Thursday, August 13, 2015

Workers’ well-being depends on corrupt-free PM, government, says MTUC

Published: 13 August 2015 10:02 AM

MTUC secretary-general N. Gopal Kishnam wants Putrajaya to commit to transparent investigations and due process of law to give a better impression on the country in order to attract foreign investment. – The Malaysian Insider pic, August 13, 2015.























MTUC secretary-general N. Gopal Kishnam wants Putrajaya to commit to transparent investigations and due process of law to give a better impression on the country in order to attract foreign investment. – The Malaysian Insider pic, August 13, 2015. 

A corruption-free Putrajaya and prime minister is needed for workers' well-being, said Malaysia's main labour group, as Datuk Seri Najib Razak faces a scandal linked to political funds and 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and the ringgit takes a beating.
Expressing his concern over the state of affairs in the country and its impact on workers, Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) secretary-general N. Gopal Kishnam said many businesses and investors consider a clean, corrupt-free government, effective legal mechanisms and proper enforcement of justice as attractive reasons to set up their businesses abroad, including Malaysia.
"Public perception and confidence that Malaysia has a corrupt-free prime minister and government, and that Malaysia believes in justice is what we need for the welfare and well-being of the some 12 million workers and their families.
"It is of utmost importance for our prime minister and our government to restore public confidence, which would naturally include independent transparent investigations and due process of law. No one is above the law," he said in a statement today.
Najib is facing intense scrutiny over the US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) "donation" from a Middle Eastern country into his personal accounts.
At the same time, his brainchild, state investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) is facing multiple probes into alleged financial irregularities.
The country is also suffering from a perception of interference when Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail was abruptly replaced as Attorney-General while the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) offices were raided and its officers detained for questioning by the police over alleged leak of information related to 1MDB.
Meanwhile the ringgit, Asia's worst performer for the past year, breached the RM4 mark against the US dollar yesterday.
It registered 4.006 to the US dollar in early trade, the weakest level since September 1998, as compared with the strongest point of the ringgit in July 27, 2011 at 2.939 against the greenback.
Gopal Kishnam said MTUC is concerned with the ringgit's continued slide, which may cause an increase in costs of living for workers.
He said unless wages are increased, workers and their families will face "great difficulties".
"While dropping oil prices and other factors may be caused, it cannot be denied that these corruption allegations and matters related will also be an added factor in the decline of the Malaysian currency value.”
He reiterated MTUC's demand that the minimum wage, implemented since January 2013, should be increased immediately to enable workers to cope with the increased costs of living.
He also called for measures to help out of work workers, such as emergency financial assistance, as well as cost of living allowance for all workers, which he said would be helpful in these trying times.
"We need legally provided protections and rights to assist workers in such difficult times." – August 13, 2015.
- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/workers-well-being-depends-on-corrupt-free-pm-government-says-mtuc#sthash.qQCrpm7G.dpuf

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