Tuesday, November 09, 2021

Charge construction firm directors for Suke deaths - labour groups (FMT and Malaysiakini reports)

Why are there no Directors, CEOs, Managers or Officers of companies being charged for incidents in violation of occupational safety and health laws, even when workers DIE...or are injured? Note the Malaysian law says clearly that these human decision makers can be charged - so, is the non-charging of the DIRECTORS and officers part of Malaysian policy? How may Malaysian directors and officers of companies that violated worker laws have been sent to JAIL - why not? 

Is this to protect politicians  and 'politically connected' appointed as Directors - yes, they get significant allowances, BUT they must also be made responsible for the BAD decisions they made that put workers and others at RISK - even DEATH. Stop the protectionist practice - that protects the rich and powerful human Directors. 

See full media statement:-

3 workers dead, charge the Directors and officers responsible, not just the Company, and if convicted, sentence them to jail (19 Groups)

Charge directors or officers over worksite deaths, say groups

FMT Reporters
- November 8, 2021 2:28 PM 

Three Chinese nationals died in the incident at a SUKE Elevated Highway construction site on March 22.

PETALING JAYA: A group of 19 NGOs and rights organisations has expressed outrage that no directors or officers of a construction firm had been penalised for a worksite incident that killed three migrant workers and injured another.

Only the company, Zhongshi International Sdn Bhd, had been fined RM45,000 for negligence by the sessions court under Section 15(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994.

The group’s spokesman, Charles Hector, said none of the individuals had been charged, adding that under the same act, directors, managers or any other relevant officers can also be charged for this offence.

“It does not make sense to just charge a corporation while the wrongdoers walk free when the firm actually runs and acts according to the decisions of its directors, executives and owners,” he said in a joint statement.

“Assuming that there was no intent to murder, they could also be charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder under Section 304(b) of the Penal Code.

“Since the company has pleaded guilty, we demand that the directors, manager and other officers be charged, tried and sentenced in court.”

Three Chinese nationals – Wu Tongzheng, Ding Kunfu and Jiang Jinbao – died in the incident on March 22 when one of the components of a launching gantry fell at the SUKE Elevated Highway construction site near Puncak Banyan, Cheras. Another worker was seriously injured.

Hector said the Occupational Safety and Health Amendment (OSHA) Bill 2020 was tabled in November last year and passed during the recent meeting of the Dewan Rakyat but has not been tabled at the Senate yet.

He said that under the amendments, the maximum penalty has been raised from RM50,000 to RM500,000, and urged the government to expedite the tabling and implementation of the changes for a safer workplace. - FMT, 8/11/2021

Charge construction firm directors for Suke deaths - labour groups
Published:  Nov 8, 2021 10:57 AM
Updated: 12:48 PM
The directors of a construction company should be slapped with criminal charges instead of merely fined RM45,000 for negligence in an incident that led to the death of three construction workers from China last year, says labour rights groups.

Three Chinese workers were killed, and a motorist was seriously injured following an incident on March 22, 2020, after a launching gantry toppled over at the Suke Elevated Highway construction site near Puncak Banyan, Persiaran Alam Damai, in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur.

In a statement today, a coalition of labour rights groups called on the government to charge the directors of Zhongshi International Sdn Bhd with culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

Group spokesperson Charles Hector said it was absurd to merely charge a company as it were the directors, officers, and owners that dictated its operations and directions.

He said this only results in a company paying fines while the actual culprits get off scot-free.

"We, the undersigned 19 groups and organisations, are appalled that no director or officer of Zhongshi were charged for causing the death of three migrant workers and seriously injuring another (motorist).

"Since the company has already pleaded guilty, we now demand that the directors, manager and other officers be charged, tried and sentenced in court," he said.

Hector said that not taking the necessary measures to ensure workers' safety despite knowing that failures can cause deaths and injury is a serious offence that ought to be punished.

"If a construction company chose not to do the needful, maybe by a selfish reason of saving monies or effort, then when a worker is killed as a consequence of this failure, then this may no more be simply an accidental death or even death by negligence, but should be culpable homicide not amounting to murder," he said.

Zhongshi International Sdn Bhd was charged under Section 15(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 (OHSA), which is punishable under Section 19 of the same Act and carries a maximum fine of RM50,000 or imprisonment of up to two years or both, upon conviction.

The company pleaded guilty to the charge before Sessions Court judge Emilia Kaswati Mohamad Khalid on Nov 3.

Prison terms and higher fines

Hector also urged the government to expedite the amendments to the OSHA act.

"The Occupational Safety and Health (Amendment) Bill 2020 tabled in November last year was just passed on Oct 27 in Dewan Rakyat.

"It has yet to be tabled and passed at the Senate. The amendment will increase the maximum fine from RM50,000 to RM500,000. We urge the government to expedite this amendment to the OSHA Act and speedily put it in force," he said.

He also said the maximum fine for occupational safety and health offences need to be much higher, at least RM1 million, with even much higher fines and prison sentences if injury or death is caused by a workplace incident.

"We call for the provision for higher penalties in the event that a worker is injured, and worse killed by reason of non-compliance of an occupational safety and health law.

"In some jurisdictions, the offence of 'corporate manslaughter' has been introduced.

"We also call for the abolition of the availability of compounds if the offence caused injury or death to workers or others," he said.

The following groups jointly signed the statement:


WH4C (Workers Hub For Change)

Building and Wood Workers International (BWI) Asia Pacific Region

Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM)

China Labour Bulletin(CLB), Hong Kong

Haiti Action Committee

International Black Women For Wages For Housework

MADPET(Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture)

Malay Forest Officers Union (MFOU)

National Union of Transport Equipment and Allied Industries Workers (NUTEAIW)

Network of Action for Migrants in Malaysia (NAMM)

North South Initiative

Odhikar, Bangladesh

Parti Rakyat Malaysia(PRM)

Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor

Sabah Timber Industry Employees Union (STIEU)

Safety and Rights Society, Bangladesh

Union of Forest Employees Sarawak (UFES)

Women Of Color/Global Women's Strike - Malaysiakini, 8/11/2021

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