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COMPOUNDS totalling RM12.4 million have been issued by the Peninsular Malaysia Labour Department to employers from February 2020 until yesterday for failure to provide suitable and comfortable workers’ accommodation and hostels.
Department deputy operations director-general Mohd Asri Abdul Wahab said the compounds were issued through 1,083 investigation papers for failing to comply with the Employees’ Minimum Standards of Housing, Accommodation and Amenities (Amendment) Act 2019, or Act 446.
He said during the period, the department inspected 183,391 accommodations involving 48,579 employers, and it was found that 40% or 19,250 employers had failed to comply with Act 446.
Subsequently, 148 investigation papers were opened and taken to court, incurring fines totalling RM1.2 million.,
“Among the excuses given by the employers were difficulties getting approval for hostel construction, or that their applications have not been approved,” he told reporters after inspecting two factories at the Bukit Bakri industrial area along with Muar Municipal Council, Immigration Department, police and Social Security Organisation personnel.
“We are actually here to assist employers if they have problems with their workers, including their housing. These (employers) are urged to meet with the department and also the local authority,” he said.
Asri added that in the two-hour operation from 10.30am today, 528 workers were questioned.
He said workers at these two premises were provided hostels built of bricks and zinc, but the department had not issued a certificate of fitness on the building and the employers had yet to submit any application.
Following the operation today, six investigation papers were opened by the department under Section 24D of Act 446 which provides a maximum compound of RM50,000 for each offence. – Bernama, August 22, 2022.