• Office of YB Wong Chen

Web seminar on protecting workers with the Asean Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR)

Yesterday, I took part in a web seminar via zoom with Asean Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) on the topic of protecting workers.

This is my fourth webinar in the last 7 days. These seminars do help to share and develop policies on the Covid-19 crisis.

APHR is particularly useful because it is ASEAN-centric and you will get views of fellow MPs from the region. In yesterday’s seminar, I raised the issue of government wage subsidy for workers.

I also asked whether employers should be given the right to implement pay cuts. On this matter, I believe that all options should be open, so to keep the business afloat. If a business collapses, everyone loses. Ideally, companies should issue shares as compensation to workers, in lieu of full pay.

I also asked APHR to assist in furthering better dialogue for Malaysian MPs and ASEAN counterparts on the issue of migrant worker repatriations. Within a year, Malaysia will most likely see an exodus of undocumented migrant workers caused by economic and social pressures. These repatriations need to be managed efficiently, with fairness and dignity.

Therefore, it will be good if we can start talking to our ASEAN counterparts on the issue of process, procedure and cost as soon as possible.

In the coming days, weeks and months, migrant workers all over the world will continue to be very vulnerable. Even super efficient Singapore is grappling with the spread of Covid-19 within its migrant worker population. Similarly, Malaysia too must implement policies on migrant workers now, before it becomes a full blown crisis like in Singapore