Foreign worker dormitories under spotlight

Farhan Julaihi

Foreign workers’ living conditions is an issue the government is looking into.

This was said by Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong during the daily press conference yesterday.

The minister said under current regulations, employers are responsible for providing adequate living quarters for foreign employees.

Authorities have found overcrowding to be an issue. The minister said, “This issue will usually be investigated by the Labour Department. Another issue is company housing with extensions not approved by Authority for Building Control and Construction Industry (ABCi).”

The issues on company housing are being looked into because of the rise of dormitories related clusters, he said.

The minister said if workers are not paid their salary, they can report to the Labour Department and their employers will be contacted to resolve the issue.

Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar assured that rules and regulations will be updated when the need arises.

The minister said, “We have made changes to rules and regulations regarding foreign employees’ welfare. Last year, the rule of eligibility to take a leave of absence from work was amended.

“Before this, a worker had to work at least six months for their employers to be eligible for leave but due to COVID-19, the time requirement was shortened to one month. More changes will come if necessary.”

Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong during the daily press conference. PHOTO: JAMES KON