News/Malaysia: Provide suitable living quarters'

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Subject: News/Malaysia: Provide suitable living quarters'
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Fri Apr 28 2000 - 10:48:31 EDT


Provide suitable living quarters'
By Hamidah Atan
New Straits Times (Malaysia), April 26, 2000

MALACCA, Tues. - State Governments should work out a mechanism to ensure
that employers provide conducive living quarters for foreign workers at
their respective project sites.

This is to facilitate the relevant authorities in keeping tabs on the
workers' problems and activities.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz said
State Governments should ensure employers provide such accommodation before
workers were brought in.

"A copy of the addresses where the workers would be placed and their names
should be made available not only to the Immigration Department but also
the State Government so that the latter could check whether employers
really provide their workers with good accommodation, and not at squatter
areas or near rivers.

"There are cases where employers had submitted non-existent addresses.
Checks must be carried out to make sure those workers stay there and
nowhere else," she added.

This was important so as to enable the Government to keep tabs on
activities of foreigners in the country and minimise formation of squatter
colonies, she said.

Speaking after chairing a joint-committee industries meeting today, she
said that as long as employers could not provide such accommodation, they
should not be allowed to bring workers in.

Also present was Chief Minister Datuk Wira Mohd Ali Mohd Rustam.

She also said the Federal Government had given the thumbs-up to the Malacca
State Government to look for new companies interested in setting up plants
at the Federal Government's 200ha-Composite Technology City in Batu Berendam.

Currently, only one company is operating from the site. The site was
supposed to be the country's launching pad for aircraft production and
related composite components. The project was launched in November 1990.

Another company which could not proceed with its project at the site had
returned a 100ha-land to the State Government.

Rafidah said other companies, including foreign firms, should be given the
chance to operate at the site as long as an aerospace project was viable.

A local company, CTRM had been entrusted to develop the CTC.

The company could assist in the establisment of a fledging but potentially
powerful aerospace industry, she said.

She added that the Federal Government would assist the State Government in
looking for investors to operate at the site.

On a related matter, Rafidah said the Federal Government would continue to
assist the development of small and medium industries in Malacca.

She also said discussions would be held between the Federal Government and
State Government on the type of halal products to be produced at the 104ha
Halal Food Industrial Park in Serkam.

"We will decide on the criteria of the products to be manufactured there.
This is important as we do not want consumers to complain or question the
validity of the items."

Rafidah added any company could invest in the park.

"However, they must follow strictly the certificate and production process
of the halal food."
Melanie Orhant <<morhant@igc.org>>
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