Friday, September 18, 2020

Sabah Elections - Vote for candidates that promises to fight for better rights of workers and their families?

Most Malaysian voters are workers and their families - but sadly, past governments have failed prioritize workers - maybe we should start voting for State Assembly Persons, Member of Parliaments and parties that want to defend and promote worker rights, including the right to safe workplaces...

Now, we are having the Sabah State Elections - let us look at the various party manifestos > is there any promise to improve worker rights including secure employment, including stronger legislation to protect workers from injury, death and diseases like Covid-19 at the workplaces - sadly, I see none.

During GE14, the Pakatan Harapan Manifesto promised an increase of Minimum Wage to RM1,500 - but after winning, they clarified that it was a 5 year plan - They did something good by the same Minimum Wage for all over Malaysia, and increasing Minimum Wage to RM1,100 - this was about worker rights, different from the usual election promises of simply increasing employment opportunities - creating more jobs(a standard or common promise that really does nothing to advance worker rights)

BN government is infamous for being biggest 'union buster' in Malaysia - they passed a new law, that automatically will lead to the demise of about 7 or more in-house trade unions in Malaysian Airlines.

The government was the owner of Malaysian Airlines - they formed a new company and the old company handed over its business to new company. Even then workers can still claim their rights, and just damages and compensation for worker violations from the new company, with the same owner - but the then BN government prevented this by passing the law that made the new company running the airlines not liable to the old MAS employees - unjust but we shall see whether the courts will prevent this injustice or not. Now a lot of ex-workers are fighting in court claiming wrongful dismissal - even if they win, will the new MAS give them their jobs? Will the new MAS company give them compensation in lieu of reinstatement? Well, most likely, the old MAS has no more money or jobs..

What have Malaysian workers lost by what the government did?

Last time, we had probation and after confirmation, workers enjoyed regular employment - whereby their employment is secure and can be lost only by reason of retirement, retrenchment and by termination for a JUST CAUSE(meaning they committed a serious employment misconduct or serious breach of employment contract)

But the BN government, allowed employers to deny workers regular employment - and replace it with short-term employment contract that last usually 1 year or less - even if the work still exists, the employer chooses to simply employ another - and the worker is forced to go looking for a NEW job. What is the main problem? If you work for long, most workers will enjoy annual wage increment(meaning salary increase), and the longer you work, by law you get better rights - like more annual leave, more sick leave ...and if you worked for more than 12 months, even when retrenched, you get termination or lay off benefits where how long you worked matters.

The government by law, and the powers the Minister already have in law done the needful to ensure EMPLOYMENT SECURITY for the well-being of workers and their families. They could have insisted that all employees be employed as REGULAR employees, save for migrant workers who usually come to Malaysia to work for 3-5 years > for them fixed term employment contracts.   

Do you know that there is no offence yet in the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 that provides for a higher sentence when a worker is injured or killed, because the employer broke the laws requiring them to ensure a safe working environment. For drunk drivers, so fast they increased the penalty - but not bothered about workers.

Many of these candidates may never have been workers or even poor(or middle income)- it they win, the happily receive salaries and allowances of RM16k or more > so, do they bother about the ordinary worker?

Promises for small businessman, fisherman, farmers - but NOTHING about workers - save for promises of creating more jobs. We do not just want NEW jobs - but we want employment security - not jobs for a year, and then again and again we have to look for jobs - at start again with a low pay?

So, chose an candidate or a party that wants to improve the situation of workers and their families.


Usno manifesto promises RM1,000 gift for first marriage

Usno chief Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia speaks during the party’s manifesto launch at the Courtyard Hotel in 1Borneo Shopping Centre, Kota Kinabalu September 16, 2020. — Bernama pic
Usno chief Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia speaks during the party’s manifesto launch at the Courtyard Hotel in 1Borneo Shopping Centre, Kota Kinabalu September 16, 2020. — Bernama pic

KOTA KINABALU, Sept 16 — Sabahans marrying for the first time will receive a RM1,000 wedding gift if the United National Sabah Organisation (Usno) wins the 16th Sabah state election on Sept 26.

This promise is contained in the Usno election manifesto unveiled by Usno chief Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia here today.

Among the other pledges in the manifesto are:

* RM300 birth gift for every Sabah child

* medical financing of up to RM10,000 for Sabah people

* minimum monthly aid of RM500 for the elderly

* special aid of RM500 for the poor/orphans/single mothers

* immediate RM500 cash assistance for families involved in divorce cases and who lost source of income

* every primary and secondary school student to get RM100

* RM1,000 will be given to every student who gets an offer from an institution of higher learning

* death benefit of RM1,000

* RM500 contribution to every needy family for celebrating major festivals

* a hearse in each district

* assistance in the form of fresh milk, uniform and school equipment like books, pens, pencils, shoes, and socks to every student

* electricity bills below RM50 and water bills below RM30 to be exempted from payment

* public transport aid of RM30-RM150 for students, youth workers, senior citizens and OKU

* RM500 aid for farmers, fishermen and breeders affected by monsoon season/floods, drought and disasters

* immediate aid of RM5,000-RM10,000 to heads of family whose houses are destroyed by natural disasters, fire or mishaps

* providing 30,000 new job opportunities

* annual fund of RM10 million for small industries at village level

* RM100 million fund to develop communities involved in agriculture, fishery and livestock sector

* RM10,000-RM50,000 youth activity fund in every village

* RM10 million fund for graduates of institutions of higher learning to pay Perbadanan Tabung Pendidikan Tinggi Nasional (PTPTN)

* RM30 million fund to help youths start business at one-stop centres

* women’s annual activity fund of RM10,000-RM25,000 in every village. — Bernama - Malay Mail, 16/9/2020

PBS includes anti-hopping law in election manifesto

PENAMPANG: Bringing back the anti-hopping law will be one of the 10 principles in Parti Bersatu Sabah's (PBS) manifesto for the coming state election.

Its deputy president Datuk Radin Malleh said the party was determined to bring a motion of anti-party hopping law to the State Legislative Assembly sitting.

He said the party had once introduced such law in 1988, when PBS was the then state government.

"However, the central (government) brought the matter to court, which ruled it as unconstitutional. However, there must a mechanism to go about doing it and we are determined to reintroduce the law.

"Party hopping always happens in Sabah. We don't want this to occur often as it is against party integrity and dignity," he told reporters when unveiling PBS manifesto at the part's headquarters here, today.

The manifesto states the anti-hopping law will ensure elected representatives respect the mandate given to them by the people.

While PBS upholds the Malaysian Constitution, the manifesto states if elected representatives ditch their original party, they must vacate seats, so that the mandate is given back to the people to decide on their representatives.

Radin also said the party was committed to safeguarding Sabah's rights in the Malaysian Federation context as enshrined in the Malaysian Agreement 1963 and ensuring the history content of Malaysia formation was fully included in textbooks.

The party manifesto also highlights on PBS' commitment towards the implementation of Sabah identity card to Malaysian citizens in the state and ensuring no documents are issued to illegal immigrants.

It also focuses on establishing coast guards and border scouts with cooperation of Eastern Sabah Security Command as well as ensuring control posts are set up at all illegal routes and entry points to Sabah to prevent intrusion.

PBS manifesto even underscores protecting the environment, education, health, welfare, boosting development in the rural areas, digitalisation of the economy, as well as on empowering youth and women, among others. - New Straits Times, 11/9/2020

Muhyiddin unveils Perikatan-led Opposition manifesto that aims to address Sabah’s woes

Perikatan Nasional chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin speaks at the GRS manifesto’s launch at Sutera Harbour Resort in Kota Kinabalu, September 16, 2020. — Bernama pic
Perikatan Nasional chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin speaks at the GRS manifesto’s launch at Sutera Harbour Resort in Kota Kinabalu, September 16, 2020. — Bernama pic

KOTA KINABALU, Sept 16 — Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today unveiled Gabungan Rakyat Sabah’s (GRS) manifesto that focuses on reviving the state’s economy, which he said can only be fulfilled if the federal and state governments work together.

Dangling the carrot of federal funding in front of voters as crucial to fulfilling the promises, the Perikatan Nasional chairman said that Sabah, with its dispersed population and vast land areas, needed major development to take it to the next level.

“The manifesto was given to me to announce as prime minister because it involves cooperation between the state and federal governments, which is of utmost importance,” he said.

The nine thrusts contained in GRS’ manifesto are: infrastructure, Sabah rights, employment, youth, health, civil service, prosperity, education, security, human capital and women development.

GRS comprises Perikatan Nasional (PN), Barisan Nasional (BN) and Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS).

“I believe this is what Sabahans want. Things are hard right now, and in these unprecedented times, we cannot just promise the usual like other elections.

“So this is our total commitment to raise Sabahans’ livelihoods to the next level,” he said during the manifesto’s launch at Sutera Harbour Resort here today where members of the Opposition alliance had gathered.

Meanwhile, Sabah PN chief Datuk Hajiji Noor described the manifesto as the Opposition’s main plan to revive the economy after it was allegedly left in shambles by the Warisan government.

“We are offering much-needed facilities and infrastructure,” he said.

When pushed for a timeline, he said that this was promised for the coming five-year term.

“We cannot do this in one or two years. Things like infrastructure take time. Roads can take two to three years to complete. If we have allocations, we can do it. We need a continuous mandate to ensure the manifesto promises are achieved,” he said.

The 16th Sabah state election will take place on September 26 where some 16 parties are vying for votes in 73 seats. - Malay Mail, 16/9/2020



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