for all,” said Lim.

BETTER DEAL FOR MIGRANT DOMESTIC WORKERS?

New deal for maids
27 May 2006 (New Straits Times)
Annie Freeda Cruez

The employment of foreign maids will come under an 'open market' system soon. Wages will be negotiable among the employer, maid and employment agency.

Employers will have to negotiate monthly wages with maids soon under an "open market" system that will do away with minimum wages.

There will be no ceiling either on wages for maids from countries like Indonesia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka, which top the list of nations supplying maids to Malaysia.

The current trend of some Indonesian maids asking for between RM400 and RM500 indicates that the RM350-RM400 wage bracket in force for several years may no longer be applicable.

Malaysians may also have to look to employment agencies for an indication of how much they will have to pay in due course.

They will also have to dig deeper into their pockets for the services of maids with the introduction of mandatory insurance coverage costing RM72 per month.

These are among benefits accruing to maids under a memorandum of understanding for maids between the Home Affairs and Human Resources Ministries signed two weeks ago.

The MoU, inked after talks with Indonesia, which dropped its earlier call for a minimum wage, includes new requirements for employers, maids and employment agencies.

• Employers: They will have to open a bank account under the maid’s name and deposit her salary in it every month. They will also have to sign a legal contract with maids on terms and conditions of employment.

• Maids: They can take grievances against employers to the Labour Court and, if necessary, to the Sessions Court.

• Employment agencies: They will no longer be able to deduct maid’s salaries.

There is some good news for employers: The MoU does not mention leave or overtime for maids.

The Home Affairs Ministry will announce the date of implementation soon.

Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Dr Fong Chan Onn told the New Straits Times that the MoU came in the wake of misgivings among some of the manner in which maids in Malaysia were being treated.

He said the agreement had addressed some of the issues raised, including non-payment of wages and unduly harsh working conditions.

The Indonesian Government had highlighted these issues after several cases of ill-treatment of maids were taken to court.

Fong said the British Broadcasting Corporation had also highlighted negative aspects of the working environment of maids in Malaysia.

He said the MoU was aimed at indicating the sincerity of the Malaysian Government in addressing the "many perceived negative perceptions".

Asked about recourse to the Labour court by maids with grievances, he said they could raise issues like non-payment of wages and breach of contract. On the negotiable wage, he said an "open market" system would operate, irrespective of the country the maids came from.

Fong said employers who faced difficulty depositing money in their maid’s accounts could seek exemption from the Director-General of Labour.

Regarding employment agencies and individuals bringing maids directly into the country, he said they had to register with the ministry.

There are 1,200 registered maid agencies in the country, of which only 240 are authorised to bring in foreign maids.

The agencies and individuals must also submit details of maids to the ministry.

The maid’s salary and the name of the bank where the money will be deposited every month should also be disclosed.

On the insurance policy, Fong said it would come under the Foreign Workers’ Compensation Scheme which was under the Workmen’s Compensation Act.

Employers can buy policies for their maids from any of the 24 companies approved by the ministry.

There are 350,000 foreign maids in Malaysia of whom 90 per cent are Indonesians. The others are Filipinos, Sri Lankans and Myanmar nationals.

Friday, May 26, 2006

EVERYONE HAS THE RIGHT AND DUTY TO EXPOSE A WRONG


Anyone who sees a wrong has the right and duty to highlight the wrong

"Justice Paul said that although Justice Sri Ram was correct in saying that the Federal Court had made the wrong decision in Lam Kong Co Ltd v Thong Guan Co Pte Ltd and Capital Insurance Bhd v Aishah Manap & Anor, he was not the right authority permitted by law to express such an opinion." This was what was in the Star(26/5/2006) report entitled "Court of Appeal judge Justice Gopal Sri Ram criticised".

What is he talking about - for surely not just a Judge in a lower court but any person have the full right to voice and opinion that a decision of the Federal Court or an any court is wrong.

First we had our PM coming out and saying that BN MPs cannot support motions of the Opposition, even if the said MP feels what is stated by an Opposition member is right and good for the people. Of course BN MPs are also not allowed to criticize motions of the BN government (the executive) and this means that an MP has no real role as a peoples' representative and Malaysians must consider not voting in any BN MP if this position of the BN is not changed. We want peoples' representatives not party representatives.

Now we have a Federal Court Judge making similar comments saying that a lower court judge cannot "comment" on a judgment that he believes and/or considers wrong. What a load of crap. If someone comes across some judgment and/or law that is wrong, unjust and/or bad he is duty bound in law and in conscience to make his comments and highlight the wrong - for if not his arguments/reasons for the belief that there is a bad law and/or judgment may be lost forever (having no other effective forum for ventilation) and no one will be aware of this wrong.

Something is wrong in the Palace of Justice - and with our judiciary if we get this kind of comments from Federal Court judges. Judges, most of all, must be very open and welcoming to criticisms about their judgments (and/or any Judgments of the higher courts) - for they are not the government of the day who have this great concern of being shown to be wrong by the opposition and/or some other party.

This should never never be the attitude of judges - and in this case from the report it seems that this Federal Court judge has also gotten personal when he is reported as saying "Justice Paul said Justice Sri Ram had himself recognised the importance of conforming with the doctrine of stare decisis in Periasamy s/o Sinnappen v PP when he ruled that High Court judges were bound by all decisions of the Court of Appeal and Federal Court despite having any misgivings as to the correctness of a particular judgment of either court. “We can only add that the castigation of a judge of the High Court for not respecting the doctrine of stare decisis must apply with greater force to a judge of the Court of Appeal,” said Justice Paul. "

You never get personal ....at least not at the Federal Court level.

Remember all ye judges that you must and should be concerned with the upholding of the cause of justice without fear or favour - and I stress it is not upholding the legislated law of the day - but the cause of JUSTICE.

Charles Hector


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Court of Appeal judge Justice Gopal Sri Ram criticised


Friday, 26 May 2006, 08:23
©The Star (Used by permission)By Raphael Wong

PUTRAJAYA: Court of Appeal judge Justice Gopal Sri Ram has been criticised for saying that two Federal Court judgments were wrongly decided.

Federal Court judge Justice S. Augustine Paul said yesterday that lower courts must abide by the judgments of the Federal Court, even if they had been decided wrongly.

He said this in a written judgment allowing the application by toll concessionaire Metramac Corporation Sdn Bhd for leave to appeal to the Federal Court against an injunction order granted to Fawziah Holdings Sdn Bhd by the Court of Appeal on Oct 25 last year.

Justice Paul said that although Justice Sri Ram was correct in saying that the Federal Court had made the wrong decision in Lam Kong Co Ltd v Thong Guan Co Pte Ltd and Capital Insurance Bhd v Aishah Manap & Anor, he was not the right authority permitted by law to express such an opinion.

“As both cases are judgments of the Federal Court he (Justice Sri Ram) is bound to follow them whether he agrees with them or not.

“The stand taken by him is in blatant disregard of the doctrine of stare decisis, particularly the need to comply with this fundamental rule of the common law,” he said.

Under the doctrine of stare decisis, the judgment or decision of a more-superior court has a binding effect on all subordinate courts.

Justice Paul said Justice Sri Ram had himself recognised the importance of conforming with the doctrine of stare decisis in Periasamy s/o Sinnappen v PP when he ruled that High Court judges were bound by all decisions of the Court of Appeal and Federal Court despite having any misgivings as to the correctness of a particular judgment of either court.

“We can only add that the castigation of a judge of the High Court for not respecting the doctrine of stare decisis must apply with greater force to a judge of the Court of Appeal,” said Justice Paul.

However, in the written judgment, Justice Paul agreed that both the cases of Lam Kong Co Ltd and Capital Insurance had been wrongly decided.

In the two cases, the Federal Court had ruled that any interim decision or ruling by the Court of Appeal made pending or before the end of proceedings cannot be appealed to the Federal Court.
Justice Paul said the Federal Court now did not agree with the ruling of former Chief Justice Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah in the Lam Kong case that this was done to “filter against unnecessary appeals.”

The written decision yesterday was following the oral judgment granted by the Federal Court on March 27 this year to Metramac against an injunction order favouring construction company Fawziah Holdings to prevent Metramac from disposing of funds exceeding RM100mil.

THE RIGHT AND DUTY TO HIGHLIGHT WRONGS


Anyone who sees a wrong has the right and duty to highlight the wrong

"Justice Paul said that although Justice Sri Ram was correct in saying that the Federal Court had made the wrong decision in Lam Kong Co Ltd v Thong Guan Co Pte Ltd and Capital Insurance Bhd v Aishah Manap & Anor, he was not the right authority permitted by law to express such an opinion." This was what was in the Star(26/5/2006) report entitled "Court of Appeal judge Justice Gopal Sri Ram criticised".

What is he talking about - for surely not just a Judge in a lower court but any person have the full right to voice and opinion that a decision of the Federal Court or an any court is wrong.

First we had our PM coming out and saying that BN MPs cannot support motions of the Opposition, even if the said MP feels what is stated by an Opposition member is right and good for the people. Of course BN MPs are also not allowed to criticize motions of the BN government (the executive) and this means that an MP has no real role as a peoples' representative and Malaysians must consider not voting in any BN MP if this position of the BN is not changed. We want peoples' representatives not party representatives.

Now we have a Federal Court Judge making similar comments saying that a lower court judge cannot "comment" on a judgment that he believes and/or considers wrong. What a load of crap. If someone comes across some judgment and/or law that is wrong, unjust and/or bad he is duty bound in law and in conscience to make his comments and highlight the wrong - for if not his arguments/reasons for the belief that there is a bad law and/or judgment may be lost forever (having no other effective forum for ventilation) and no one will be aware of this wrong.

Something is wrong in the Palace of Justice - and with our judiciary if we get this kind of comments from Federal Court judges.

Judges, most of all, must be very open and welcoming to criticisms about their judgments (and/or any Judgments of the higher courts) - for they are not the government of the day who have this great concern of being shown to be wrong by the opposition and/or some other party.

This should never never be the attitude of judges - and in this case from the report it seems that this Federal Court judge has also gotten personal when he is reported as saying "Justice Paul said Justice Sri Ram had himself recognised the importance of conforming with the doctrine of stare decisis in Periasamy s/o Sinnappen v PP when he ruled that High Court judges were bound by all decisions of the Court of Appeal and Federal Court despite having any misgivings as to the correctness of a particular judgment of either court.

“We can only add that the castigation of a judge of the High Court for not respecting the doctrine of stare decisis must apply with greater force to a judge of the Court of Appeal,” said Justice Paul. "

You never get personal ....at least not at the Federal Court level.

Remember all ye judges that you must and should be concerned with the upholding of the cause of justice without fear or favour - and I stress it is not upholding the legislated law of the day - but the cause of JUSTICE.


Charles Hector

---The Star Report

Court of Appeal judge Justice Gopal Sri Ram criticised
Friday, 26 May 2006, 08:23
©The Star (Used by permission)
By Raphael Wong

PUTRAJAYA: Court of Appeal judge Justice Gopal Sri Ram has been criticised for saying that two Federal Court judgments were wrongly decided.

Federal Court judge Justice S. Augustine Paul said yesterday that lower courts must abide by the judgments of the Federal Court, even if they had been decided wrongly.

He said this in a written judgment allowing the application by toll concessionaire Metramac Corporation Sdn Bhd for leave to appeal to the Federal Court against an injunction order granted to Fawziah Holdings Sdn Bhd by the Court of Appeal on Oct 25 last year.

Justice Paul said that although Justice Sri Ram was correct in saying that the Federal Court had made the wrong decision in Lam Kong Co Ltd v Thong Guan Co Pte Ltd and Capital Insurance Bhd v Aishah Manap & Anor, he was not the right authority permitted by law to express such an opinion.

“As both cases are judgments of the Federal Court he (Justice Sri Ram) is bound to follow them whether he agrees with them or not.

“The stand taken by him is in blatant disregard of the doctrine of stare decisis, particularly the need to comply with this fundamental rule of the common law,” he said.

Under the doctrine of stare decisis, the judgment or decision of a more-superior court has a binding effect on all subordinate courts.

Justice Paul said Justice Sri Ram had himself recognised the importance of conforming with the doctrine of stare decisis in Periasamy s/o Sinnappen v PP when he ruled that High Court judges were bound by all decisions of the Court of Appeal and Federal Court despite having any misgivings as to the correctness of a particular judgment of either court.

“We can only add that the castigation of a judge of the High Court for not respecting the doctrine of stare decisis must apply with greater force to a judge of the Court of Appeal,” said Justice Paul.

However, in the written judgment, Justice Paul agreed that both the cases of Lam Kong Co Ltd and Capital Insurance had been wrongly decided.

In the two cases, the Federal Court had ruled that any interim decision or ruling by the Court of Appeal made pending or before the end of proceedings cannot be appealed to the Federal Court.

Justice Paul said the Federal Court now did not agree with the ruling of former Chief Justice Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah in the Lam Kong case that this was done to “filter against unnecessary appeals.”

The written decision yesterday was following the oral judgment granted by the Federal Court on March 27 this year to Metramac against an injunction order favouring construction company Fawziah Holdings to prevent Metramac from disposing of funds exceeding RM100mil.

Extremism isn't Islamic Law

Extremism Isn't Islamic Law
By Kyai Haji Abdurrahman WahidTuesday, May 23, 2006; A17


For a few days this year the world's media focused an intense spotlight on the drama of a modern-day inquisition. Abdul Rahman, a Muslim convert to Christianity, narrowly escaped the death penalty for apostasy when the Afghan government -- acting under enormous international pressure -- sidestepped the issue by ruling that he was insane and unfit to stand trial. This unsatisfactory ruling left unanswered a question of enormous significance: Does Islam truly require the death penalty for apostasy, and, if not, why is there so little freedom of religion in the so-called Muslim world?


The Koran and the sayings of the prophet Muhammad do not definitively address this issue. In fact, during the early history of Islam, the Agreement of Hudaibiyah between Muhammad and his rivals stipulated that any Muslim who converted out of Islam would be allowed to depart freely to join the non-Muslim community. Nevertheless, throughout much of Islamic history, Muslim governments have embraced an interpretation of Islamic law that imposes the death penalty for apostasy.


It is vital that we differentiate between the Koran, from which much of the raw material for producing Islamic law is derived, and the law itself. While its revelatory inspiration is divine, Islamic law is man-made and thus subject to human interpretation and revision. For example, in the course of Islamic history, non-Muslims have been allowed to enter Mecca and Medina. Since the time of the caliphs, however, Islamic law has been interpreted to forbid non-Muslims from entering these holy cities. The prohibition against non-Muslims entering Mecca and Medina is thus politically motivated and has no basis in the Koran or Islamic law.


In the case of Rahman, two key principles of Islamic jurisprudence come into play. First, al-umuru bi maqashidiha ("Every problem [should be addressed] in accordance with its purpose"). If a legal ordinance truly protects citizens, then it is valid and may become law. From this perspective, Rahman did not violate any law, Islamic or otherwise. Indeed, he should be protected under Islamic law, rather than threatened with death or imprisonment. The second key principle is al-hukm-u yadullu ma'a illatihi wujudan wa adaman ("The law is formulated in accordance with circumstances"). Not only can Islamic law be changed -- it must be changed due to the ever-shifting circumstances of human life. Rather than take at face value assertions by extremists that their interpretation of Islamic law is eternal and unchanging, Muslims and Westerners must reject these false claims and join in the struggle to support a pluralistic and tolerant understanding of Islam.


All of humanity, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, is threatened by the forces of Islamist extremism. It is these extremists, masquerading as traditional Muslims, who angrily call for the death of Abdul Rahman or the beheading of Danish cartoonists. Their objective is raw political power and the eventual radicalization of all 1.3 billion Muslims worldwide. Western involvement in this "struggle for the soul of Islam" is a matter of self-preservation for the West and is critical given the violent tactics and strength of radical elements in Muslim societies worldwide.
Muslim theologians must revise their understanding of Islamic law, and recognize that punishment for apostasy is merely the legacy of historical circumstances and political calculations stretching back to the early days of Islam. Such punishments run counter to the clear Koranic injunction "Let there be no compulsion in religion" (2:256).


People of goodwill of every faith and nation must unite to ensure the triumph of religious freedom and of the "right" understanding of Islam, to avert global catastrophe and spare millions of others the fate of Sudan's great religious and political leader, Mahmoud Muhammad Taha, who was executed on a false charge of apostasy. The millions of victims of "jihadist" violence in Sudan -- whose numbers continue to rise every day -- would have been spared if Taha's vision of Islam had triumphed instead of that of the extremists.


The greatest challenge facing the contemporary Muslim world is to bring our limited, human understanding of Islamic law into harmony with its divine spirit -- in order to reflect God's mercy and compassion, and to bring the blessings of peace, justice and tolerance to a suffering world.


The writer is a former president of Indonesia. From 1984 to 1999 he directed the Nadhlatul Ulama, the world's largest Muslim organization. He serves as senior adviser and board member to LibForAll Foundation, an Indonesian- and U.S.-based nonprofit that works to reduce religious extremism and terrorism.


© 2006 The Washington Post Company

MALAYSIA'S 40 RICHEST PERSONS - IS THIS CORRECT?

Malaysia's 40 richest
26 May 2006 (New Straits Times)



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Here are some mind-boggling facts - Malaysia's 40 richest businessmen are worth a collective US$26 billion (RM95.4 billion). Also, the country's nine billionaires account for a whopping 82 per cent of that sum.

The man at the top, Robert Kuok, has been Southeast Asia's richest man for years. In contrast, there are 12 people worth less than US$100 million.

Forbes Asia, which compiled the list, estimated that most of the 40 richest are entirely or mostly self-made, having built fortunes in diverse sectors such as ceramic tiles, airlines and banks.

Commodities such as rubber, timber and palm oil are the biggest source of fortunes.

To compile this list, the magazine looked at shareholdings in publicly-listed companies as well as in private company filings. For people with publicly-traded fortunes, net worths were calculated using current share prices and exchange rates. For privately held fortunes, it estimated what companies and assets would be worth if they are public-listed.

1. Tan Sri Robert Kuok US$5.6b (RM20.55b) - 83

Got started in 1949 trading rice, sugar and wheat flour. Today heads multinational Kuok Group and owns Pacific Carriers Ltd, a leading dry-bulk shipper in the pacific basin; air cargo company Transmile Group and 10 Coca-Cola bottling plants in China.

2. Tan Sri Ananda Krishnan US$4.6b (RM16.88b) - 68

Former oil trader's holdings include Maxis Communications, Tanjong Plc and racetrack betting and lottery systems.

3. Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow US$2.1b (RM7.71b) - 76

Former bank clerk used profits from real estate deals to open small bank in 1966. Today Public Bank is the second-largest lender in Malaysia.

4. Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng US$2.05b (RM7.52b) - 67

Started out as field supervisor in plantation industry. Now heads IOI, with interests in palm oil, property development and hotels.

5. Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan US$2b (RM7.34b) - 65

Heads Hong Leong Group Malaysia and Asian financial services giant Guoco Group.

6. Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong US$1.5b (RM5.51b) - 88

Former public works contractor turned his idea for hilltop resort on outskirts of Kuala Lumpur into one of the world's most successful casino resorts.

7. Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay US$1.1b (RM4.01b) - 76

Patriarch of Yeoh family heads YTL Corp, with interests in construction, utilities, hotels, property development and technology.

8. Tan Sri Tiong Hiew King US$1.05b (RM3.85b) - 70

His Rimbunan Hijau Group has operations in Malaysia, New Zealand and Africa. His publishing house, Ming Pao Enterprises, has introduced local editions of Chinese-language daily Ming Pao in cities like San Francisco, New York, Vancouver and Toronto.

9. Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar AlBukhary US$1b (RM3.67b) - 54

Started out as rice trader. Today controls Malaysia Mining Corporation (MMC), container port Tanjung Pelepas and nearby Senai Airport and has stakes in an automaker and book retailer.

10. Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay US$440m (RM1.61b) - 54

Became chairman of Genting Group when his father, Lim Goh Tong (number 6), retired in late 2003. Has been key driver of its Star Cruises, world's third-largest cruise line.

11. Tan Sri Azman Hashim US$405m (RM1.49b) - 66

Forty-six-year veteran of banking industry. Bought own bank in 1982 and eventually built it into diversified AM Group.

12. Tan Sri Vincent Tan US$355m (RM1.30b) - 54

Acquired Berjaya in 1984, built in into conglomerate with interests in financial services, hotels, theme parks, lotteries, education, real estate and manufacturing.

13. Tan Sri Kua Sian Kooi US$285m (RM1.05b) - 54

14. Datuk Lim Wee Chai US$210m (RM770m) - 48

Son of rubber plantation owners and traders, he and wife started trading latex gloves in 1991 and opened first factory the next year. Today his Top Glove is one of the world's largest producers of rubber gloves.

15. Datuk Anthony Fernandes US$205m (RM752m) - 42

Spent 14 years as music industry executive, lastly running all of Warner Music's operations in Southeast Asia before quitting to launch what is now Asia's biggest discount airline, AirAsia.

16. Datuk Vinod Sekhar US$200m (RM734m) - 37

Founder and majority owner of privately held Petra Group. Among its many technologies, one of the most promising is involved in "green rubber", a revolutionary process to cheaply and efficiently recycle used rubber.

17. Tan Sri G. Gnanalingam US$170m (RM623.9m) - 62

Chairs Westport, the largest privately owned port in Malaysia, which he started in 1994.

18. Kamarudin Meranun US$165m (RM605.6m) - 45

Quiet bean counter helps more public partner Fernandes (number 15) run AirAsia. Kamarudin is the airline's executive director, looking after corporate finance.

19. Puan Sri Chong Chook Yew US$145m (RM532.2m) - 84

List's only female chairs Selangor Properties. Became chairperson after the death of her husband and Selangor founder, Wen Tien Kuang.

20. Tan Sri Hamdan Mohamad US$140m (RM513.9m) - 50

Runs Ranhill Group of companies, which includes power and utilities firms.

21. Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah US$125m (RM458.8m)

Started with a tin mining company in 1974. Has built the Sunway Group of companies, which develop properties, run tolls and many quarries.

22. Tan Sri Mustapha Kamal Abu Bakar US$120m (RM440.4m) - 57

He and partner K.L. Palaniappan (number 40) built up MK Land, now one of the country's largest property development firms.

23. Datuk Abdul Hameed Sepawi US$120m (RM440.4m) - 55

Heads timber outfit Ta Ann.

24. Ahmayuddin Ahmad US$115m (RM422.1m) - 50

Board member, along with G. Gnanalingam (number 17) of Westport.

25. Datuk Syed Mohd Yusof Syed Nasir US$110m (RM403.7m) - 59

Former chairman of Southern Bank Berhad. He remains chairman of Killinghall, one of Southern Bank's largest shareholders.

26. Datuk Lee Hau Hian US$100m (RM367m) - 53
Datuk Lee Oi Hian US$100m (RM367m) - 55
Datuk Lee Soon Hian US$100m (RM367m) - 49

Sons of late rubber baron Lee Loy Seng have equal holdings in two listed companies: Chemicals company Batu Kawan and Kuala Lumpur Kepong, former rubber company that expanded into other commodities like palm oil and also owns retailer Crabtree & Evelyn.

29. Datuk Tiah Thee Kian US$95m (RM348.7m) - 58

Runs TA Enterprise. Aside from sprawling interests in financial services, which include stockbroking, asset management and derivatives, also has property arm that operates in Malaysia, Australia, Canada and South Africa. Tiah's wife, who has a degree in economics, is the company's chairman.

29. Tan Sri Tan Teong Hean US$95m (RM348.7) - 63

Chief executive director of Southern Bank Berhad for 23 years until bank was bought out in May. Remains chairman of MasterCard International's Asia Pacific board and a member of MasterCard International's global board.

29. Datuk Lim Thian Kiat US$95m (RM348.7) - 57

Former head of Multi-Purpose Holdings, one of Malaysia's biggest conglomerates. Resigned in 1999 after big losses at the group. Still retains stakes in some of its public entities.

32. Datuk Yaw Teck Seng US$90m (RM330.3m) - 68

Head and founder of the Samling group, considered second-largest timber group in Sarawak, after billionaire Tiong Hiew King's (number 8). Has two listed companies, Lingui Developments and Glenealy Plantations.

33. Datuk Lim Tong Yong US$85m (RM311.9m) - 56

Chief executive of the Pantai Group, the largest chain of private hospitals in Malaysia. Was bought out of group in September last year by Parkway, Singapore's leading hospital chain. Still retains small stake in Pantai; has shares in listed soapmaker Paos.

34. John Chia US$80m (RM293.6m) - 54

Only high-tech tycoon to make the cut, Chia is the chairman of Unisem, a semiconductor testing and packaging firm.

34. Tan Sri Rozali Ismail US$80m (RM293.6m) - 50

Executive chairman of Puncak Niaga, a water-treatment firm that treats the water of Kuala Lumpur, among other places.

36. Ong Leong Huat US$75m (RM275.3m) - 62

Runs OSK group, which includes three publicly listed groups: Financial services firm OSK Holdings, OSK Property and OSK Ventures.

36. Datuk Seri Lau Cho Kun US$75m (RM275.3m)

Big shareholder in Malaysian Mosaics, maker of tiles. Also has interests in property development, plantations and trading.

38. Tan Sri William Cheng US$70m (RM256.9m) - 63

Head of Lion Group of varied businesses including steel manufacturing and retailing as well as plantation management. President of the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Malaysia.

39. Shaari Ismail US$70m (RM256.9m) - 63

Elder brother of Rozali (number 34) also a shareholder in Puncak Niaga but has no executive role.

40. Datuk K.L. Palaniappan US$65m (RM238.6m) - 63

Trained as architect, Kasi is now second-largest individual shareholder in MK Land after Mustapha Kamal Abu Bakar (number 22).

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Taiwan's Draft of Household Service Act, Workers Version

Draft of Household Service Act, Workers Version

Translated by : The Columban JPIC Office

(This is now a Bill before the Taiwan Parliament)

Articles

Chapter I General Provisions

Article 1 : This Act is made especially for regulating the standards of minimum labor condition to protect a household worker’s right. Matter not herein regulated in this Act shall be applied to regulation stipulated in other laws.

Article 2 : The term used in this Act are defined as following :

1. Worker : This refers to a person, including a domestic helper and care taker, employed by an employer to engage in household works to gain his/her wage

2. Employer : This refers to the family that exercise the managing rights, including the employer that employs a worker, the family members and delegate of the employer, and the person that is given care.

3. Wages : This refers to the monetary gain obtained hrough working, including wages and premiums, allowances and any other regular payments paid in cash on an hourly, daily, monthly, or piece-work basis.

4. Labor contract : This refers to a contract that regulates an employer-employee relationship.

Article 3 : The competent authorities mentioned in this Act refer to the Council of Labor Affairs of the Executive Yuan in the central government ; the municipal governments in the municipal cities ; and the county (city) government in the counties and cities.

Article 4 : Any person shall not intervene in other person’s labor contract to extract illegal benefits.

Article 5 : An employer shall provide a worker with a habitable space equipped with

basic facilities, and the enforcement rules of this Article shall be stipulated by the competent authority. In case both parties agree, a worker’s residence can be settled outside of an employer’s, only that the worker’s rent and traveling allowance shall be paid by the employer in addition to the wage. An employer shall provide a worker with a household service standard, and while applying for a recruiting permit, this standard shall be reported to the competent authority, after which it shall take effect. The content of this standard shall not contravene the laws, public order, good customs, and shall also meet the proportion principle. An employer, during the subsisting period of the contract, shall provide a worker with food or food allowance.

Article 6 ; The central health competent authority, pursuant to regulation of The Labor Safety and Health Law and The Employment and Service Act, shall take the initiative to notice both the employer and worker to assist the latter to participate in regular medical checkup. The expense of this said medical checkup shall be shouldered by an employer.

Article 7 : An employer shall provide a worker with health insurance and labor insurance to protect the working rights of a worker.

Chapter II Labor Contract

Article 8 : Labor contracts are divided into fixed term contracts and non-fixed term contracts. An expired fixed term contract shall be viewed as non-fixed term contract in case any of the following situations arises :

1. Where a worker continues his work without any immediate expression of opposition from an employer.

2. Where albeit a new contract has already been made, only that the working period for both the old and new contract lasts for more than ninety days, and the discontinuance period in between the old and new contracts lasts less than thirty days.

Article 9 : Unless any of the following situations arises, an employer shall not terminate a labor contract with advance notice:

1. Where a worker contravenes with material nature the household service standard regulations of the labor contract, and the situation fails to be improved after asked by an employer to do so.

2. Where a worker is proven by the hospital to be suffering from or afflicted with other material disease or injury .

3. Where the person to be given care dies or the reasons for employment disappear.

4. Where force majeure necessitates business suspension for more than one month.

5. Where a worker is confirmed to be incompetent for his/her job duties. An employer terminates the contract pursuant to this preceding regulation, from the date that such circumstance is made known, shall act within thirty days. In case the worker is foreign person, return airfare shall be shouldered by the employer.

Article 10 : In case a worker is proven to be in any of the following situations, an employer is entitled to terminate the labor contract without advance notice:

1. Where a determinate sentence is pronounced and confirmed without probation notification or without permission to change this sentence into financial penalty.

2. Where [a worker] is absent justifiable reasons for three consecutive days.

3. Where violence or conduct of gross insult is done to an employer. An employer that terminates the contract pursuant to the preceding regulation, starting from the date that such circumstance is made known, shall act within 30 days. In the cased of a foreign person, the return airfare shall be shouldered by this person him/herself.

Article 11 : In case an employer is proven to be in any of the following situations, and one month after a worker raising an objection still fails to improve what shall be duly improved, than a worker is entitled to terminate the contract and ask the competent authority to have him/her transferred to another employer.

1. Where an employer does not pay wage to a worker in accordance with the contract.

2. Where an employer does not pay wage to a worker directly and in full amount.

3. Where an employer forcibly keeps a worker’s personal belongings in custody.

For a contract terminated pursuant to the preceding regulation, in case a worker is a foreign person who, instead of choosing to be transferred to another employer, desires to return to his/her own country, then this worker’s return airfare shall be shouldered by the employer.

Article 12 : In case any of the following situations arises, a worker is entitled to terminate the contract without advance notice, and the original employer shall present a contract-discharging agreement :

1. Where an employer asks a worker to engage in works unspecified in the employment permit regulations.

2. Where an employer renders violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment, or conducts of material insult against a worker.

3. Where an employer suffers from a malignant, infectious disease with contagious contingency.

4. Where an employer exerts act of violence and coercion or other illegal means to force a worker to engage in manual work.

5. Where an employer, through verbal intimidation or physical violence, forces a worker to sign any side-contract against his/her will.

6. Where an employer contravenes the labor contract or labor law, so that a worker’s rights might be compromised by certain damaging contingencies.

An employer that terminates a contract pursuant to Article 9 shall give notice to a worker one month in advance, or such notice shall be substituted by one-month wage. In case that both parties agree upon an advanced contract termination, both parties shall attend the local competent authority to sign an agreement of contract discharging in both parties’ mother tongues, only after which will the termination begin to take effect.

Article 14 : In case any of the following situations arises, a worker shall not ask separation fee from his/her employer.

1. Where terminates a labor contract pursuant to the regulation of Article 10.

2. Where a fixed-term labor contract expires and the worker has already left the post.

The separation fee shall be given in accordance with the following way of computation :

1. Where [a worker] continue[s] to work for the same employer, for each one-month average wage.

2. Where in respect of the odd service months or a service period less than one year, as is computed pursuant to the preceding paragraph, the separation fee shall be computed proportionately. A service period less than one month shall be computed as one month.

Article 15 : In case a migrant worker desires to be transferred to another employer pursuant to Article 11, during the period of time [waiting] for his/her transfer the competent authority shall pay unemployment allowance to the worker in accordance with The Employment Insurance Law.

Chapter III Wage

Article 16 : Wage shall be determined by an agreement between the worker and employer, provided that after deducted for food and lodging and travel allowance, this wage shall not fall below the basic wage regulated by The Labor Standards Law.

Article 17 : Wage shall be paid once on a regular monthly basis. An employer shall pay the wage in full amount, and shall not deduct any food and lodging fee further. An employer shall provide a worker with pay slips written in language(s) known to the worker, clearly in the slip the amounts of the wage, legal deductions such as tax, health insurance fee and labor insurance fee. After both the worker and the employer have confirmed the specific items, both parties shall sign on the slip, and each shall hold one copy of it. An employer shall keep a payroll of workers, specifying the amount of wages payable, the computed items of wage, and the sum total of wage payments. The payroll record shall be kept in custody for five years.

Article 18 : Where an employer asks a worker to extend his/her working hours(s), the wage for such extended hours(s) shall be paid plus an overtime pay more than half of his/her regular hourly wage.

Article 19 : An employer shall not deduct in advance a worker’s wage for punitive damages indemnity.

Article 20 : In case an employer is proven to be in arrear of wage payment, the competent authority shall order the employer to pay such arrear within a limited period o f time; in case such arrear is still unpaid by the expiry of the said, a worker is entitled to apply for the arrear payment pursuant to The Measures For Obtaining and Paying the Overdue Wages Repayment Fund and the Management of Repayment.

Chapter IV Work Time, Rest Time, and Day-Off

Article 22 : The regular work hours of a worker shall not exceed eight hours per day, and his/her work hours shall be determined by an agreement between the worker and employer. A worker shall rest for 10 consecutive hours per day. An employer shall not ask the worker to provide any manual work during his/her rest hours; in case there is an urgent need for the employer, the employer can only ask the worker to do so with the consent of the worker him/herself. The manual work provided by the worker during his/her rest hours shall be viewed as overtime, which shall not exceed two hours per day, ten hours per week, and forty hours per month.

The employer shall prepare the workers’ sign-in books or time cards to record a workers’ attendance on a day-to-day basis. These books and cards shall be kept in custody for one year.

Article 23 : A worker shall at least have one regular day-off every seven days. By principle this regular day-off shall be on Sundays.

Article 24 : An employer shall provide a worker with an eight-hour leave for labor education.

Article 25 : In case a worker continues to work for the same employer or business entity for a certain period of time, he/she shall be granted a special leave on an annual basis in accordance with the following scale :

1. Seven days for the service more than one year but less than three.

2. Ten days for the service more than three years but less than five.

3. Fourteen days for service more than five years but less than ten.

Article 26 : Memorial days, Labor Day, and other days stipulated by the central competent authority as holidays, these are national holidays for all workers to take day-off. The national holidays are as following :

1. New Year ( January 1st )

2. Peace Memorial Day ( February 28th )

3. Youth Day, or Revolutionary Martyrs Day ( March 29th )

4. Teacher’s Day ( September 28th )

5. Founding Day for the Republic of China ( October 10th )

6. Chiang Kai-shek’s Birthday ( October 31st )

7. Dr Sun Yat-sen’s Birthday ( Nov 12th )

8. Constitution Day ( December 25th )

9. Labor Day ( May 1st )

10. Other holiday stipulated by the central competent authority : Jan 2nd, April 4th – Women’s / Children’s Day, April 5th – Tomb sweeping Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, Moon Festival, Lunar New Year, Oct 25th – Taiwan Restoration Day.

Article 27 : A worker needs not to provide any manual work for 24 hours during the very day of his/her regular day-off, national holiday, and special leave. An employer shall, as per usual, pay wage for [a worker’s] working during his/her day-off. In case a worker is asked by an employer and agrees to work during his/her day-off, his/her wage shall be computed by double.

Article 28 : Due to an incident of natural disaster, catastrophe, or emergency event, if an employer deems it necessary [for a worker] to continue the work, a worker’s leave of absence can be thus suspended, only that the wage for the period of time of this suspended leave shall be computed by double, and a worker shall be granted a leave afterwards to rest as compensation for the leave suspended.

Article 29 : Matters for a worker taking leave due to marriage, bereavement, sickness or other proper reasons shall be managed in accordance with the worker’s

leave-taking regulations.

Chapter V Human Right Protection, Female Protection, Gender Discrimination Prevention, Sexual Harassment Protection and Prevention

Article 30 : An employer shall not prescribe on advance any written side-contracts stipulating that in case a worker gets married, becomes pregnant, or engages in activities such as child-birth and child-nursing, then this worker will have to leave his/her position, nor shall an employer use the above-mentioned factors as reasons for termination.

Article 31 : A worker is entitled to take a menstruation leave for one day per month. As for female protection measures such as maternity leave, this should be managed pursuant to relevant regulations stipulated in The Gender Equality Act.

Article 32 : An employer and his/her family member(s) shall not create any hostile, intimidating, or offensive working environment for a worker through any sexual request, verbal expression or physical conduct with sexual implication of gender discrimination, with which [ a worker’s] personal dignity, freedom of movement are infringed upon or interfered with, and his/her job performance is thus affected.

Article 33 : During the period of time of a worker’s day-off pursuant to Article 26, personal leave pursuant to Article 29, and maternity leave pursuant to Article 31, in case there is a need for an employer to be taken care of, a temporary household care service can be applied in the competent authority of social affairs. Measures for such application shall be stipulated by the central competent authority.

Article 34 : An employer shall not discriminate against a worker’s gender, national or social origin, race, color, religion, and shall not limit a worker’s right to freedom of religion and association.

In case an employer illegally offends a worker’s person and dignity to a material extent, a worker is entitled to claim for an appropriate amount of financial compensation. In case a worker is defamed, he/she is entitled to claim for a proper settlement for reputation restoration.

Article 35 : In case a labor dispute arises between a worker and employer, it shall be managed pursuant to the Procedures For Labor Dispute Management. The competent authority shall provide legal assistance and establish a “Rights of Action Foundation” to assist a worker in processing his/her labor dispute lawsuit.

Article 36 : The competent authority, in order to manage sheltering problems arising from matters such as 1. An issue of law, 2. Reporting an employer for illegal use of worker, 3. Suffering from sexual assault, and 4. Repatriation due to employer’s unilateral decision through contract-breaching, shall set up centers for temporary sheltering, so that the work and daily life of a migrant worker can be protected, and his/her rights can be defended.

Article 37 : In case a worker is injured due to his/her work, an employer shall manage it pursuant to laws relevant to occupational accident.

Article 38 : The central competent authority, in order to pursue the implementation of this Act and other labor laws, shall set up labor inspection institution or authorize competent authority of special municipalities to set up special inspection institution to proceed with the task ; the competent authority of the special municipalities, counties (cities), if necessary, are also entitled to send officers to inspect. The organization of this said labor inspection institution shall be established by the central competent authority.

Chapter VI Monitoring and Inspection

Article 39 : Upon acting in the course of his/her duties, an inspector shall produce an inspection certificate, and a business entity shall not refuse such inspection. In case a business entity refuses to be inspected, an inspector is entitled to initiate an invitation to and be accompanied by the local competent authority or police agency to enforce the inspection.

Article 40 : In case a worker finds that a business entity contravenes this Act or other labor laws, he/she is entitled to file a complaint to the employer, the competent authority, or the inspection organization.

An employer shall not terminate, transfer or take any disciplinary action adverse to a worker who personally files a complaint mentioned above.

Chapter VII Penalty

Article 41 : Conducts in contravention of the second paragraph of Article 6, Article 9, Article 17, Article 18, Article 19, Article 22, Article 23, Article 24, Article 25, Article 27, Article 28, and Article 33 of this Act shall be liable to pay a fine between $20,000NT plus and $60,000NT.

Article 42 : Conducts in contravention of Article 4 of this Act shall be liable to a determinate sentence under 3 years, detention, a sentence, or a combined sentence liable to pay a fine more than $60,000NT.

Article 43 : Conducts in contravention of Article 7 of this Act shall be liable to a fine that triples the insurance premium shouldered starting from the employment date and ending on the insured date. A worker’s damage thus caused shall be verified and compensated by the insurance authority.

Article 44 : Conducts in contravention of Article 19, Article 23 of this Act shall be liable to a fine of $90,000NT.

Article 45 : Conducts in contravention of Article 29, Article 31, Article 44 of this Act shall be liable to a fine more than $10,000NT and less than $100,000NT. In case a worker’s damage is thus caused, an employer shall take the compensating responsibility.

Article 48 : Anyone that refuses, evades, or hinders a labor inspector’s legal action in the course of his/her duties shall be liable to a fine between $60,000NT and $300,000NT.

Chapter VIII Annex

Article 49 : After being pressed by the competent authority for fine payment, as is stipulated in this Act, but still fails to pay the fine, then the case shall be transferred to the court for enforcement.

Article 50 : The Enforcement Rules of this Act shall be stipulated by the central competent authority.

Article 51 : The date for this Act to take effect, except for the administrative orders issued by the Executive Yuan, shall be the date of its promulgation.