KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 1): The Ministry of Human Resources (MoHR) has opened 19 investigation papers against six companies related to Top Glove Corp Bhd, following enforcement operations in five states, namely Perak, Kedah, Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan and Johor, amid the spread of Covid-19 in the Teratai Cluster.

In a statement, the MoHR pointed out that the main offence by the Top Glove group was its failure to apply for an accommodation certificate from the director-general of the Department of Labour of Peninsular Malaysia (JTKSM) under Section 24D of the act, which led to the discovery of other offences, including dense, uncomfortable accommodation and lack of proper ventilation.

Moreover, the buildings used as accommodation for workers did not adhere to local authority laws, it added.

Following the operations, a total of 19 investigation papers were opened involving all six companies in the Top Glove group, with JTKSM to take further action for all offences investigated under the Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990 (Act 446).

If the companies are found guilty of these offences, the employer is punishable with fines of up to RM50,000 per offence.

The news sparked selling pressure on Top Glove. Its share price had dropped 39 sen or 5.48% to RM6.73 as at 4.10pm, with 58.15 million shares changing hands.

The MoHR explained that the recent increase in the number of positive Covid-19 cases, which exceeded 1,000 daily, had prompted the ministry, via JTKSM, to undertake enforcement operations on several companies in the Top Glove group to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

“Enforcement operations in the five states were carried out simultaneously on Nov 26, involving six companies under the Top Glove group.

“The results of the comprehensive investigation into the accommodations and hostels of employees found that the employers did not comply with the Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990 (Act 446),” said the MoHR.

“The MoHR reiterates that the ministry will never compromise on the matter of non-compliance with Act 446 by any employer. In addition, the MoHR once again calls on employers and centralised accommodation providers to immediately apply for an accommodation certificate for those who have not yet done so,” said the ministry.

Applications can be made online at akta446.mohr.gov.my, while the MoHR and JTKSM can be contacted for any enquiries relating to the matter by telephone (03-8886 5192, 03-8886 2409, 03-8886 2352 or 03-8888 9111) at the nearest Labour Department office.

The news of the investigation came after Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob yesterday announced the extension of the enhanced movement control order (EMCO) at Top Glove’s worker dormitories in Meru, Klang for another 14 days from today until Dec 14.

Source: https://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/top-glove-be-charged-over-worker-accommodations-%E2%80%94-labour-department