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Melaka factory raided over state of workers’ housing

Melaka labour official Rosli Jantan inspecting a workers’ dormitory in Air Tawar today. (Bernama pic)

JASIN: A furniture manufacturing factory in Air Tawar, near here, was found to have committed various offences, involving safety, hygiene and maintenance, under the law on workers’ housing, a labour official said today.

Labour Department enforcement director Zaini Yaacob said that the factory had no accommodation certification, and was found to have not provided suitable accommodation for workers, and lacked first-aid boxes and rubbish bins.

He said a two-hour raid from 11am found that about 150 workers, of Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar nationality, were housed in longhouses and shipping 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.

More than 20 personnel from the Labour Department, police, Fire and Rescue Department and Jasin Municipal Council took part in today’s raid.

Zaini said the factory has been operating for more than 20 years. It provided a longhouse for workers with each room shared between 11 and 16 Nepalese and Myanmar workers.

The workers also had to share beds and pillows, and the employer also did not screen their workers for Covid-19.

“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 for 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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