325 foreign workers forced to sleep in a cramped store, plastic factory investigated

 JOHOR BAHRU: A premises, manufacturing plastic-based materials in Taman Tan Sri Yaakob here, was investigated after allegedly failing to comply with accommodation regulations for 325 foreign workers at the factory.

The Deputy Director General (Operations) of the Ministry of Human Resources (KSM) Mohd Asri Abdul Wahab said the company was found to only provide five accommodation spaces in the finished product storage area with an average of each accommodation housing approximately 65 workers.

He said in the Integrated Special Enforcement Operation which was carried out with various agencies including the Social Security Organization (Socso) and the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) at 2.30pm this afternoon, employers were also found to have violated several workers’ basic rights since 2021.

“Today we opened the investigation paper and we took statements from the employees and also the employer to identify what mistakes the employer had made, with each residential unit subject to a maximum compound of RM50,000.

“During the operation carried out earlier, the size of the accommodation provided was only suitable for the use of six employees with a bathroom unit. In fact, the employees were not provided with lockers to store their personal belongings including their passports,” he told reporters after leading a raid on the premises. here today.

Mohd Asri said the employer was also found not to provide beds for the workers in addition to having a bathroom without walls and located next to the kitchen where the cooking was done.

“The room used for sleeping is also a cooking area with items such as onions and chillies also kept together. A fridge is also in the bedroom,” he said, adding that the raid was the result of public complaints received from various sources.

According to him, after the complaints are received, his party conducts raids and action will be taken if there is a violation of the act by the employer involved.

“Usually our raids are the result of intelligence from officers and members, complaints from foreign workers themselves through their embassies or through non-governmental organizations (NGOs), especially those involved in human rights issues,” he said.

He said enforcement action will be taken against the employer in accordance with the Minimum Standards of Housing, Accommodation and Employee Facilities Act 1990 (Amendment) 2019 (Act 446).

Mohd Asri said since January this year until now, KSM has opened a total of 326 investigation papers and 187 of them have been subject to compound action amounting to RM1.9 million.

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