Forest City developer denies allegations of hiring illegal workers from China

JOHOR BARU (Jan 16): Country Garden Pacificview (CGPV) Sdn Bhd issued a statement denying that it had cases of non-contractual payment for workers from China who had entered the country on tourist visas.

The Malay Mail cited the statement, which said that the company is a law-abiding corporate citizen which ensures compliance of all laws and regulations.

“The case of non-contractual payment in Forest City does not arise. If there is any contract dispute or wage issue, CGPV even offers a direct comprehensive labour complaint management system,” it said in the statement, which was in response to an article in the Financial Times.

The news portal reports that the FT quoted a Chinese construction worker in Johor’s Forest City project, saying that he was on a tourist visa pending a work permit.

In the report, the worker was quoted as saying that his RM12,160.30 payment for work completed had been withheld by his manager, and that he was unable to demand for it due to his illegal work status.

The statement issued by CGPV stated that the company takes the matter very seriously, and said that the company ensured a strict compliance of payment with the project’s progress.

“It is unreasonable to singularly isolate a particular statement of a worker who is not directly employed by the developer.

“The action of an irresponsible sub-contractor, specifically those which does not have direct contractual relationship with the company, deserves greater scrutiny by all parties including enforcement agencies,” read the statement cited by the news portal.

“In addition, a strict and standardised labour visa management system is in place. All labour visas are approved and issued by the Home Ministry and CGPV has been working closely with the relevant government agencies to ensure the company is in compliance with all rules and regulations.

“CGPV has also appointed a local third-party labour service company to assist the labourers on the renewal or cancellation of their labour visa,” said the statement.

“Furthermore, we would like to clarify that CGPV’s official spokesperson was not contacted by the media to provide any response on this matter despite the quote in the FT news article.

“In conclusion, CGPV has always established an open-line communication channel with government agencies specifically the Immigration Department, Construction Industry Development Board Malaysia (CIDB) and also the Chinese Embassy in Malaysia to ensure timely and appropriate resolution of foreign labour issues.”

Two years ago, reports of allegations about the use of illegal migrant workers in the Forest City project emerged.

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