PETALING JAYA: The problem of illegal migrant workers is for the government to solve, a unionist said today after deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had named the labour, employers and manufacturers federations for registering such workers.
Penang MTUC secretary, K Veeriah, said today: “We are baffled by the DPM’s statement,” and added that the MTUC wondered whether Zahid understood the crux of the matter.
Yesterday, Zahid had suggested that employers should register and legalise illegal migrant workers with the Malaysian Trades Union Congress, Malaysian Employers Federation and the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers.
The MTUC is a federation of labour unions in Malaysia.
Veeriah said it was the responsibility of the federal government to deal with the issue. “Mr. Deputy Prime Minister, please don’t attempt to convert MTUC, MEF and FMM as facilitators to resolve the case of undocumented migrant workers,” he said.
“That problem is for the government to handle and not civil groups like us, MTUC. Any delegation of the government’s responsibility would be tantamount to betrayal of the trust of the people,” Veeriah told FMT.
He said Zahid should understand that there were millions of undocumented migrant workers arising from the ineffectiveness of the enforcement agencies, and also from human trafficking and economic considerations.
He said MTUC, MEF and FMM were not empowered to legalise undocumented migrant workers, but it was up to agencies such as the immigration department and human resources ministry.