Dear YB.Mr.Kulasegaran, The Plantations Executives Trade union, Association of Agricultural Executives, Sabah, takes great pleasure in conveying to you its congratulations on your appointment as Minister of Human Resources
Pleased to note that you have identified the major issues concerning the workmen and promising to take necessary actions as remedial measures for the fair benefits of the workmen.
We would like to share some of our experiences and also add some points for your considerations with the view to implementing them in the near future.
(A) Delay of Industrial court cases: PARAWAKARAN and Others vs EUROPLUS CORPORATION SDN.BHD. 763/2013. This case took more than 20 years to settle. The Minister did not refer it to the Industrial court and the claimants went to High Court, Appeal Court and then back to Industrial court. At last, the decision was in favour of the workmen, but during the period there were claimants who expired and some went missing.
Govindasamy Munusamy vs Litang Plantations Sdn. Bhd. 997/2006. This case took more than 12 years to settle. The case was not referred to the Industrial Court and the claimant went to High Court. The High Court ruled in favour of the claimant.
1) The reference of cases to be carried out by Industrial law practitioners. The compensation to be paid from the date of wrongful dismissal to the last date of hearing, or 24 months’ salary. The present system of paying from the date of wrongful dismissal till gainful employment to be abolished as this method opened the floodgate on dismissal cases in the last 20 years.
2) Appointment of Industrial court chairman to be from among Industrial law practitioners.
3) The Employment Act to be standardized for East and West Malaysia.
4) Trade Unions from Sabah and Sarawak should be allowed to amalgamate.
5) Plantations or Estates (Oil palm/Rubber/Cocoa/Coconut/Tea) of 500 and above hectares to employ qualified Safety-Medical Assistant.
6) Homeless/helpless retired estate workers to be provided with welfare homes such as in United Plantations Bhd. The plantations should be made to pay a levy on the basis of hectare or production as a parameter (West Malaysia).
7) House ownership schemes for estate workers that were implemented in few estates ( eg.Ladang Raja Musa, Kuala Selangor) in the 1970s to be revived in West Malaysia.
8) Retirement/termination/redundancy benefits to be increased from 10 days’ wages per year of service to 26 days’ wages per year of service.
9) Shortage of workers in the plantation industry is very critical and legislation to be simplified for the companies to bring in sufficient workers.
We hope due consideration will be given to our views and we will be able provide inputs on the plantation sectors in East and West Malaysia, if required in order to further improve the plantation industry.
We Thank You in anticipation.
President, Association of Agricultural Executives, Sabah