Friday, July 01, 2011

Revealed,tabled and passed in less than 10 days - that "minimum wage" Bill

National Wages Consultative Council Bill 2011, tabled and brought to the attention of parliamentarians on 21/6/2011(Tuesday) ( Free Malaysia Today, 21/6/2011, Minimum wage council bill tabled)

And to the public, it became accessible several days later( I believe it was about 4 days later) because this Bill appeared on the Parliament's website much later. Only then, could members of the public, civil society, workers and trade unions have sight of the Bill, analyze it and give their comments/objections/support.... See earlier post:- Why is the 2 Bills affecting workers not available on the Parliament website?

TIME is certainly needed for MPs to consult their constituencies and get their feedback on the Bill - but there was really no time to do this, and the Bill was passed on 30/6/2011.

TIME is certainly needed for Malaysians, civil society, trade unions, worker groups, employer associations, etc to give their feedback - but again there was really no time to do this, and the Bill was railroaded through the lower house at great speed - and was passed on 30/6/2011.

On 30/6/2011, the second reading of this Bill started at 12.48pm, and there was an adjournment at 1.00pm, and proceedings continued again at 2.30pm. 

6.26 ptg.
Menteri Sumber Manusia [Datuk Dr. S. Subramaniam]: Tuan Pengerusi, walaupun Rang Undang-undang Majlis Perundingan Gaji Negara, usaha dan tanggungjawab untuk menetapkan gaji minimum itu terjelas di dalam undang-undang. Lebih daripada itu kalau Ahli Yang Berhormat rujuk kepada kesan iaitu fungsi-fungsi majlis, adakah fungsi Majlis adalah untuk mengumpulkan data-data berkenaan dengan gaji untuk membuat kajian tentang apakah sistem gaji yang ada dan spread of wages di dalam negara kita. Itu semua ada di dalam fungsi Majlis.

Jadi, untuk memberi erti kepada fungsi Majlis itu, memang tajuk itu memberi satu skop yang luas walaupun tanggungjawab Majlis di dalam isu yang tertentu iaitu isu untuk menetapkan gaji minimum itu memang jelas di dalam undang-undang. Terima kasih.

Fasal-fasal 1 hingga 61 diperintahkan jadi sebahagian daripada rang undang-undang.

Rang Undang-undang dimaklumkan kepada Majlis sekarang
Majlis Mesyuarat bersidang semula.
[Timbalan Yang di-Pertua (Datuk Ronald Kiandee) mempengerusikan Mesyuarat]
DR. 30.6.2011

Rang undang-undang dilaporkan dengan tiada pindaan; dibacakan kali yang ketiga dan diluluskan.(Go see the Hansard for the full debate)

Before the debate, time was spend on a motion to refer it to a Select Committee ... and, finally time expended in debate was hardly 4 hours for such an important Bill.

Now, it will go to the Senate for it to be debated and voted on...

Was this true democracy at work? I do not think so - and this important bill that will directly impact all Malaysian workers and their families was just 'speeded through' without any real time for consultation let alone debate.

What was the rush? 

And was there a vote? How many MPs voted for? How many against? How many abstained? We will never really know for sure because that is how the Malaysian Parliament operates currently ...there must be reforms here so we will all know whether it was passed unanimously...or exactly how big was the majority that voted in favour? Really, how many MPs were even in Parliament that the time of the 'vote'

The worry now is that the government may also railroad through the Employment (Amendment) Bill 2011.

There really must be time and opportunity for public consultation and feedback before Bills are passed and made laws. It is the absence of this that sometimes forces Malaysians to come out publicly protest on the streets. We want true democracy not just the opportunity to vote for MPs once every 4-5 years.

but then on 30/6/2011, it was passed.

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