The Labour Law Reform Coalition was shocked that the Application of International Labour Standards 2021 Report III/Addendum (Part A) has recently classified Malaysia under the category “serious failure to submit” International Labour Organization’s (ILO) conventions and recommendations adopted at the International Labour Conference to the competent authority since 2006.
It is crystal clear that under Article 19(5)(b) of the ILO Constitution, all member states, including Malaysia, are obliged to submit conventions and recommendations within a year after the closing of the International Labour Conference. The failure to do so has tarnished Malaysia’s image in the international community.
Malaysian workers are disappointed that international labour standards and guidelines, concerning workers’ rights and welfare, were not given a chance for consideration and ratification by the government.
Last year, during the ILO’s centenary ratification campaign that called on 187 member states to ratify at least one ILO convention in 2019, the Malaysian government also failed to respond to the call by ratifying any one of the ILO conventions.
Therefore, before the 2021 Labour Day, LLRC urges Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to convene a special cabinet meeting to discuss the serious failure of the Malaysian government to submit the adopted ILO conventions and recommendations to the competent authority since 2006.
The special cabinet meeting should discuss 13 ILO conventions and recommendations listed as “pending submission” by the ILO. We call on the government to ratify ILO Convention 189 on Domestic Workers and Convention on Violence and Harassment.
In addition, the trade union community has been repeatedly calling on the government to ratify ILO Convention 87 on Freedom of Association and Protection of Right to Organize. Since the government is reforming labour laws and aligning it to Convention 87, LLRC urges the government to ratify Convention 87 to protect workers’ rights without delay.
N Gopal Kishnam is chairperson of the Labour Law Reform Coalition