Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Malaysian Labour Activist victim of Covid - A great loss to the Workers and Trade Union movement?

Badrulzaman Mohd Ghazali was a good man and a friend. He was a unionist that worked towards reform of the labour movement in Malaysia - wanting to build a stronger and united trade union in Malaysia.


Sadly, the Malaysian Trade Union and workers movement is weak, and there is a lot to be done to strengthen this movement - to truly fight for the promotion and defence of worker rights.

There are but a few like him, that struggled to also get often separated Malaysian Trade Unions to come together, learning from each other and struggling together. One initiative was to try to bring members of trade unions together, to break the isolation, and towards a unified workers movement irrespective of occupation, trade, sectors or industry.

Besides having training sessions, one activity that was done was having a bowling session, where different teams were made up of members of different trade unions thus building camaraderie between workers. 

He was also active in supporting workers struggle, including the struggle of trade union not his own. It is indeed a rarity in Malaysia where many unionist and members simply interact and relate to just their own members and own union. Hence, the ability to learn from each other, and the practice of supporting other unions in their struggles is lost. 

Divide and Rule weakens not just countries, but also the workers movement in the country.

We will Miss him, and Deepest condolences to his family, comrades, workers in Malaysia and all of us
One media statement, as an example, where Badrulzaman Mohd Ghazali was one of several persons who stepped forward and issued on behalf of 87 groups is below.

 See also:-  




Labour movement’s man behind the scenes dies from Covid-19

Badrulzaman Mohd Ghazali posing with placards pushing for labour law reforms. (Muhammad Zulfadlee Thye pic)

PETALING JAYA: Unionists are mourning the loss of a key figure among their ranks with the death of Badrulzaman Mohd Ghazali from Covid-19 this afternoon.

Badrulzaman, 49, died at 1pm today. He had been admitted to hospital on Friday after difficulty in breathing.

Known for his humble and down-to-earth attitude, the friendly Tanjung Karang native was a long-standing member of the labour movement, in which he played an influential role in fighting for workers’ rights and pushing for labour law reforms.

Badrulzaman was an industrial relations officer at the National Union of Transport Equipment & Allied Industries Workers, and had been an aircraft technician for 16 years.

Muhammad Zulfadlee Thye, who knew Badrulzaman for more than 20 years, said the latter was always ready to lend a hand to whoever needed it.

“He didn’t choose who to help. He was someone who would help anyone,” said Zulfadlee. “Even if you called him in the middle of the night to say some workers were having problems, he’d be there,” added Zulfadlee, an industrial relations practitioner with the Malaysian Trades Union Congress.

Badrulzaman Mohd Ghazali (third from right) at a rally in Jakarta in 2018. (Badrulzaman Mohd Ghazali Facebook pic)

MTUC deputy president Mohd Effendy Abdul Ghani described Badrulzaman as “the man behind the scenes” and a strong supporter of the labour movement.

“He was very valuable to us. He always had his own opinions and stood firm on his decisions,” he said, adding that they both joined the labour movement at the same time 20 years ago. “This is a big loss for the labour union movement in the country.”

North-South Initiative executive director Adrian Pereira remembered Badrulzaman as someone who was always willing to go the extra mile to assist anyone.

Badrulzaman had previously served as the MTUC-International Labour Organisation’s migrant resource centre officer in the Klang Valley. He was one of the few unionists who had his finger on the pulse when it came to migrant labour issues.

A notice of his death which was posted on social media platforms earlier today.

“His perspective and world view was that he didn’t discriminate,” said Pereira. “He inspired me because whenever we needed help for migrant worker training or meetings, he would always be there.”

National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia president Ismail Nasaruddin recalled the numerous trips he took with Badrulzaman to Putrajaya, where they would voice their concerns about unresolved worker issues to the nation’s leaders.

“He was someone who was always speaking out strongly about such issues,” said Ismail. “That had always been his thing – to speak up and get justice for workers.”

Badrulzaman leaves a wife and three children. He will be buried at the Taman Selasih Muslim cemetery in Gombak tomorrow. - FMT, 2/8/2021


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