PUTRAJAYA, April 21 — The International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the United States Embassy in Malaysia have been asked to notify the Human Resources Ministry of any investigation of forced labour so that solutions can be found before Malaysian products are blocked from entering the US. 

Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan said several Malaysian products had been subjected to export restrictions by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) due to allegations of forced labour, although the ministry has yet to receive any reports from the US on them. 

“This has made it difficult for us to act against the employers. 

“We have conducted investigations according to 11 existing forced labour indicators outlined by the ILO but were unable to detect any wrongdoing, so (we) have met with the ILO and the US Embassy so that any investigation by the US should be notified to us, otherwise we will not see solutions,” he said. 

Saravanan was speaking to reporters after officiating at the handover of the 2022 Central Zone Trade Union Development Grant (GPKS) and the launch of a book on local trade union issues here today. 

On the book, he said it would be a source of reference for employers, human resource practitioners and trade union activists as well as an academic reference in institutions of higher learning.

It is a collaboration between trade unions and academics using allocations under the 2021 GPKS.

Saravanan said the government had also increased the GPKS allocation this year to RM2.6 million to help more trade unions carry out activities, adding that a total of 315 applications were approved nationwide.

For the Central zone, which covers Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, a total of 74 applications have been approved valued at RM472,840, he said.


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