IPOH – The Human Resources Ministry (MOHR) has not received any reports of layoffs due to the boycott of Israeli-related goods in Malaysia, confirmed its minister V. Sivakumar. Addressing inquiries about the impact of the boycott on employment, Sivakumar clarified the ministry’s current stance at a media conference held during the Perkeso Deepavali 2023 celebration.

According to BERNAMA News Agency, while there have been media reports suggesting that the boycott of Israeli products led to job losses among part-time workers due to a significant drop in customers, the ministry has not yet received any formal complaints or reports of such layoffs. “If there are complaints, we will investigate them. At this stage, since there are no complaints, I cannot comment further,” he stated, addressing the concerns raised in these reports.

On a separate matter, Sivakumar highlighted past instances where stern warnings were issued to employers and agents who brought in foreign labour but failed to manage them properly, particularly concerning wages and scope of work. He emphasized the importance of preventing forced labour in Malaysia, which can lead to a multitude of problems.

The minister underscored the responsibility of employers and agents in curbing abusive practices against foreign workers. “It is a mistake to bring workers into the country without employment opportunities,” he said, stressing that employers must offer jobs before bringing workers into the country. He warned of strict action against those who violate these guidelines.

Media outlets have previously reported issues concerning low wages and dangerous working conditions faced by Nepalese workers in Malaysia. Following these concerns, Sivakumar announced on November 5 that the ministry would conduct nationwide operations in response to a letter by a migrant rights activist to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), addressing the plight of Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia.