KUALA LUMPUR – Amid the constantly evolving economy, the creation of appropriate environment and ecosystem for industries, especially manufacturing, is necessary to elevate Malaysia’s competitiveness globally, as reported on Bernama.
Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) deputy secretary general (investment) Datuk Bahria Mohd Tamil said issues related to foreign workers management had been raised from time to time especially on forced labour allegations against the industries.
“As such, it is important that we address and manage this effectively to ensure our industries are not further implicated with allegations of forced labour,” she said in her opening speech at the ‘Briefing Session on Labour Standards Compliance for Sustainable Supply Chain’ seminar here, yesterday.
In a statement, she said there were approximately two million registered foreign workers currently in the country with close to 700,000, or 35%, are in the manufacturing sector.
The seminar is MITI’s response in helping the industries better manage their foreign workers and is timely too. In the long run, MITI hopes such initiative will help to enhance Malaysia’s branding as a hub for sustainable supply chain.
“In view of this, MITI sees the urgent need to organise this briefing session to address some of the cross-cutting issues raised by industry players and clarify the policies and guidelines relating to labour standards compliance in Malaysia, as well as reminding the industries on the importance to adhere to labour standards and eliminate forced labour elements in their industry,” she added.
The seminar saw the participation of more than 150 attendees who are manufacturers from various sectors, including the rubber glove sector.
The programme highlighted topics such as Implementation of the Employment Act in relation to elimination of forced labour elements; Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act, or Act 446; and Mechanisms for Industry’s Resilience in Global Supply Chain.
The seminar is a proactive measure and a capacity building programme to provide the current context for manufacturers to create a sustainable supply chain through adherence to labour standards.