Thursday, June 20, 2013

Najib, stop DRB Hicom companies action against workers exercising democratic rights in GE13

It has come to my knowledge that 2 of the companies in DRB Hicom in Pekan, the Parliamentary Constituency of Prime Minister Mohd Najib Abdul Razak, have commenced disciplinary action against 18 workers.

WHY? Because allegedly these workers went to hand over the Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) demands on worker rights to a candidate contesting in GE13. Workers have a right to know whether a candidate is committed to worker rights, before they cast their votes. 

Of course, any citizen, worker or not, has every right to exercise their political rights in a democratic process - and that right includes also joining political parties, attending political party activities, being election counting or polling agents for any contesting candidates, campaigning for particular candidates/political parties, voting the candidate of their choice, meeting with candidates to get their views...or commitment to fight for certain rights, including worker rights. 

Hence, it is very wrong for these DRB Hicom companies to be commencing disciplinary action against these workers - i.e. a disciplinary action, if not discontinued, may result in termination of these workers - which will cause great suffering to the worker and their families, including their children. It is in Pekan, and as such finding alternative employment for these long-serving workers would also be very very difficult.

The said 2 companies primary concern seem to be that the action of these workers would give the false impression that the company is involved in politics.

This is absurd. Why? Because during the campaign period, these very companies allegedly informed and encouraged its workers to go for a function to meet up with the Barisan Nasional candidate contesting for the Pekan Parliamentary Constituency, being non other than then incumbent Prime Minister Mohd Najib Abd Razak whereby this event was also reported in Najib's electoral candidate for Pekan website/blog [] entitled "Dato’ Sri Najib Beramah Mesra Dengan Warga DRB-Hicom Pekan"( Dato' Sri Najib socializes with DRB Hicom Pekan citizens) - whereby it claims 3,000 from DRB Hicom participated. Now, no disciplinary action is taken against the 3,000, who allegedly were allowed to attend this event during working hours. Surely, this will already give the impression that the company is involved in politics. [Further, there was alegation that women workers also had another event where they went to meet Najib's wife]. I do wonder whether the DRB Hicom companies would have taken action against the 3,000 had Pakatan Rakyat won GE13.

Personally, I am of the opinion that NO employer should have the right to control the right of their workers to participate in the political life of the country. Employers control over their workers should be limited to their work performances and activities at the workplace - not to activities outside working hours. 

As it is the BN government tries to control the political activities and rights of public servants, and is now DRB Hicom trying to stand a similar trend with regard private sector workers? A dangerous anti-democratic trend that is unacceptable.

My hope is that DRB Hicom would immediately do the needful to discontinue these disciplinary actions against the workers - and ensure that they NOT be terminated. 

Najib also has a role as the MP of Pekan to ensure that workers in his constituency and their families are not subjected to suffering and injustice... 

The disciplinary action is on-going, and no one has yet lost their jobs - so, urgently DRB Hicom, Najib and others can try to end this now for the good and welfare of the affected workers and their families/dependents. 

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