BANTING, March 30 — The country’s image has been tarnished following the issue of Top Glove facing the latest import ban by the US Department of Customs and Border Protection (US CBP) on all its disposable gloves, said Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan.

This follows US CBP, yesterday, directing personnel at its all ports of entry to seize disposable gloves produced by Top Glove because the company is believed to be using forced labour.

“If they are innocent, they should not be punished. Top Glove still has room to appeal to US CBP.

“I will not compromise with any party that abuses the workers,” he told the media after attending a meeting with the Sime Darby Plantation Bhd workers here, today.

He said that when our country was colonised by the British, the Indian community who became workers were never persecuted.

Meanwhile his ministry, in a statement issued in conjunction with the meeting, said that it also held a dialogue session with plantation workers to explain about the workers housing project under the Skim Khas Pembiayaan Rumah Pekerja Estet (SKRE).

It said that SKRE was a government initiative in the form of a revolving fund given specifically to all eligible plantation workers by offering a soft loan facility with the lowest interest rate of 2 per cent, that can be applied for through Bank Simpanan Nasional.

The objective of SKRE is to address the issue of home ownership among plantation workers and also aims to help homeless workers in the event of changes in plantation management or if a plantation is sold for development purposes.

The scheme is also one of the efforts to attract and retain local workers to continue working in the plantation sector, and reducing dependence on foreign labour. — Bernama


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