A total of 124 investigations have been opened up for these employers. Of these, 115 have been referred to the Deputy Public Prosecutor while 70 continue to be prosecuted with charges.
A total of 59 employers across sectors in Peninsular Malaysia are being investigated and charged as part of the HR Ministry's enforcement of the housing and amenities rules.
In a statement on Monday (15 March), HR Minister Datuk M Saravanan said 3,452 employers had been inspected since the enforcement of the Housing, Accommodation and Minimum Standards Act 1990 [Act 446) (Amendments) 2019 on 1 September 2020, up till 31 January 2021. This involved a total of 101,726 workers under the employers, comprising 11,049 local workers and 90,677 foreign workers.
Following the inspections, 124 Investigation Papers were opened under Act 446, involving 59 employers in various sectors including manufactures of rubber gloves and furniture, construction, retail and manufacturing.
Of these 124, 115 have been referred to the Deputy Public Prosecutor while 70 continue to be prosecuted with charges under Section 24D, Section 24H, Section 24J, as well as Rule 3 and Rule 4 of the Regulations Minimum Standard of Housing, Accommodation and Employee Facilities (Accommodation and Centralized Accommodation) 2020.
According to Minister Saravanan, each offence in all the charges is punishable by a fine not exceeding RM50,000, if convicted. Meanwhile, through the Emergency Ordinance, additional powers have been given to the Government through the Ministry, namely:
- To issue instructions to employers and centralised accommodation providers to replace, alter or repair accommodation and facilities that do not comply with Act 446;
- To issue instructions to employers and centralised accommodation providers to provide temporary accommodation to employees for any accommodation deemed unsuitable and unsafe for human habitation. Employers and centralised accommodation providers who fail to comply with this directive can be fined up to RM200,000 or imprisoned for up to three years, or both, if convicted.
During the enforcement of Act 446 under the amendment of the Emergency Ordinance implemented from 26 February 2021 to 11 March 2021, a total of 3,256 employers were inspected and involved a total of 17,576 accommodations. This involved 149,634 workers comprising 142,576 foreign workers and 7,058 local workers.
Further, since the Emergency Ordinance (Minimum Standards of Housing, Accommodation and Employee Facilities) (Amendment) 2021 came into force, eight cases investigated have been granted compound permits.
The HR Ministry has stressed its reminder to all employers and centralised accommodation providers who have not yet made any application for a Certificate of Accommodation, to do so immediately in order to avoid being subject to stricter action under Act 446.