Malaysia is one of Asia's biggest employers of foreign labour. But recently, cases of deaths, abuse and forced labour have come to light. What is going on? Who is protecting these migrant workers?
The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) wants the Selangor government to honour the late unionist and lawmaker, Dr V. David, by naming a street in Petaling Jaya after him.
Secretary-general N. Gopal Kishnam said an appeal was made in 2009 soon after the Pakatan Rakyat government was voted into power.
“We had asked former menteri besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim to rename an existing street but the request was met with protest from certain groups,” he said.
Gopal said the MTUC reminded Khalid last year just before Workers’ Day celebration, but nothing came of it.
He said the union had written to current Menteri Besar, Mohamed Azmin Ali, about the matter.
“We have invited him to attend our Workers’ Day rally this year and hope he will have some good news to honour David,” he said.
Gopal said David was instrumental in getting the government in 1973 to declare May 1 a public holiday for workers.
David, who died in 2005, became the youngest MP at the age of 26 in 1959, and was remembered for being fearless and vocal in raising issues concerning workers plight.
Fondly known as “King David” among local and international trade union circles, he became popular after he was made the executive secretary of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) and eventually elected as its general-secretary.
David was elected the MTUC general-secretary in 1978 and held the post until 1992. He was also elected to the governing body of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
He was instrumental in the setting up the Workers Institute of Technology (WIT) in Port Klang, a technical college providing education opportunities for thousands of workers’ children over the years since 1970.
The only other prominent trade unionist, who had a road named after him in Petaling Jaya is the late P. P. Narayanan.
Jalan 222 was renamed in his honour for his contribution to the working class.
Gopal said the MTUC applauded the Penang government for naming a road in the state in honour of the late Cuepacs president, Ahmad Nor, who was elected the Bayan Baru MP in 1990. – April 29, 2015.
Source: The Malaysian Insider
Address: Wisma MTUC,10-5, Jalan USJ 9/5T, 47620 Subang Jaya,Selangor | Tel: 03-80242953 | Fax: 03-80243225 | Email: email@example.com