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Monday, February 26, 2024

Construction company blacklisted for abandoning Bangladeshi workers in Cheras

 Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution revealed that investigations uncovered the abandonment of these workers, left without employment or adequate accommodation by their employers. NSTP/MOHD FADLI HAMZAH

KUALA LUMPUR: A construction company that brought in the 93 Bangladeshi men and promised them non-existent jobs in Cheras has been blacklisted, with its remaining quotas revoked.

Action will also be taken against them using the relevant laws.

In a joint statement, Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution and Human Resources Minister Steven Sim revealed that investigations uncovered the abandonment of these workers, left without employment or adequate accommodation by their employers.

The ministers said the employers failed to uphold the basic welfare standards for these workers, encompassing shelter and sustenance.

This stern response follows two operations initiated by the ministries, prompted by reports circulating on the news outlets.

"The Home Affairs Ministry coordinated an operation led by the Putrajaya Immigration Department, supported by officers from the National Strategic Office of the National Anti-Trafficking Council (NSO MAPO).

"Simultaneously, the Human Resources Ministry conducted investigations through the Labour Department, focusing on employers' compliance with labour laws.

"We caution all employers engaging foreign labour to prioritise workers' welfare and adhere to national legal obligations," they said in a statement today.

The ministries have outlined six actions, including legal measures under the Passport Act 1966, Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007, Employment Act 1955, and the Minimum Standards of Housing, Accommodation, and Employee Facilities Act 1990.

The Minimum Standards of Housing, Accommodation and Employee Facilities Act 1990 provides general penalties. If convicted, the perpetrator could face fines of up to RM50,000 for each offence due to neglecting employee salary payments and not providing suitable living conditions.

Furthermore, employers will be blacklisted from making new foreign worker employment applications under Section 60K of the Labor Act 1955.

Their remaining quotas for foreign workers will also be cancelled.

Previously, local media reported that more than 100 Bangladeshi workers have been without jobs since arriving in Malaysia in November, according to migrant labour rights activist Andy Hall.

Hall said the workers had paid recruitment fees of between RM19,500 and RM21,700 to secure employment in Malaysia, where they were promised good living facilities and high-paying jobs.

He said they were recruited by a construction firm in Cheras. - NST

US air force engineer sets self on fire to protest Gaza genocide

 


A member of the US air force set himself on fire outside the Israeli embassy in Washington DC on Sunday.

The air force engineer, Aaron Bushnell, committed the act of self-immolation in protest of the deaths of civilians in Gaza, which number almost 30,000 as of writing.

“I will no longer be complicit in genocide. I’m about to engage in an extreme act of protest.

“But compared to what people have been experiencing in Palestine at the hands of their colonisers, it’s not extreme at all. This is what our ruling class has decided will be normal,” he said according to a video he recorded while walking towards the Israeli embassy.

Bushnell, who was in his uniform, then set his phone on the ground, doused himself in a flammable liquid, and set himself ablaze.

He shouted “Free Palestine” while on fire.

US Secret Service agents stationed at the embassy extinguished the fire, but the 25-year-old was severely injured by then.

There are conflicting reports on whether he is in critical condition, or had succumbed to his injuries.

The US has been accused of aiding and abetting the Israeli government in its continued attacks on Gaza since last October in retaliation for an attack carried out by Hamas.

Almost 30,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have been killed so far.

The Israeli death toll is around 1,400. - Mkini

Heed Agong's decree not to play politics, PN rep tells govt

An opposition lawmaker has turned the tables on the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s call for MPs not to play politics, by aiming the royal remarks at the government.

Alor Setar MP Afnan Hamimi Taib Azamudden said, among others, that the government was playing politics when it did not give equal funding to opposition MPs.

“Stop playing politics with opposition MPs by restricting allocations,” he said in a statement today.

The government has argued that the opposition should start negotiations if it wants equal funding.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, in his royal address to Parliament today, said he would not entertain coup attempts and called on those who wanted to “play politics” to wait until the next general election.

This was perceived to be aimed at the opposition, which has repeatedly said it was making efforts to take over Putrajaya.

Treat opposition MPs fairly

Meanwhile, Afnan in his statement today also alleged that there were unwritten instructions for staffers of federal agencies in Perikatan Nasional states not to get involved in meetings with the state governments or attend official functions.

He said the government should also stop playing politics on matters such as politicians visiting schools, and critical issues such as rice supply.

Afnan said if the government can resolve critical issues, fulfil its promises, treat opposition MPs fairly, and make it easier for opposition states to apply for development projects, then there is no reason the government could not last until the 16th general election.

“It should be remembered that those who taught us about political games that threaten political stability in the past are those who lead the country today.

“The Kajang Move, the Sept 16 project, pressuring Muhyiddin Yassin to resign, pressuring Ismail Sabri Yaakob to dissolve Parliament, we all know who they are.

“It’s fine when they do it to others, but not when others do it to them,” he added, saying the people would reject those who play dirty politics in the next general election.

The Sept 16 project is believed to refer to the failed attempt by Anwar Ibrahim to secure defections from BN MPs in the aftermath of the 2008 general election.

The Kajang Move was a PKR manoeuvre in 2014 originally meant to pave the way for Anwar to become a Selangor assemblyperson via a by-election, ostensibly for him to replace Khalid Ibrahim as menteri besar.

One of Anwar’s deputy prime ministers, Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, had played a key role in ousting Muhyiddin from office in 2021 and was later among those who pressured Ismail to call for snap election in 2022. - Mkini

Who is more insincere? PAS and Umno lock horns

 


Former allies turned foes PAS and Umno are locking horns in a contest to determine which of them is more insincere.

This is after Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi accused PAS of being ”insincere” for wanting to revive the cooperation between the parties via Muafakat Nasional.

Responding to PAS spiritual adviser Hashim Jasin’s confidence that ties can be re-established, Zahid said: “We doubt their sincerity in making this offer as it was them, not Umno, who withdrew from Muafakat.”

He added that PAS had violated their agreement, which “felt like a betrayal”.

However, PAS information chief Ahmad Fadhli Shaari asked if it was sincere of Zahid to hold clandestine negotiations with Pakatan Harapan chairperson Anwar Ibrahim when Umno was still part of the Perikatan Nasional government.

“Was it sincere of the Umno president who declared (in the Umno general assembly) never to support Anwar or DAP but then broke his promise after the (last) general election although there were other options (as opposed to working with Anwar) available?” he said on Facebook.

According to Fadhli (above, left), PAS has never abandoned its aspiration of uniting the Muslims.

“I wish to state that the spiritual leader did not make a new offer (for political cooperation). It has always been PAS’ aim to revive and defend the unity of the ummah (Muslims).

“Whether this is done under the name of Muafakat or some other name is a secondary issue,” he added.

Harapan-BN relationship

On a sarcastic note, Fadhli said at present, Harapan and BN needed each other.

“Without BN, Harapan cannot be the government and without Harapan, the Umno president would not feel safe,” he added.

Although he did not elaborate, it is believed that the PAS leader was referring to the corruption charges against Zahid.

Last September, Zahid, who is also deputy prime minister, was granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) from all 47 charges of criminal breach of trust, corruption and money laundering in relation to Yayasan Akalbudi funds.

PAS election director Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor, on Dec 8, said that Muafakat would still be alive if Umno was not helmed by Zahid, whom he accused of derailing the pact formed in the aftermath of the 2018 general election.

He claimed that Zahid did not want to work with Bersatu or others despite the Muafakat charter stating that it is for all Muslims including bumiputera from Sabah and Sarawak. - Mkini