PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) today urged Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to appoint a human resources minister who would understand the plight of workers and review what it called “bad laws” implemented under the previous administration.
MTUC president Halim Mansor and secretary-general J Solomon said the former minister, M Kula Segaran, had pushed through such laws, particularly when amending the Industrial Relations Act (IRA).
They also claimed Kula had failed to consult the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) about the matter.
They said such laws would lead to union-busting and weaken unions in the country.
In a statement welcoming Muhyiddin’s maiden speech last night, they said the new minister must review these laws by either repealing them or sending them back to NLAC for amendments.
They also claimed that the RM20 billion stimulus package announced by the previous prime minister to cushion the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak had failed to address the core needs of workers.
This included MTUC’s proposal for a revolving fund to provide soft loans for workers to mitigate their financial burden from the economic impact of the virus.
“We hope Tan Sri Muhyiddin will consider establishing this fund as a top priority to help workers who are taking home smaller pay packets due to the economic downturn made worse by Covid-19.”
They also urged the government to extend the monthly cost of living allowance in the civil service to private sector workers in the B40 and M40 group whom they said are struggling with the rising cost of living.
They likewise spoke of a need for the new government to draw up a medical insurance scheme to ensure prompt and quality healthcare for the people.
“Right now, access is very lopsided with the rich getting the best treatment while the poor struggle or wait for long periods for access,” they said.