MP SPEAKS | My fellow Malaysians, tomorrow on Labour Day, we celebrate the resilience of Malaysia's workers who have toiled for the nation, relentlessly, especially when it has been under enormous stress due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
I urge all Malaysians to not panic, despite the situation that we are in, we must overcome even this.
Our nation has been hurt following the Sheraton Move which saw the birth of the Perikatan Nasional government, a government that has been proven to be greatly incompetent to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Malaysia has 777,500 unemployed people as of Feb 2021. The unemployment rate is at 4.8 percent.
The unemployment rate for youths aged 15 to 24 had increased by 0.4 percent to 13.9 percent in February, coming up to 347,600 people. This is a 52,400-increase compared to 295,300 in January this year.
HSBC Holdings plc has revised Malaysia’s economic growth (GDP) to just 5.7 percent for 2021.
Malaysia’s net FDI fell 56 percent to US$3.4 billion (RM14.08 billion) last year, down from RM31.7 billion the previous year.
PN has also decided to pass an emergency ordinance allowing it to tap into the National Trust Fund (Kwan) for billions despite already allocating RM5 billion for it earlier.
This move has been criticised by the people and there is mounting anger towards this approach by the PN government. No transparency on its procurement has yet to be given to the people.
It is clear, the PN government has failed to lead the nation well. After more than 400 days of MCO and variations of it, the nation is still recording over 3,000 new cases every day.
This is why this Labour Day, I call on Malaysians to celebrate it with the spirit of #KitaJagaKita, because if we do not take care of each other, who will?
I call upon the Human Resources Ministry to reflect on the statistics above. I call upon them to also address the recent case of a Pakistani worker who killed himself on April 17 allegedly due to not being paid his wages for five months. What are the immediate and long-term steps to assure that this does not happen again? Why have they gone quiet on the matter?
Isn't death enough to warrant a serious and immediate investigation on the employer? Local and foreign workers deserve the same rights and the same protection, the government cannot be discriminative.
In the spirit of how the #KitaJagaKita movement was created, the nation must again pay attention to our frontliners who have been overworked due to the severity of the Covid-19 Pandemic in our country.
The government must do all it can to ease the burden of our frontliners.
We must also lobby the government to pass the Sexual Harassment Bill as soon as Parliament convene as we can see each day there are more cases that involve the violation of the rights of women and children, coming to light.
There are many such cases in employment as well, we cannot delay this any longer. Women contribute immensely to the development of the country.
To the 15 million-strong workforce in the country, I wish you a well-deserved Labour Day, I hope time is well spent with your family, friends and loved ones.
M KULA SEGARAN is the MP for Ipoh Barat, the national vice-chairperson for the DAP, and a former human resources minister.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.