Sunday, June 30, 2013

45 Groups saya 'DRB HICOM MUST RESPECT THE CITIZENS’ RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS IN MALAYSIA – Stop disciplinary action against workers for exercising their political rights.

Joint  Statement – 25/6/2013 (now 45)

– Stop disciplinary action against workers for exercising their political rights.

We, the undersigned 45 civil society organizations, trade unions and concerned groups, are appalled by the actions of two DRB Hicom companies based in Pekan, namely HICOM Automotive Manufacturers (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd and ISUZU HICOM Malaysia Sdn Bhd for taking disciplinary action against 18 workers who merely exercised their rights (outside working hours), as citizens, to participate in the democratic process.  Pursuant to a decision by the Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC), which was also supported by the National Union of Transport Equipment and Allied Industries Workers (NUTEAIW),  to extract commitments on workers' rights from contesting candidates and political parties involved in GE13, workers throughout Malaysia, including in Pekan, met or attempted to meet  contesting candidates from all parties before election day, being on 5/5/2013. 

Accordingly, on 3/5/2013, a group of 18 workers submitted the MTUC memorandum to one of the contesting candidates in the Pekan parliamentary constituency, which also happens to be the constituency that the Prime Minister of Malaysia was contesting.

On account of this act, disciplinary action has been initiated by 2  DRB HICOM companies based in Pekan against these 18 workers. 

First, HICOM Automotive Manufacturers (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, which assembles automobiles for Suzuki, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen, has issued show cause letters on  22/5/2013 to 16 workers, and speedily proceeded with the 'Domestic Inquiry' which began on 11/6/2013. At present the Domestic Inquiry is yet to end and there is no decision.

Second, ISUZU HICOM Malaysia Sdn Bhd, that assembles automobiles for Isuzu, also issued show cause letters to 2 workers. They, too, are awaiting the decision of the Domestic Inquiry. Significantly, the workers were NOT allowed the right to be represented by lawyers or representatives of the National Union, only by representatives from the work site committee. 

We consider the action taken by the two DRB Hicom companies not only a gross violation of worker rights. It is also a violation of the right of citizens to participate in the democratic process of Malaysia, especially during elections. No employer should have the right to dictate directly or indirectly the political choices, activities and/or actions of their workers, more so outside employment hours. Workers, as citizens, of Malaysia must have the freedom to join and participate in any political party of their choice, offer themselves as candidates if they so wish, and involve themselves in campaigning in general elections.

Hence DRB Hicom's taking disciplinary action against these 18 workers for exercising their rights as citizens in the run-up to GE13, is completely uncalled for. It is a gross violation of the rights of these 18 workers. Under the circumstances, we demand that DRB Hicom stop all disciplinary actions being taken against these 18 workers immediately. If any of these 18 workers have already been terminated,  they should be reinstated immediately.

We understand that the charges leveled against the workers are (1) undermining the image or good name of the company orally, in writing or by action, and (2) bringing about or trying to bring about any form of influence or outside pressure to submit or support any external claim that is related to service be it an individual claim or claims of other employees. 

We further understand that the employer DRB Hicom is trying to rationalise its action against the said 18 workers - in seeking a commitment on workers rights from the Pekan parliamentary candidate – by claiming that the workers might have given the 'false impression' that 'the company was involved in politics' which is contrary to the company's stance. 

We find such an explanation laughable! Indeed, it is hypocritical given the fact that during the electoral campaign period, on 25/4/2013, the company had encouraged workers to go and meet the Barisan Nasional Paliamentary candidate for Pekan, Mohd Najib Abdul Razak, also the incumbent Prime Minister. Indeed, workers were allowed to go for the meeting during working hours! This event was also highlighted in Najib’s 13th General Election Pekan Constituency candidate website (, and the posting was entitled ‘Dato’ Sri Najib Beramah Mesra Dengan Warga DRB-Hicom Pekan’(Dato’ Sri Najib Socialize with DRB-Hicom citizenry). Later that very day women workers were also allowed by the company to meet up with Najib’s wife.  

Companies and businesses should never terminate a worker for reasons other than matters that relate to work performance and/or their conduct as a worker save in very exceptional cases, for eg, like when a worker is convicted of a criminal offence. 

These 18 workers have families and children, and a termination would cause great hardship to their well-being and livelihood. Amongst the 18 are also trade union leaders, including also the current chairperson of MTUC Pahang Division. We hope that the termination of worker leaders does not occur and that the two DRB HICOM companies are not resorting to ‘union busting’.

We call on DRB Hicom, HICOM Automotive Manufacturers (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd and ISUZU HICOM Malaysia Sdn Bhd to immediately discontinue disciplinary action against the said 18 workers, and if any be already terminated to immediately reinstate them without loss of benefits.

We call on Prime Minister Mohd Najib Abdul Razak, being also the Member of Parliament for Pekan, to intervene and ensure that the rights of his constituents, as workers and as citizens, are not violated by employers. 

Charles Hector
Mohd Roszeli bin Majid
Pranom Somwong

For and on behalf the 45 organisations listed below

Asia  Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development ( APWLD)
Asian Migrant Centre (AMC)
Association of Maybank Executives
Building and Wood Workers International Asia Pacific
Burma Campaign Malaysia
Clean Clothes Campaign
Community Action Network (CAN), Malaysia
Dignity International
Group of Concerned Citizens
Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor
Human Rights Ambassador for Salem News , UK 
Jawatankuasa Sahabat Rakyat (人民之友)
Kesatuan Pekerja-Pekerja Polyplastics Asia Pacific
Kesatuan Sekerja Industri Elektronik Wilayah Selatan Semenanjung Malaysia
Kesatuan Pekerja Pekerja Kelab Semenanjung Malaysia
Legal Aid Commission, Sri Lanka
MADPET (Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture)
Malaysians for Beng Hock
Malaysian Physicians for Social Responsibility
Migrante International
Migrants Rights Council,India
MTUC(Malaysian Trade Union Congress) Melaka
MTUC(Malaysian Trade Union Congress) Pahang
MTUC(Malaysian Trade Union Congress) Penang Division
Network of Action for Migrants in Malaysia(NAMM)
NUBE (National Union of Banking Employees), Malaysia
NUHBRW (National Union of Hotel, Bar and Restaurant Workers), Malaysia
Parti Rakyat Malaysia(PRM)
Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti, Selangor (EMPOWER)
Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor & Wilayah Persekutuan (PERMAS)
Sarawak Dayak Iban Association
SUARAM (Suara Rakyat Malaysia)
Tenaganita, Malaysia
Think Centre, Singapore
Tenaga Nasional Berhad Junior Officers Union (TNBJOU), Malaysia
WARBE Development Foundation-Bangladesh
Women's Aid Organisation (WAO), Malaysia
Workers Assistance Center, Inc, Philippines
Workers Hub For Change (WH4C)

Additional Endorsements:
NLD LA Malaysia
Yayasan LINTAS NUSA - Batam Indonesia
IMA Research Foundation, Bangladesh
WARBE Development Foundation-Bangladesh

Thursday, June 27, 2013

TPPA - it is MALAYSIA that would get sued, and government cannot justify saying Malaysian companies also have the right to sue other countries.

In Parliament, when discussing the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), in particular the Investor protection clause/section/chapter which empowers investors, i.e. companies including also shareholders to sue nation States, like Malaysia.
 “investor-state dispute settlement” (ISDS) demands becomes exposed to international arbitration at a tribunal such as the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). This means that the investor sues the government of that country
The government's response, is that it also allows Malaysian companies (and investors) to similarly sue other countries.

Investors, companies and shareholders sue and they sue countries. If it is companies being sued, Malaysians need not be worried BUT here it is Malaysia that gets sued - so why should Malaysia, i.e. the people of Malaysia, bear the RISK and the cost of millions and maybe even billions of Ringgit. 


The International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) is in USA - and how many Malaysian companies really be able to afford to commence an action in the US. There are only certain lawyers, most in the US, and they charge a lot. Cost of travel and board in the US for the claimant/defendant and witnesses - maybe not just one trip but several trips - and this is why cost is very high.

If the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) was in Malaysia,  and proceedings are in the country being sued, then it would be much cheaper - but it is NOT. I acted for a Malaysian company that commenced action against a multinational company, but the agreement provided for arbitration in Switzerland, but the medium sized Malaysian company just could not afford to go fight for its rights in Switzerland - the cost of travel, board and getting witnesses there. There is also the factor of time and 'convenience' when it comes to witnesses.

AUSTRALIA is an example of a country that has said NO to these Investor protection clause/section/chapter in the TPPA - they are smart, but Malaysia is not following suit.

Australian Parliamentary Commission’s stance is that no new Bilateral Investment Treaties (hereinafter referred to as ‘BIT’s) entered into by Australia will contain an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) clause normally calling for international arbitration.  
 “Australia’s refusal to consent to ISDS in the TPPA is a significant step towards limiting the encroachment of international trade agreements into our national health policy space and retaining our sovereign right to regulate significant areas of public health policy.” - Gleeson, Tienhaara and Faunce in their 2012 article in the Medical Journal of Australia.
In what possible situation would these foreign investors be able to take  Malaysia to the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)? 

* If Malaysia changes its employment policy like:-

a) Abolition of the 'Contractor for Labour System' requiring all companies/businesses to directly employ workers - making everyone that works in a factory the employees of the factory. If this results in additional expenses for the factory that affects the income - the company or it shareholders would be able take action.

b)  Abolition of short-term employment contracts for workers insisting that all workers must be employed as regular wmployees until retirement age.

c)   Creates a law requiring all companies to pay their workers Cost of Living Allowances (COLA) at a certain rate, 

d)   Sets the Minimum Wage, i.e. the basic salary entitlement of workers in Malaysia to RM1,500-00

Health Policy

a)   Sets a higher standard on employment impact assessment, or require mandatory environmental and/or health impact assessment of companies. 

b)    In a bid to control cigarette smoking, creates a new law limiting the sale of cigarettes to only a limited specified outlets. as is already happening in Europe.

c)     Require all cigarette packets to be made less attractive - say change the colour of the packet, take up more space in the packet for health risk warnings, or even ban the smoking of cigarretes in cities and towns (Remember Philip Morris took action against Uruguay for requiring 80 per cent of their cigarette packs covered with health warnings and also for only allowing one variant of cigarette per brand, and they took action against Australia  due to Australia’s law to introduce plain packaging of cigarettes in the year 2012 under similar investor protection clauses in Free Trade Agreements.) see earlier post - By signing FTAs with Investor Protection Clauses, Malaysia has failed Malaysians

...the List goes on and on.

For the investor, if Malaysia does anything that will cost them monies, affect their market and/or reduce their income/profits, they would more likely than not take Malaysia to  the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), and it would be rakyat's money that would be spend fighting this case, and paying the compensation ordered - which would be millions, even possibly billions of Malaysia Ringgit.

So what, if Malaysian companies can sue - for even when they win and get millions, it will not come back to us, the rakyat or the Malaysian government.


If any foreign investor or company wants to sue Malaysia, they can very well do so in Malaysia, and Malaysian law shall apply.

The concern with 'investor protection clauses' is that it takes the situation in the country when it comes in for business - There would be a stagnation in the improvement and the quality of life of Malaysians, for any improvement that would affect businesses would put Malaysia at risk of being 'sued' for milllions...maybe even billions. Our better future would be lost?

The biggest problem with the TPPA is that we, Malaysians, have not been able to view it - and I certainly do not trust the government who has less than 50% support of its people signing such an agreement that will affect me and my fellow Malaysians for a very long time.

Recall that when Malaysia went ahead and earlier signed the World Trade Organization Agreements and those other Free Trade Agreements, Malaysians lost so much...

We lost the right to determine that there be a certain percentage of Malaysians in the upper management of these companies/businesses - lost the 'technology and skill transfer to Malaysians'

We lost the right to require foreign companies to use a certain percentage of Malaysian-made products and components - which was there before.

We were bound by Copyright laws, and whilst our government only highlighted CDs and VCDs - it had a serious impact on medicines - no more were we able to generic medicines as in the past - we were now forced to buy medicines at a higher cost - hence now Malaysians have to go repeatedly every month to get their medicines - no more like before when we got all medicines needed until the next doctor's appointments

The Malaysian government claims that it has had consultation with various persons and organisations - but alas it is not with the rakyat. For a proper consultation, we need to have access to the FULL Agreement.

Why don't Malaysian government just publish the Draft TPPA - and let us get the comments of the people. Use the Prime Minister's FB or some internet. Also make available the comments of the various persons - MP Charles Santiago, Third World Network, MTUC,...etc. Let people have sight of all comments and views. In fact the proposal of MP Charles Santiago today that the government sets up a Parliamentary Select Committee on this is not a bad idea -this Select Committee would then be mandated to get the views of Malaysians...

Malaysia, do not sign yet another agreement that would cause HARDSHIP and SUFFERING to Malaysians now and the future.

Remember, there really is no need for any FTAs or TPPA, because foreign investors would still come open their businesses and factories in Malaysia...


'We won't sign TPPA if price of medicine increases'
PARLIAMENT The Malaysian government is dead set against any extension of intellectual property rights involving medicine in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), which may see the prices of generic medication skyrocket.

parliament pc jeyakumar and mustapha 171208 04"On patents involving the price of medication... we are adamant, we don't want the current regime to change; we will defend existing policies," International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed (right) told the Dewan Rakyat during question time this morning.

"If we don't agree, we can choose not to sign. We will protect our national interests. If we don't agree with some of the terms, we will not proceed," the minister pledged.

Mustapa said this in reply to a supplementary question from Anuar Musa (BN-Keterah), after answering the original question from Charles Santiago (DAP-Klang) on concerns about the impact of the TPPA on Malaysia's sovereignty.

On fears that the TPPA framework would allow foreign companies to question the  policy decisions of a sovereign government like Malaysia’s,  Mustapha gave his assurance that Malaysia's involvement in the agreement would not limit the government from protecting its sovereignty.

'Malaysians firms too can sue foreign governments'

Pointing oput that similar provisions in other free trade agreements were already in force and with no adverse effects, Mustapa argued that such an arrangement worked both ways and Malaysian firms too could sue foreign governments.

The minister also gave his guarantee that the interests of Malaysian small and medium enterprises would also be protected and not squandered in negotiations for the TPPA.

He said the government had met with all stakeholders to get their views and input and he also gave his assurance all that further consultations continue as negotiations for the agreement developed.

medicine health pills and tablets and capsulesHowever, Mustapa said it was not necessary to table the entire agreement to Parliament first as he believed past consultations and those planned in the future with stakeholders would provide enough input for the government to gauge and protect the nation’s interests.

However, he admitted that it would be impossible, in a democratic country, to get 100 percent agreement on anything that is done, though he was sure that the government had "majority support" for what it aimed to achieve in the TPPA.

He is appreciative of all criticism and suggestions on the trade pact sent to him as these have helped to strengthen their arguments and widen their scope of discussion.

"What is important is that the benefit are more than the costs involved. All actions have bad and good consequences. That we cannot deny, but the important thing is that it is more good than bad," Mustapa argued. - Malaysiakini, 27/6/2013, 'We won't sign TPPA if price of medicine increases'

Do surf the net, and read more about what others are saying about the TPPA. 



Monday, June 24, 2013

SUHAKAM is back - 3 old members retained, and 3 new one - but people with HR and CSO history reduced

In the last SUHAKAM, we had 3 HR Commissioners who had a CSO and Human Rights background. 2 of them have been dropped, and another academician, a former deputy attorney general and a journalist. Too early to say anything about the new appointees, we would have to see how they perform.

SUHAKAM HR Commissioners must be full-timers, and they really need to be paid salary of at least RM10,000-00 per month, or that equivalent to High Court Judges. [Currently, I believe that they are being paid only about RM6,000-00]. They should also have offices all over Malaysia - so that people will be able to have easy access.

There should also be few more HR Commissioners...7 is too small a number. 12 or 15 may be more practical given the fact that monitoring Human Rights alone is such a big task, compounded with investigations and Public Inquiries, visitation of Detention Centres, Law Reform, HR Education, etc 

On the upcoming Black 505 rallies, Hasmy said they did not have the resources to monitor them but would step in if there was trouble.

Yes, SUHAKAM itself is saying that they do not have enough resources - surely, if Malaysia is committed to Human Rights, its National HR Institution must have more than enough resources to be effective.


Saturday June 15, 2013

Suhakam urges Govt to accede to treaties on torture


KUALA LUMPUR: Suhakam wants Malaysia to at least accede to the treaties on torture, on civil and political rights and on economic, social and cultural rights by 2020.

“I hope civil society and the media will push us, politicians and the rest of the country to move forward,” said Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Hasmy Agam.

“There are six we have not acceded to and Suhakam would like Malaysia to sign the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) or the world will think Malaysians condone torture and degrading treatment.

“If we accede, police and other enforcement authorities are duty-bound to follow CAT provisions,” he said at press conference yesterday.
He said he believed Wisma Putra was working on the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The other three Malaysia has not acceded to are the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.

On fresh initiatives to address deaths in custody, Hasmy agreed it was a waste of taxpayers' money re-inventing the wheel when Suhakam presented the Government with best practice Lock-up Rules years ago.

On the upcoming Black 505 rallies, Hasmy said they did not have the resources to monitor them but would step in if there was trouble.

The next three years, he said Suhakam would focus on the aged, education for children with learning disabilities, human rights in business and follow-up on all Suhakam recommendations from Bersih 1 and 2 and its other inquiries.

Hasmy's 2013-2016 team comprises three former members Datuk Dr Khaw Lake Tee, Prof Datuk Dr Mahmood Zuhdi A. Majid and James Nayagam, and three new faces Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia law dean Prof Datuk Dr Aishah Bidin, former Sarawak deputy state Attorney-General Francis Johen anak Adam and former Sabah Times sub-editor Sylvester Madating @ Nordin Kasim.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Menteri HR baru membantu 400 syarikat BESAR - tak payah bayar gaji minima sehingga tahun depan?

Ini adalah gaji minima pekerja - tetapi nyata kerajaan berpihak kepada syarikat besar, di mana diumumkan bahawa 400 syarikat besar dibenarkan menangguhkan pembayaran gaji minima kepada pekerja sehingga 31/12/2013 - MENGAPA?

Harus kita jangan lupa bahawa oleh kerana majikan telah gagal membayar pekerja gaji adil, kerajaan termasuk masuk campur dan menetapkan gaji minima, di mana RM900 itu pun masih sangat kurang...di mana janji kerajaan bahawa pekerja akan menerima gaji minima pada 1/1/2013 - dan pekerja di beberapa syarikat/sektor pada 1/7/2013. Kemudian datang satu lagi Perintah menafikan ramai pekerja gaji minima pada 1/1/2013. Kini, 400 syarikat BESAR pula dibenarkan tidak membayar gaji minima - semestinya syarikat BESAR mesti mampu.

Sekarang Menteri mempelawa syarikat kecil (micro) membuat permohonan supaya mereka tak perlu membayar gaji minima. Mereka tak pohon sebelum ini, tetapi Menteri minta mereka memohon...bukankah ini tak adil?

He said, to date, the ministry had yet to receive any application for the postponement of minimum wage from micro companies but employers would have an opportunity to do so at the meeting.

Persoalan yang timbul adalah mengapa pekerja tidak memohon untuk mendapatkan gaji minima - masalahnya mereka tiada hak atau kapasiti  berbuat demikian, khususnya apabila ramai pekerja ini tidak mempunyai UNION. 

Tanggungjawab membela hak pekerja adalah tanggungjawab MTUC - tetapi nampaknya MTUC berdiam diri, tidak membuat apa-apa bantahan keras atau protes, dan pekerja menjadi mangsa... MTUC dan union lain perlu BERSUARA BERJUANG untuk pekerja - di mana perjuangan ini harus perjuangan terbuka - bukan hanya 'merayu' di dalam Bilik kepada Menteri atau pegawai Kementerian... Keluarkan kenyataan - buat 'press conference'/sidang media, sebarkan kenyataan mengunakan emel, BLOG, laman web... kerana kini nampaknya hanya majikan yang aktif berjuang tak mahu bayar gaji minima...tetapi pekerja, MTUC dan union lain berdiam diri sahaja menerima sahaja apa-apa keputusan kerajaan.

Sekarang nampaknya mana-mana majikan memohon, mereka berjaya - 400 yang memohon, 400 berjaya.

"To date, we have received 400 applications from companies seeking for the date to be pushed to Dec 31 and I have approved the applications,"
Adakah MTUC terlibat berjuang untuk pekerja yang tak ada union? Adakah MTUC ada peranan atau peluang membantah sebelum keputusan Menteri dibuat?
Secara rasmi, MTUC diambil kira sebagai wakil semua pekerja oleh kerajaan Malaysia ...oleh ILO. 

Majikan selalu mengunakan taktik agressif, mengunakan media ...di mana dalam situasi sebegini, MTUC dan UNION lain juga harus berjuang 'secara terbuka' dalam arena umum - bukan lagi dengan cara 'senyap-senyap'...

Apa yang gagal lapuran media menyatakan, adalah bilangan pekerja yang menjadi mangsa akibat keputusan Menteri ini.... 400,000?  


400 big companies to delay minimum wage

June 22, 2013
More than 400 big companies have received the green light to postpone the implementation of minimum wage of RM900 a month until Dec 31.

Human Resource Minister Datuk Richard Riot said the postponement was made due to various reasons, including the financial capability of the companies to implement the minimum wage, announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak previously.

"Overall, all the private sector agreed and did not protest against the decision of the government to implement minimum wage but they asked for flexibility due to certain reasons.

"To date, we have received 400 applications from companies seeking for the date to be pushed to Dec 31 and I have approved the applications," he told reporters after the 2013 Workers' Day gathering at the Bukit Jalil Stadium today launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. The announcement of the RM900 monthly minimum wage for the private sector for the peninsula and RM800 a month in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan was made by the Prime Minister on April 30 last year and gazetted on July 16.

The Minimum Wage Order 2012 was enforced on Jan 1, 2013 and the rate would be studied every two years.

Meanwhile, Riot said the National Wages Consultative Council would hold a meeting with employers from micro companies to discuss on the implementation of minimum wage on July 25.

He said, to date, the ministry had yet to receive any application for the postponement of minimum wage from micro companies but employers would have an opportunity to do so at the meeting.

In his speech, Riot said 2012 witnessed the national economy managing to weather the impact of the global economic crisis. He said the success was due to agreement and consensus to ensure the national development agenda could be continued and inherited by the coming generation. - Bernama, June 22, 2013,  - Malaysian Insider, 22/6/2013, 400 big companies to delay minimum wage

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. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Home Minister, risk of cracks to buildings is no reason to call of search for Chin Aik, alive or dead?

It is absurd that the search for the body has been called off. Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi explained that the digging work to locate Chin Aik's body had to be called off as buildings around the craters - the Penang State Museum and Pakistan Mosque - are at risk of cracks. 

Cracks? - How can you even use such reason to stop the quest for Chin Aik? Maybe, he did not die...or he did but no one will know until his body is found. For any family, the finding of the body would be very important, and only with a body can one be buried and cremated - the proper funeral rites. This is not a case of a body lost in sea or space - but on land in Penang - please continue on with the search for Chin Aik - who also may still be alive. Would there even have been a suggestion to call off the search had that been a 'more important' person? 

Now, if the body cannot be found, then Chin Aik would be considered 'missing' - for a presumption of death, one has to be missing for many many years... or the law does not matter, the BN can do as it pleases.

Concern for the family and insurance claims? Well, this is lame for after all the Government can step in and provide the needed assistance to the family until Chin Aik's body is found or the necessary time has passed and the presumption of law that a person is dead comes into being.

Was there even any evidence of the person of Chin Aik found? DNA evidence? 

No probe (or inquest) should be conducted on the death since we still do not know whether he is dead or alive - but a probe must be conducted on the incident? Was there corruption involved? Were there anyone to be held responsible - was there regular inspections? Who was responsible? It is very easy to blame God, i.e. 'Act of God' - but first make sure that all the needful was done with regard construction and regular inspections...

Minister orders probe into storm victim's death

  • Susan Loone
  • 3:54PM Jun 17, 2013
Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said police will conduct a probe into the death of hawker Lim Chin Aik so that an inquest can be carried out on the death.

NONEAhmad Zahid said the probe will be carried out by the forensics department headed by Penang Police chief Abdul Rahman Hanafi.

"The probe will be carried out beginning tomorrow until the (June) 20th," the minister (seated, centre in photo)said during a press conference with Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng (seated, right in photo) at the accident site along Jalan Macalister.

"The results of the probe will be sent to me so I can direct the National Registration Department to issue a death certificate on the 21st.

"The certificate is necessary for insurance claims as the vehicle that was discovered belongs to the victim," he stressed.

George Town OCPD Gan Kon Meng said once the probe is completed, the police will apply for an inquest from the Attorney-General's Chambers.

NONESearch for Chin Aik's body has been called off today after the Special Operations Rescue Team failed to uncover his remains despite digging into the crater for four days.

Parts of his Honda City were recovered in the six-metre deep crater after a 50-metre long lightning rod fell from the state Umno building striking the car when strong gales hit Penang last Thursday.

The rod struck a lorry, killing driver and Indian national Jahir Hussain Sulaiman. In a separate incident, another victim died after he was struck by a fallen tree.
Interest of victim's family placed first

Ahmad Zahid said financial aid will be handed over to the Chin Aik’s family by the Women, Family and Community Development Minister Rohani Kassim by this week.

He added that Penang BN and Umno will also extend some aid to ease the burden of the victim's family as Chin Aik was the sole breadwinner, with three kids, one of which has Down syndrome.

He has two sons aged 18, 20 and a daughter aged 13, while his 48-year-old wife Lee Chai Song used to be his helper.

"What is important is that we have put our differences aside and placed human interest of the family above all," Ahmad Zahidi said.

NONEThe minister thanked all sectors, including Lim, his staff, the police, fire and rescue departments and local council workers for working tirelessly to restore the situation to normal since the violent storm hit Penang.

He also apologised to the family of the victim (left) for the tragic incident.

He explained that the digging work to locate Chin Aik's body had to be called off as buildings around the craters - the Penang State Museum and Pakistan Mosque - are at risk of cracks.

Ahmad Zahid visited the family at the site about 2pm, around the same time as DAP senior leader and Gelang Patah MP Lim Kit Siang.- Malaysiakini, 17/6/2013, Minister orders probe into storm victim's death