New Straits Times (Online) : 07/06/2018 

KUALA LUMPUR, June 7 —The Human Resources Ministry will set up an independent board soon to investigate and address complaints against the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF), said its minister M. Kulasegaran today.

“We need an effective mechanism to deal with the problems and issues raised as this is an essential aspect of the fund,” he said during the townhall session on the new direction of HRDF’s Registered Training Provider here today.

He said the current standard practice is for all complaints be channelled to HRDF’s CEO Datuk CM Vignaesvaran Jeyandran or the organisation itself.

“I suggest the establishment of a body to address all complaints on HRDF’s website,” he said, adding that this option is most accessible to the public.

The Ipoh Barat MP added queries from the public and the answers provided by HRDF must be transparent and accessible to all on the website.

At the session, the training providers voiced the problems encountered when dealing with HRDF management, especially when it came to getting in touch with them, to register as training providers and bid for tenders.

“From the little things, there are many issues that need to be resolved,” he said, adding that an immediate remedy is needed to make HRDF more responsive and transparent with its funds.

“This is the public’s money and everyone should know what is happening,” he added.

HRDF collects 1 per cent levy from employees’ salaries.

The funds are used to help the up-skilling, re-skilling and multi-skilling of the workforce, to minimise the impact of retrenchment and possibly reduce the rate of unemployment.

On Tuesday, Kulasegaran said that errant employers have until June 30 to register themselves with HRDF, stating that there are 22,678 registered employers under fund, while there are 44,750 employers who are liable to be registered.

He also warned employers, who have defaulted on their monthly levy payments, to pay up, or risk being hauled to court.

Any employer, who contravenes the registration requirement under Section 13(1) of the PSMB Act 2001, commits an offence and shall on conviction, is liable to a fine not exceeding RM10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or to both.

The PSMB Act refers to the Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Berhad Act 2001, which established the HRDF.

The mandatory registration criteria require employers to have a minimum of 10 Malaysian employees in the manufacturing, mining and quarrying and 38 other service sub-sectors.

It was recently reported, to date, there are a total of 3,650 registered Training Providers with HRDF.

Last year, a total of 2,452 (67.1 per cent) of TPs benefitted from the RM684 million financial assistance, disbursed to employers.


New Straits Times (Online): 24/05/2018

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has given the Industrial Relations Department (IRD) a 90-day timeframe to settle 1,970 pending cases related to retrenchment of workers.

Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran said officers of the department have been told to ensure the cases were settled within the given period.

“Regardless if it’s the weekend, public holidays or they have to work late nights, the officers must settle the cases.

“The cases should be disposed of as soon as possible because this is about the welfare of the workers, their family and source of income,” he said, adding that to expedite the process, he will assist the IRD.

Kulasegaran said any retrenched worker may refer to the IRD within 60 days for an investigation to be carried.

Speaking to reporters after visiting IRD today, Kulasegaran said he was also concerned with the amount of overdue cases referred to the Industrial Court throughout 2018.

As of April 30, the Industrial Court has handled a total of 3,687 cases and only 912 cases have been successfully disposed of.

“The Industrial Court has also agreed to dispose cases as soon as possible without compromising on quality.

“That means they hear your cases out, listen to all the witnesses involved for a decision to be made.

"Otherwise, cases with certain fundamentals will be referred to the department's director general.” he said.



Borneo Post (Online) : 23/04/2018

TEBEDU: Works to upgrade the present Tebedu Immigration Complex into an Immigration, Customs, Quarantine and Security (ICQS) Complex will start on July 1.

According to Human Resources Minister Dato Sri Richard Riot, with the works to start soon, he was looking forward to seeing Tebedu become a busy place frequented by tourists again, just like it was before 2004.

Speaking during his ministry’s ‘programme with the people’ at the community hall here yesterday, he said that tourists were now flocking to Serikin (Bau) instead.

Serikin is a market town that sells mostly goods and products from Indonesia. Unlike Serikin, Riot said Tebedu did not have any tourist attraction, but he is confident  that once the Tebedu ICQS is completed, things would change for the better.

“Tebedu will once again be a popular tourist destination, and maybe more popular than Serikin,” said Riot who is Serian incumbent MP.

He said the government has a plan to create a trade zone in Tebedu, to benefit the people living on both sides of the border.

“This (trade zone) will materialise after the Tebedu ICQS is completed as it will be integrated into the Tebedu Inland Port. It (inland port) will be a white elephant no more after that,” he added.

The Tebedu ICQS will allow more trade activities between Sarawak and West Kalimantan, and with the re-activation of Tebedu Inland Port this year, the local people and Sarawakians as a whole will surely benefit.

At present, a cargo shipment between Pontianak Port in West Kalimantan and Kuching Port takes at least 24 hours but with the reactivation of the Tebedu Inland Port, the journey could be shortened to only five hours.

The understanding to reopen cross border trade in Tebedu and Entikong in Indonesia, was reached at the 12th Malaysia-Indonesia Annual Leaders Consultation in Kuching last year.



News Straits Times (Online) : 01/05/2018

KUALA LUMPUR: The sacrifices made by more than 14 million private sector workers and civil servants were given due recognition by the government on Tuesday, with the announcement of five ‘special gifts’ in conjunction with Labour Day 2018.

The gifts encompass special allocations, minimum wage, social security coverage, welfare of employees’ families, as well as preparing them for the transition into Industrial Revolution 4.0.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, in announcing the measures, said a special allocation of RM3 million for workers’ unions in the private sector this year was made in recognition of the principle of ‘walak’ (loyalty) towards the government, which he said serves as the backbone of the nation’s workforce.

"The allocation will be channeled to the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC), who will in turn disburse it to the rest of the workers' unions for their benefit,” he said while delivering his Labour Day 2018 message at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC).

Also present were Public Service Department director-general Tan Sri Zainal Rahim Seman, Human Resources Ministry secretary-general Datuk Dr Mohd Gazali Abas, MTUC president Datuk Abdul Halim Mansor, and Cuepacs president Datuk Azih Muda.

The 46th Labour Day celebrations, themed ‘Pekerja Berkemahiran: Peneraju Kecemerlangan Negara’ (Skilled Workers: Drivers of the Nation’s Excellence) was attended by more than 5,000 workers from various sectors, also saw awards presented to 11 recipients.

Najib, who is also Barisan Nasional chairman, said MTUC had championed for a minimum wage policy since 1988, but the country’s leader at the time did not entertain the request, which left some workers earning a measly RM400 a month.

“Without needing to wait for 22 years, I had during the 2011 Budget tabling in October 2010, announced a minimum wage of RM900 for the Peninsular and RM800 for Sabah and Sarawak, done via the National Minimum Wage Order.

“I will also raise the minimum wage, currently at RM1,000 for the Peninsular and RM920 for Sabah and Sarawak, to a new rate, which will be announced this year.

"If you want a higher rate, you know what to do this coming May 9 (polling day). "Can this be done?" he asked, to a chorus of approval from the crowd in Dewan Merdeka.

Najib said, as the son of former Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak, who had first declared May 1 as Labour Day and a public holiday, he would continue to fight and uphold the workers' struggles in the next five years.

Touching on the importance of fostering happy and well-balanced families, Najib said the government will amend relevant laws, at the latest by 2019, to enable a minimum of three days paternity leave for male workers in the private sector.

Najib also announced an additional RM60 million allocation for Socso's Employment Insurance Scheme (EIS) to raise interim aid this year to RM1,000 for the first month; RM800 for the second month and subsequently RM600.

He said a RM200 million allocation is provided through the Human Resources Development Fund Bhd (HRDF) to certify 4,000 workers via the Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) scheme. This, he said, will enable the workforce to be equipped with the necessary skills to make the leap into the Industrial Revolutin 4.0.

Najib also said that the BN government would protect the welfare of the self-employed, including those in the e-hailing service industry, should it win the 14th General Election, unlike the opposition, who are seeking to review the e-hailing industry for the sake of securing votes.



News Straits Times (Online) : 20/04/2018

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launched the government’s latest initiative - MyApprenticeship offering one million job opportunities for Malaysians.

He said the MyApprenticeship would embellish another one million job opportunities, on top of Barisan Nasional’s pledge to create three million jobs in its 14th general election manifesto unveiled on April 7.

MyApprenticeship is an initiative under the National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS), which focuses on placement fresh graduates and those in current employment in public and private apprenticeship to gain more skills and working experiences.

“Through MyApprenticeship, they (graduates and current workers) will have to opportunity to undergo practical training and increase their competitiveness, either in private or public sectors.

“Other than the three million job opportunities (pledged to be created under BN’s GE14 manifesto), the government aims to create another one million jobs.

“As an incentive, the government agrees to provide double tax deduction to all companies participating in MyApprenticeship,” Najib said in his speech to launch the initiative today, before of crowd at least 5,000 decision-makers and higher learning institute students.

Today’s launching was followed by the signing of 18 memorandums of understanding (MoU) between government agencies and private establishments, witnessed by Najib.

The MoUs are aimed to creating the first batch of 6,000 apprentices under MyApprenticeship.

Najib also said apprentices should be exposed to relevant training modules in lieu with the advent of the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR).

“In the context of 4IR, apprentices should be exposed to, trained and educated with various skills and knowledge in order to turn them into competent, high-skilled workers.”

Also present were Human Resources Minister Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem and Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa.



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