MUCH has been written and raised in the Opinion column of the widely read Borneo Bulletin and as a reader of the Borneo Bulletin since 1961 (when I was in Form One at one of the government schools) I wish to thank the BB for publishing the issue of employment agencies, especially with regard to domestic helpers.
What has been written so far on the issue I am in total agreement and I call upon the Labour Department to make a review of this issue of employment agencies and to be more strict and be transparent, especially when complaints are made and reports are lodged.
Employment agencies are not responsible and are only interested in making money.
For instance, if an amah runs away from home for the fault of the amah herself and ends up at her country’s embassy, the reply that we get is “Not our responsibility” and “Kita tah berurusan dengan pihak embassy”.
If we complain to the Labour Department as the licensing authority, the replies we as employers always received was “Tidak kena mengena dengan kami”.
If an agent has cheated us the replies are the same – “Tidak kena mengena dengan kami – Pejabat Buruh. Biskita report kepada Polis saja”.
It happened to me when we went to an agent near the Gadong area with a very nice office employing a manager and a couple of clerks.
There were many cabinets with files lying on the manager’s and clerks’ tables and two sets of telephones, fax machine, computers and even a photo copy machine.
Later I found out that the agent had no valid licence issued by the Labour Department.
I informed the Labour Department and the reply was “Bukan tanggong jawap kami” and continued “Please go to the police and make a report”.
I did as told and with the report I came back to enforcement section of the Labour Department and handed over the police report.
The officer on duty took the report and said nothing.
It’s been more than a year and I haven’t heard from the department.
To me as normal person and who had worked for some time in the government agency dealing with legal matters, I wonder how can the Labour Department being the licensing authority for employment agencies not do anything or have no power to take action on an employment agency which operated in broad daylight without any licence issued by the Labour Department.
There is an act under the department that controls the running of employment agencies with the power to prosecute under the act or order enacted by the government with the consent of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.
I request the Labour Department to deal with such old issues first before seeking new employment agencies as is advertised in the Borneo Bulletin.
The Ministry of Home Affairs should have to deal with this.
– Disappointed Employer, BSB