Raid finds Jasin furniture factory violating Act 446

JASIN (Jan 7): A furniture manufacturing factory in Air Tawar, Merlimau here, was found to have committed various offences, involving safety, hygiene and maintenance, under the Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990 (Act 446).

Department of Labour Peninsular Malaysia (JTKSM)’s Legal and Enforcement Division director Zaini Yaacob said that among the offences were no accommodation certification, not providing suitable accommodation to employees and not providing first-aid boxes and rubbish bins.

He said that the results of the inspection in the raid, conducted for more than two hours from 11 this morning, found that about 150 workers, of Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar nationalities, were housed in longhouses and containers converted into workers’ dormitories with dirty beds and toilets.

“For example, four containers were converted into workers' dormitories to house 45 Bangladeshi workers in a crowded situation and did not comply with the set specifications.

“There are only three toilets in the four containers to be shared by 45 employees, and by right one toilet should only be shared by five employees,” he told reporters after an integrated operation to check on compliance of Act 446 here today.

The operation involved more than 20 personnel from the state Labour Department including its director Rosli Jantan, Royal Malaysia Police, state Fire and Rescue Department and Jasin Municipal Council.

Zaini said that the longhouse workers' accommodation in the factory, which has been operating for more than 20 years, also did not comply with the set specifications as each room unit was shared between 11 and 16 Nepalese and Myanmar workers.

He said that the workers also had to share beds and pillows, and the employer was also found to be not conducting Covid-19 screening on their workers.

“We will open an investigation paper and then action will be taken against the employer in the near future.

“For accommodation offences of not getting certification from the director-general, a fine of up to RM50,000 can be imposed on employers while centralised accommodation offences can incur a fine of up to RM50,000 or imprisonment not exceeding one year or both, if convicted,” he said.

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