KUCHING, Sept 7: The proposal to reduce daily working hours needs a comprehensive study before it can be implemented, said Sarawak Minister of Welfare, Women and Community Datuk Fatimah Abdullah.
Recently the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) proposed that the government considers reducing the working hours to six daily, stating that the current 48-hour work week was “too long”.
“We have to be rational from all perspectives – from the economic aspect and family’s harmony. We must ensure that the employee’s responsibilities are not jeopardised and at the same time the responsibilities as a mother and wife are not jeopardised,” she said.
She was speaking at a press conference after officiating at the 21st Joint Singapore-Malaysia Nursing Conference at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here today.
She also agreed that if the working hours were shortened it might affect the productivity and it would be unfair to the employers.
On another note, Fatimah said based on police records there had been a rise in the number of domestic violence in Sarawak, an increase of 79 cases this year compared to the same period last year.
She said most of the cases occurred in the urban areas and that it was time for the victims to come forward and report such cases so that they could be protected by the law and be given assistance.
The conference, being attended by 750 participants including 46 nurses from Singapore, is organised by the Kuala Lumpur Nursing Board Club and supported by the Health Ministry and Sarawak Health Department.