Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Malaysia: a worrying year for freedom of expression (Article 19)

Malaysia: a worrying year for freedom of expression

In the first half of 2017, the rights to freedom of opinion, expression and information both on- and offline continued to be curtailed in Malaysia.

In April 2017, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, speaking at the WAN-IFRA 16th Asian Media Awards, stated that “free speech is thriving in Malaysia”, and appeared to lay blame on foreign activists for creating the “perception” of crackdowns on free speech in the country. However, much of the criticism of Malaysia’s violations of freedom of expression are based on concerns raised by civil society organisations, independent journalists and other members of the public at the national level. ARTICLE 19 has highlighted these concerns, as arrests and incidences of harassment against human rights defenders, journalists and Internet users continue.

This analysis reviews the situation as of the end of June 2017, reiterating ARTICLE 19’s recommendations for the government to address the situation in three priority areas: (i) human rights defenders, (ii) digital rights, and (iii) media freedom.

Freedom of expression in the law

Malaysia has not signed or ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which guarantees the right to freedom of expression under Article 19. Though this right is guaranteed under Article 10(a) of the Malaysian Constitution, those protections fall short of what is required by international human rights law. In practice, human rights defenders, journalists, opposition politicians, artists and social media users continue to face arrest, investigations (which often lead to no further action and can be viewed as harassment), criminal charges and protracted trials for merely exercising their right to freedom of expression.

No progress has been made towards ratification of the ICCPR, in spite of commitments made by the Malaysian government during its 2nd Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the UN Human Rights Council in 2013. Likewise, commitments to repeal the Sedition Act 1948 (an Act which provides for the punishment of sedition)  have not been fulfilled, and there has been backsliding on promises to improve the freedom of expression situation for bloggers and human rights defenders by reliance on other legislation.

While the Malaysian government consistently claims that its practices are in conformity with its international human rights obligations, requests for an official country visit from the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression and opinion to make an independent assessment in this regard remain outstanding.

The increased use of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA) in 2017 is of particular concern, and has overtaken the Sedition Act 1948 as the major legal obstacle to freedom of expression in Malaysia. ARTICLE 19’s legal analysis of the CMA found that the Act contains overly broad content-related offences, and urged the Malaysian government to make amendments to the Act to ensure offences are narrowly defined and comply with international human rights standards.

Other legislation including the Sedition Act 1948, the Penal Code, the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, the Film Censorship Act 2002 and the Official Secrets Act 1972 continue to be utilised by Malaysian law enforcement authorities to silence legitimate expression.

Legal Harassment of Human Rights Defenders
Human rights defenders regularly face harassment, arrest, and criminal charges due to their work, particularly when defending the right to freedom of expression in Malaysia.
In previous years, the Sedition Act 1948 was regularly invoked against human rights defenders, but monitoring of cases in 2017 shows that recent charges have more often been brought under provisions of the Penal Code. Section 505 of the Penal Code was used to investigate three human rights defenders in May, who to date have not been arrested or charged and Section 186 of the Penal Code was invoked to charge a human rights defender in June.
In 2017, there have also been instances of human rights defenders barred from entering and leaving the country. It is deeply concerning that Deputy Home Minister, Nur Jazlan Mohamad has stated that “those that ridicule the government” can be barred from leaving the country as traveling overseas is “a privilege and not a right”.
Some of the most worrying cases of harassment of human rights defenders in 2017 include:
·       Lena Hendry – Sentenced under Film Censorship Act 2002

In March 2017, human rights defender Lena Hendry was sentenced to a fine of RM10,000 or one year in prison under Section 6(1)(a) and (b) of the Film Censorship Act 1998 for possession or exhibition of a film not approved by the Film Censorship Board of Malaysia. Hendry paid the fine and the case is currently pending appeal. Hendry was originally charged in September 2013 for the screening of “No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka,” a documentary about the Sri Lankan armed conflict. In March 2016, the Magistrates Court of Kuala Lumpur dismissed the case, but the dismissal was overturned in September 2016 by the Malaysian High Court.

The judgment has set a dangerous precedent for the right to freedom of expression in Malaysia, where screening a film on a human rights issue considered sensitive to the government without their permission can be met with imprisonment or a serious fine several years after the screening took place. Hendry is the first human rights defender to be charged and convicted under the Film Censorship Act.

·       Rama Ramanathan, Sevan Doraisamy and Thomas Fann – Investigated under Penal Code 

In May 2017, human rights defenders Rama Ramanathan (steering committee member of pro-democracy movement BERSIH 2.0), Sevan Doraisamy (Executive Director of human rights NGO, Suara Rakyat Malaysia – SUARAM) and Thomas Fann (Chairperson for human rights organization Engage), were investigated under Section 505(b) of the Penal Code for making statements with “intent to cause fear or alarm to the public”.

The investigations followed statements by the three activists referring to recent abductions in the country as “enforced disappearances”. The statements referred to the disappearances of Pastor Raymond Koh, Pastor Joshua Hilmy and his wife, as well as social worker Amri Che Mat.

The statements were made in their capacity as members of the newly established Citizen Action Group on Enforced Disappearances (CAGED), which has been vocal in calling for transparency over investigations into the enforced disappearances of the individuals. Malaysia’s Inspector General of police, Khalid Abu Bakar, has previously stated that the group has made “serious” and “baseless allegations” and that they should be investigated.

According to the activists, while they have not yet been charged, they were questioned over their individual roles as members of CAGED, why the coalition had been established, and if there was “foreign interference”. It demonstrates how vague provisions to prevent “public mischief” within the Penal Code, such as Section 505, can be abused to harass human rights defenders and grass-roots protest movements in an attempt to intimidate them into silence.

·       Siti Kasim – Charged under Penal Code

In June 2017, charges were brought against lawyer and human rights defender Siti Kasim for “obstructing a public servant in discharge of his public functions” under Section 186 of the Penal Code, in connection with a transgender event she attended on 3 April 2016. The event was raided by the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (JAWI) based on allegations that it violated a 1996 fatwa prohibiting Muslim women from joining beauty pageants in Malaysia. Siti Kasim has been a staunch defender of human rights and in particular the rights of individuals belonging to minority groups, in particular the LGBT community and indigenous peoples in Malaysia. Siti was detained by JAWI officials at the event and taken to a police station after questioning the legality of the raid.

On 13 June 2017, more than a year after the event and arrest took place, Siti was notified of the charges under Section 186 of the Penal Code, which carry a penalty of two years imprisonment and/or a RM10,000 fine. In November 2016, Siti had filed a court order to ask for information relating to the raid, for the purpose of suing the government and JAWI officers for unlawful arrest.

Siti Kasim has been a staunch defender of human rights and in particular the rights of individuals belonging to minority groups, in particular the LGBT community and indigenous peoples in Malaysia.

Attacks on Digital Rights

ARTICLE 19 is concerned that the CMA has been invoked frequently in the past year, in particular Section 233(1)(a), which has been used to restrict social media users in Malaysia. Section 233(1)(a) criminalises the “improper use of network facilities or services”, creating an extremely vague offence. The provision has been regularly used by law enforcement authorities and the Attorney General of Malaysia to arrest, investigate and charge individuals expressing progressive or dissenting views.

At present, a constitutional challenge is being mounted against Section 233(1)(a) of the CMA at the Federal Court, on the basis that it violates the right to freedom of expression, which is guaranteed under Article 10(a) of the Federal Constitution.

In March 2017, the Report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of expression, added his voice to those criticizing the CMA as in violation of international human rights law. He highlighted the CMA as an example of vague legislation that does not meet the requirement of legality, and noted the broad powers given to the King to determine a state of emergency and thus require disclosure of communications under the law.

In April 2017, ARTICLE 19 highlighted concern over the targeting of four social media users in the space of just two days under the CMA for comments made on social media deemed insulting to national leaders:

·       On 10 April 2017, an unnamed individual was arrested and charged under Section 233(1)a of the CMA and Section 505(b) of the Penal Code for a Facebook post deemed to have “the purpose of maligning the government”. The investigation was believed to be over a photograph showing the individual carrying a placard while wearing a yellow BERSIH T-shirt. The individual was remanded for four days after his arrest and his mobile phone, SIM card and other unnamed items were seized.
·       On 11 April 2017, a second unnamed social media user was arrested and detained for a statement on Facebook deemed offensive to the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar and the Johor Royal Institution. The woman was arrested and held in police custody for investigation under Section 233 (1)(a) of the CMA.

·       Cases of Section 233 (1)(a) of the CMA being invoked against social media users who allegedly posted comments deemed offensive to national leaders were also frequently reported in the subsequent months of May, June and July.

Attempts to co-opt Internet users as private censors 

In May 2017, a new “advisory for group admins” released by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) appeared to seek to co-opt social media users to censor third-party content which the government considers “inappropriate”. The MCMC advisory is a clear reminder to Internet users that they are expected to abide by and enforce Malaysia’s tough restrictions on freedom of expression online, and expects them to act as private censors of other Internet users’ content.

The advisory is for “administrators” of group pages hosted on communication platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Wechat, Viber, and Telegram, or on similar services, and advises them to take a proactive role in monitoring and removing content posted by others to their pages.

While not a legally enforceable regulation in itself, a warning on MCMC’s Facebook page accompanying the advisory stated that Internet users should “be wise in using social media for their own protection.” This implies that failure to comply with the advisory may make group admins liable for the posts of others, even though this type of liability for third-party content is not currently provided for in Malaysian law.

Undermining Media Freedom
Media personnel continue to face obstacles while performing their duties, particularly when reporting on public interest cases such as the government-linked corruption scandal, 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), or other issues considered ‘sensitive’, such as religion.
Journalists reporting from Parliament have also faced restrictions with a new decision by Parliament speaker, Pandikar Amin Mulia prohibiting media from carrying out their work in the lobby of Parliament. Laws including the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 and the Sedition Act 1948 are regularly invoked against members of the press, as can be illustrated by the cases below in 2017.

  • Journalists barred from reporting at Parliament lobby

In March 2017, Dewan Rakyat (Parliament) Speaker, Pandikar Amin Mulia, issued a decision prohibiting journalists from carrying out their work in the lobby of Parliament. The ban was supposedly issued to prevent MPs from being misquoted. It is deeply concerning that journalists are now prevented from accessing elected MPs at Parliament, and is a clear violation of the right to freedom of expression and the public’s corresponding right to information.

  • Malaysiakini – Charged under Communications and Multimedia Act 1998
In May 2017, the CEO of the independent online news portal Malaysiakini, Premesh Chandran,
was charged under Section 244(1) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA) for posting footage of a July 2016 press conference critical of the Attorney General’s decision to clear Prime Minister Najib Razak of corruption allegations.

Section 244(1) criminalises offences by corporations. Earlier, on 18 November 2016, Editor-in-Chief Steven Gan was also charged for the same offence, while KiniTV Sdn Bhd was charged for “improper use of network facilities or services”, an offence under Section 233(1)(a) of the CMA.

·       Journalists from The Star – Investigated under Sedition Act 1948 and Penal Code

In May 2017, five editors and a photographer from The Star newspaper were investigated under the Sedition Act and the Penal Code, after publishing a  photograph of Muslims performing their Tarawih prayer (a prayer performed during Ramadan) underneath the headline “Malaysian Terrorist Leader”. The newspaper immediately issued a formal apology on 28 May citing an “error of judgement”. Editors Rozaid Abdul Rahman, Brian Martin, Dorairaj Nadason, M. Shanmugam and Errol Oh and photographer Mohd Sahar Misni were investigated under Section 4 of the Sedition Act and Section 298(a) of the Penal Code. Section 298(a) of the Penal Code criminalises offences related to incitement of religious hatred, framed as “causing, […], disharmony, disunity, or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill will, or prejudicing, […]etc., the maintenance of harmony or unity, on grounds of religion”.

The Home Ministry also issued The Star a show-cause letter on 29 May calling for the newspaper to explain why its publication should not be suspended under the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984. While no charges were brought as a result of the investigations, this Act seriously limits independence of the media and free expression, particularly given the broad power to the Home Minister to revoke or suspend a permit for any period he considers desirable.

Editors Rozaid Abdul Rahman, Brian Martin, Dorairaj Nadason, M. Shanmugam and Errol Oh and photographer Mohd Sahar Misni were called for questioning on 31 May at Bukit Aman police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur and investigated under Section 4 of the Sedition Act and Section 298(a) of the Penal Code. Section 298(a) of the Penal Code criminalises offences related to incitement of religious hatred, framed as “causing, […], disharmony, disunity, or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill will, or prejudicing, […]etc., the maintenance of harmony or unity, on grounds of religion”. They have not been formally charged with any offence.

Conclusion and Recommendations

As illustrated by the above cases, persons exercising their rights to freedom of expression in Malaysia continue to face significant obstacles in 2017. The space for dialogue and dissent both on- and offline is increasingly closing, most notably through the use of Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) 1998.

Frequent use of the CMA is part of a broader trend that must end and urgent amendments must be made to bring the Act into line with international freedom of expression standards. Provisions in legislation such as the Sedition Act, the Printing Presses and Publications Act, the Penal Code, the Film Censorship Act and the Official Secrets Act that conflict with the rights to freedom of expression must equally be reviewed and bought into line with international human rights standards.

ARTICLE 19 calls on the Malaysian government to immediately and without hesitation:

-      Drop the charges against human rights defenders Lena Hendry and Siti Kasim, as well as the investigations into human rights defenders Rama Ramanathan, Sevan Doraisamy and Thomas Fann;

-      Drop the charges against Pramesh Chandran, Steven Gan and KiniTV Sdn Bhd;

-      Drop all investigations into The Star newspaper and its journalists under the Sedition Act and Penal Code;

-      Drop all investigations and charges against social media users for exercising their rights to freedom of opinion and expression;

-      Repeal the Film Censorship Act 1998 and reform the Penal Code, including Sections 186 and 505, to ensure that they are not abused to unjustifiably restrict the right to freedom of expression;

-      Reform the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 to ensure it fully complies with international freedom of expression standards, in particular Section 233(1)(a);

-      Retract the MCMC advisory for group admins and make clear to social media users that they cannot be held responsible for content created by third parties.

-      Repeal the Sedition Act 1948 and the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, as neither serve a legitimate aim under international human rights law and both are routinely applied to violate the right to freedom of expression.

-      Reform the Penal Code provisions on incitement to religious hatred, to ensure that they are consistent with international human rights law, in particular Articles 19(3) and 20(2) of the ICCPR and the Rabat Plan of Action.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Hak Pekerja Memilih Tempat Kes DiBicarakan - Kes Zulfadlee dan Infineon - 24/8/2017? Solidariti Pekerja?

Kes pembuangan secara salah Zulfadlee telah dirujuk kepada Mahkamah Perusahaan di Kuala Lumpur untuk sebutan pada 24/8/17 IR Court 12 - Harap ramai dari Union dan kumpulan lain  sebagai tanda solidariti hadhir pada tarikh tersebut.

{Zulfadlee dibuang kerja pada 13/12/2016, Aduan dibuat 9/1/2017 - LEBIH 7 BULAN, KERJA HILANG - PENDAPATAN BERHENTI - Langsung tak adil - semua kes sebegini mesti di selesaikan secepat mungkin, kalau boleh, dalam masa 3 bulan - jangan lupa pekerja yang merana, majikan terus beroperasi tanpa rugi apa-apa - Langsung tak ada keadilan kepada pekerja - Mungkinkah lebih adil, jika majikan terpaksa terus membayar gaji pekerja sehingga kes menentukan pembuangan kerja itu salah atau tidak? Keadilan Lewat Keadilan Dinafikan (Justice Delayed is Justice Denied) 

HAK PEKERJA - Anda ada HAK menuntut bahawa kes Mahkamah Perusahaan anda dibicarakan  di tempat anda - di tempat tinggal dan kerja anda. Sebagai contoh, kes INFINEON di Melaka.

Mengapa lebih baik kes Mahkamah Perusahaan diadakan di Melaka, bandar terdekat dengan syarikat majikan?

* Jimatkan kos pekerja - Pergi ke Kuala Lumpur melibatkan belanja pengangkutan, kena ambil cuti, dll...untuk pekerja yang kena buang kerja. Majikan kaya - tak ada masalah kewangan. [Banyak peguam atau 'Unionist' yang berpusat di Kuala Lumpur dan Lembah Kelang akan memilih tempat bicara menurut kesenangan mereka...tetapi pekerja terbabit mesti pilih lokasi berasaskan kesaenangan mereka dan/atau saksi mereka...]

* Isu SAKSI - ya, anda mungkin perlu memanggil saksi daripada kalangan pekerja - di mana, biasanya, anda yang perlu menanggung kos pekerja. Saksi juga kini perlu mengambil cuti tahunan untuk menghadiri kes sebagai saksi (kini-kini undang-undang Malaysia tidak ada peruntukkan cuti berbayar untuk menghadiri bicara atau Jabatan Buruh/Perhubungan Perusahaan, menghadiri di Balai Polis bila dipanggil sebagai saksi, dll - Kita harus berjuang untu hak 'Cuti Pentadbiran Keadilan' berbayar - supaya pekerja tak perlu habiskan cuti tahunan untuk hadiri bicara sebagai saksi, dsb...]. Jika saksi di Melaka, saksi lebih senang ambil 'cuti tahunan' untuk hadhir Mahkamah - mungkin juga hanya perlu cuti 'beberapa jam' untuk hadhir sebagai saksi. Kes Buruh(dan Mahkamah Perusahaan) biasanya banyak tangguh - mungkin taktik majikan mahu pastikan susah saksi pekerja hadhir...Justeru, paling pandai adalah pastikan kes dibiacarakan di Melaka ...

* Tambahan, bila kes Mahkamah Perusahaan di Kuala Lumpur bilangan kes yang ditetapkan pada satu-satu hari bicara mungkin lebih daripada satu, justeru lebih kerap senang penundaan diberikan ...kes akan lama  ditangguhkan. Tetapi di Melaka, kemungkin hanya satu kes...justeru sukar mendapatkan penangguhan, dan kes akan dibicarakan cepat... ingat bahawa undang-undang buruh sudah dipinda, dan 'back-wages'(gaji tertunggak akibat pembuangan kerja secara salah), maksima yang akan diberikan adalah 24 bulan sahaja...dulu, bika Mahkamah membuat keputusan bahawa pembuangan kerja itu salah, pekerja akan dibayar 'back wages', mulai tarikh pembuangan kerja sehingga tarikh penghakiman. Justeru, jika kes siap lambatpun - pekerja tidak didiskriminasi. Kini, Zulfadlee telah dibuang kerja pada 13/12/2017 - justeru perlu sangat kes ini akhir dibicarakan dalam masa kurang 24 bulan - sebelum 12/12/2018...demi keadilan.

 On 13/12/2016, Zulfadlee was terminated on the grounds...


Kes pembuangan secara salah Zulfadlee telah dirujuk kepada Mahkamah Perusahaan di Kuala Lumpur untuk sebutan pada 24/8/17 IR Court 12 - Harap ramai dari Union dan kumpulan lain  sebagai tanda solidariti hadhir pada tarikh tersebut. 

Zulfadlee ada pilihan untuk memohon kes beliau dibicarakan di Melaka... 

SIAPA boleh mewakili pekerja dalam kes Mahkamah Perusahaan? 

Kini, Zulfadlee diwakili seorang daripada MTUC (bukan peguam tetapi 'unionist') - harapan adalah bahawa MTUC dan pihak Union akan tanggung semua kos dan perbelanjaan di dalam bicara ini...

MAKLUMAT - Siapa boleh mewakili pekerja di Mahkamah Perusahaan?
a)  'an officer or employee of the trade union' 
b)  Dengan kebenaran oleh seorang peguam, dan
c) Dengan kebenaran oleh seorang ' by any official of an organisation (not being a trade union) of employers or of workmen,..'

Tetapi, sekiranya kes ini pergi ke Mahkamah Tinggi, pekerja perlu diwaklili Peguam.

Seksyen 27  Appearance and representation at proceedings before the Court (Industrial Relations Act 1967.

(1) In any proceedings before the Court a party may-
(c) where the party is a workman appear himself personally or where he is a member of a trade union of workmen, be represented by an officer or employee of the trade union;

(d) where the party is a trade union, or an employer, or a workman be represented with the permission of the President or the Chairman, by an advocate, or, notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any written law relating to the registration of trade unions, by any official of an organisation (not being a trade union) of employers or of workmen, as the case may be, registered in Malaysia.
PEMILIHAN WAKIL 'UNION' ATAU PEGUAM sangat penting. Ada yang baik ada yang kurang baik ...Justeru, pekerja harus memilih dengan baik - Pi lihat beberapa opsyen sedia ada...bincang dan pilih dengan baik siapa yang kamu mahu? "Unionist', peguam atau 'wakil lain' yang dibenarkan adalah pilihan anda...jika silap pilih, anda yang kena tanggung kesannya ...

Adakah peguam lebih baik daripada mereka yang bukan peguam? Tak semestinya, peguam pun ada yang baik dan ada yang tak baik - Tetapi, dalam isu hak pekerja, kes anda mungkin ada pilihan untuk juga pergi terus kepada Mahkamah Tinggi, ATAU sebelum tamat bicara Mahkamah Perusahaan perlu juga membuat permohonan kepada Mahkamah Tinggi, di mana dalam kes ini ...'unionist' atau orang lain(selain daripada peguam) tidak boleh mewakili anda di Mahkamah Tinggi - adakah ini akan memberi kesan kepada jenis 'nasihat' yang diberikan kepada anda oleh 'unionist' atau wakil lain - adakah mereka akan tidak menasihati(atau kurang memberikan tekanan kepada mana-mana masihat) yang memerlukan kes dirujuk ke Mahkamah yang mereka tak ada hak terus mewakili pekerja)

Harus juga dimaklumkan, bahawa Pusat Bantuan Guaman Majlis Peguam juga akan mengambil kes untuk pekerja yang berkelayakkan - yang bukan kaya, dan biasa pekerja yang dibuang kerja akan layak. Jika peguam Pusat Guaman mengambil kes, tidak ada apa-apa bayaran guaman perlu dibayar - pekerja mungkin kena bayar kos pemfailan, fotokopi (bayaran maksima RM250).Resolution for Provision of Legal Aid for Workers adopted in Malaysian Bar AGM

Kerajaan juga menyediakan bantuan guaman ...melalui Jabatan Bantuan Guaman, dan kini juga melalui Yayasan Bantuan Guaman Kebangsaan(YBGK). Dulu, tak ada bantuan guaman untuk kes jenayah - tetapi kini melalui YBGK, ada bantuan guaman. Kes Pekerja - kini secara am, belum lagi disediakan skim bantuan guaman. Jika MTUC dan Union lain mendesak - tak lama lagi kita juga akan mendapatkan 'bantuan guaman' oleh pihak kerajaan untuk pekerja...


Jika MTUC mengambil kes, ada bayaran pendaftaran kepada MTUC sebanyak RM100 - selepas itu, secara wajar, TIDAK ADA BAYARAN yang perlu dibayar kepada ' officer or employee of the trade union'  atau 'official of an organisation' - Jika Union atau MTUC mengenakan bayaran, agak anih...

Dalam kes Zulfadlee, beliau kini MEMILIH mengunakan  ' officer or employee of the trade union'atau 'official of an organisation' dari MTUC?
* MTUC bukan kesatuan - tetapi sebuah persatuan di mana ahlinya adalah kesatuan sekerja

Ada dengar cerita bahawa setengah 'unionist' secara salah mengenakan pekerja terbabit membayar wang kepada mereka - ada kita dengar bahawa caj yang dikenakan ada yang lebih kurang RM5,000 - RM10,000 - Jangan pekerja tertipu, adu segera kepada MTUC atau Union berkenaan.

Jangan mereka di 'Union' pula menindas pekerja yang ditimpa ketidakadilan... Bila pekerja telah ditindas, Union harus membantu...bukan mengambil peluang menjana pendapatan/keuntugan dari mereka yang tertindas...


Monday, August 21, 2017

Bilangan ahli kesatuan semakin berkurangan? Silap Union atau ahli?

Kesatuan Sekerja di Malaysia semakin lama nampaknya menjadi kurang relevan dan lemah..

Di kalangan kesatuan sekerja sektor swasta, bilangan keahlian semakin lama semakin berkurangan...

2014 - 376,362
2015- 366,348
2017- 354,313

Bilangan keahlian dikalangan kesatuan pekerja sektor awam dan badan statutori bertambah sikit...

924,961 bilangan ahli kesatuan di Malaysia

Bilangan pekerja yang sedang bekerja adalah 14.16 juta - 14,160,000


Senang kita menuduh kerajaan UMNO-BN, kerajaan Negeri, Undang-undang semasa... tetapi  satu faktor utama adalah kegagalan Kesatuan Sekerja dan kepimpinan sedia ada sendiri...

Harus kita mengingati kembali bahawa bilangan pekerja yang menjadi ahli kesatuan sekerja pada lebih kurang tahun 1947 adalah lebih daripada 50% daripada jumlah bilangan pekerja di Malaysia...

Mengapa Kesatuan Sekerja?

Pekerja seorang jika berjuang untuk keadilan dan hak menentang pihak Majikan dan/atau Kerajaan semasa ....adalah dalam kedudukan LEMAH tetapi jika pekerja BERSATU dan berjuang bersama, kedudukan mereka lebih KUAT dan keupayaan berjaya meningkat... maka Kesatuan Sekerja...

Budaya perlu adalah PERJUANGAN BERSAMA ... 

TETAPI jika dilihat di Malaysia pada hari ini, adakah Kesatuan Sekerja Malaysia BERJUANG BERSAMA ...atau adakah perjuangan masih perjuangan seorang dua, kini selaku 'Wakil Pekerja' ...tetapi majikan tidak percaya bahawa 'wakil pekerja' ini ada sokongan dan solidariti RAMAI pekerja - dan ini memang nampaknya benar - MALU bila union setempat membuat PIKET(tindakan sah dalam undang-undang) atau PROTES(perhimpunan aman yang dibenarkan undang-undang) - berapa ramai pekerja ahli kesatuan yang akan keluar ...Bilangan ini penting, kerana ini adalah 'bukti' kekuatan kesatuan sekerja ...paling ramai yang MTUC pun boleh dapat, untuk protes menentang sistem kontraktor for labour pun hanya lebih kurang 10,000 dalam semua protes yang berlangsung diseluruh negara...piket diperingkat kilang puluh beberapa puluh sahaja...

Justeru, apakah kesimpulan yang boleh dibuat? Nampaknya pekerja tak BERSATU...dan/atau masih takut berjuang beramai-ramai dengan solidariti...

SILAP siapa? Bagi saya, ini adalah kesilapan kesatuan sekerja dan kepimpinan sedia ada...

SOLIDARITI dan kekuatan pergerakkan buruh tidak akan dijana begitu sahaja - kerja perlu dilakukan oleh kepimpinan dan ahli...


Rakyat Malaysia memang takut keluar berjuang secara terbuka tetapi ini telah berubah sejak tahun 1998 ... kita ada perhimpunan REFORMASI (lebih kurang 10,000 sanggup keluar beberapa Sabtu berterusan di Kuala Lumpur, perhimpunan protes HINDRAF (di mana lebih kurang 20,000 rakyat Malaysia keturunan India turun padang), BERSIH (beberapa himpunan telah diadakan di mana yang paling ramai melibatkan lebih kurang 200,000), perhimpunan Bantah GST, perhimpunan RUU 355,...

Peguam di Malaysia (kini jumlah ahli lebih kurang 17,000) telah berjaya mengadakan beberapa protes yang melihat lebih kurang 2,000 peguam turun padang...yang terakhir menentang Akta Hasutan. 

Selain daripada perhimpunan aman, ada cara lain iaitu memanggil EGM(Emergency General Meeting) - di mana dikalangan peguam, ia boleh melihat kehadiran ramai boleh sampai 2,000. EGM terakhir pada hari kerja Khamis jam 4 petang pun telah mendapat kehadiran lebih kurang 700 lebih...

Selain daripada perhimpunan RUU355, anjuran PAS, kebanyakkan perhimpunan lain dianjurkan oleh orang perseorangan dan pertubuhan NGO atau CSO, di mana keahlian berdaftar semua kumpulan ini biasa tak sampai pun 100...

Tetapi sejak 1998, adakah MTUC atau kesatuan memanggil apa-apa protes beramai-ramai mengenai isu pekerja dan kesatuan? Bilangan pekerja adalah berjuta-juta (lebih kurang 14 juta kini...) - justeru yang akan keluar adalah ramai...TETAPI TAK ADA? Yang ada pun pun penghantaran memorandum kepada Menteri atau PM, di mana bilangan yang hadhir pun tak lebih 100-200...dan media pun nampaknya tak berikan lapuran besar...

PENGETAHUAN - apakah aktiviti yang kini diadakan dikalangan ahli kesatuan untuk meningkat pengetahuan? Sedih kerana ramai pemimpin kesatuan sendiri tidak pun fasih dengan isu hak pekerja - justeru bagaimana pula ahli?

PERBINCANGAN BERSAMA - Satu ciri kesatuan sekerja di negara lain, tetapi bukan di Malaysia, adalah terdapat 'Union Meeting"(Mesyuarat Kesatuan) yang dihadiri ahli kesatuan, di mana ini diadakan kerap biasa setiap 2 minggu atau sekali sebulan... Ini bukan mesyuarat jawatan kuasa kepimpinan Kesatuan - tetapi mesyuarat bersama semua ahli - yang memberikan semua ahli bersuara..SOLIDARITI tak wujud kerana 'kita kerja bersama seorang majikan' - tetapi perlukan aktiviti bersama yang lain...[Di Indonesia, ada setengah Union yang akan membatalkan keahlian kerana tak hadhir mesyuarat union 2 kali berturut-turut tanpa alasan baik - Apabila saya tanya mengapa, jawapan unionist adalah jika mereka tak mahu hadhir meeting Union, adakah mereka akan bersama dalam tindakan piket atau protes...kita tak perlu ahli berdaftar yang bayar yuran sahaja tetapi ahli yang sanggup keluar berjuang bersama demi kepentingan ahli dan Union]. 

Ada unionist di Malaysia, kita tak boleh buat kerana tak ada tempat atau 'peruntukkan' - Hello kos sewa Dewan Orang Ramai lebih kurang RM300 saja, dan jika diminta, saya percaya kerajaan juga boleh beri 'FREE' - mungkin kalau bukan kerajaan UMNO-BN tetapi di Selangor, Penang dan Kelantan di bawah parti pembangkang...?? Kalau tidak buat di rumah atau mana-mana tempat yang boleh...Alasan saja untuk kegagalan melakukan? Ahli union juga sanggup 'derma' sikit untuk menanggung belanja - kerana ini adalah untuk mereka semua...

AKTIVITI PEMBINAAN SOLIDARITI - ini adalah beraneka jenis aktiviti - daripada perhimpunan Hari Raya, sukan, lawatan/picnic, aktiviti sosial - lawatan pekerja sakit, dll. Aktiviti pembelajaran - kursus - ramai orang sudi hadhir memberi 'ceramah', latihan, dll... 

TINDAKAN BERSAMA - semua tindakan perlu melibatkan ahli kalau boleh... termasuk piket...pengedaran risalah pengetahuan. NUBE satu Kesatuan yang banyak melakukan tindakan bersama ahli bila ada mana-mana isu penindasan atau ketidakadilan ...Piket didepan cawangan bank, penjanaan bahan protes saperti You Tube, risalah, T Shirt, dll...

Untuk perjuangan untuk keadilan atau hak, mereka yang perlu menjadi sasaran adalah Orang Ramai (kerana Malaysia sebuah negara demokratik dan rakyat yang pilih wakil rakyat, dan wakil rakyat yang jadi PM dan kerajaan)...Cara kesatuan di Malaysia kini SALAH kerana mereka menujukan tuntutan dan rungutan mereka hanya kepada kerajaan Persekutuan semasa - PM, Menteri Sumber Manusia, Ketua Pengarah Jabatan Kementerian, ...Justeru, wakil rakyat tempatan pun tak tahu...wakil rakyat parti politik lain pun tak tahu...ahli kesatuan dan juga kesatuan lain pun tidak tahu....NGO dan persatuan lain tak tahu... LAMAN WEB MTUC dan Kesatuan Sekerja pun tidak ada maklumat mengenai apakah masalah, apakah tuntutan (dan mengapa), dll...

Adakah MTUC ATAU KESATUAN NASIONAL/REGIONAL berjaya dalam apa-apa tuntutan dan perjuangan mereka? 
- Macam mana kita tahu kerana semua tak tahu sama ada terdapat tuntutan atau tidak... tidak bila ianya dilakukan?
- MTUC mendakwa mereka berjaya mendapatkan GAJI MINIMA - tetapi apakah bukti bahawa ini adalah hasil perjuangan MTUC atau Union di Malaysia - tak ada maklumat bahawa tuntutan telah dibuat sebelum ini dalam Laman Web MTUC, atau dalam 'internet', atau dalam penerbitan lain...Adakah MTUC dan Union hanya mahu menuntut usaha mereka berjaya ....bila kerajaan UMNO-BN membawa 'Gaji Minima'..
- Inilah masalahnya bila berjuang secara 'RAHSIA'...

Apakah tuntutan sedia ada MTUC dan Union lain di Malaysia? Tak tahu...?????

Kenapa MTUC tidak mengunakan Laman Web dan media sosial (termasuk email) untuk memaklumkan kepada ahli kesatuan dan pekerja Malaysia apa yang mereka lakukan setiap hari ...untuk berjuang untuk keadilan dan hak pekerja? 

Kenapa Union lain tak membuat begitu?

Adakah mereka tidak mahu dedahkan kerana mereka tak melakukan apa-apa? Kini apa yang kita dapat tahu adalah melalui lapuran media ---tetapi tak nampakpun kenyataan media di Laman Web MTUC dan Union lain? Adakah media melapurkan dengan tepat?

AHLI KESATUAN - ramai kini hanya gaji dipotong bulan demi bulan untuk bayar fi Union - selain daripada itu, apakah interaksi kepimpinan dengan ahli? Adakah union mempunyai emel peribadi(bukan emel pekerja yang diberi majikan), supaya senang ahli berkomunikasi dengan satu sama lain dengan bebas. [Emel yang dberi majikan bahaya kerana majikan boleh bila-bila halang komunikasi dengan kepimpinan dan antara ahli union, ini berlaku dengan NUFAM - MAS telah menghalang kepimpinan Union gunakan emel ini....] 

Yang bermain bola, kena setiap kali ada latihan supaya bila sampai masa ada pertandingan, boleh bermain dan berjuang dengan baik - sama dengan Kesatuan Sekerja - kalau tidak ada 'latihan berterusan' ...sukar mengharapkan ahli akan keluar berjuang bersama secara 'solidariti'...

Justeru, silap siapa - kepimpinan sedia ada? Union? ...

CUEPACS, gabungan union pekerja swasta, berjaya berjuang mendapat gaji minima kadar lebih tinggi, bonus tahunan, bonus rakyat - Apakah kemenangan kesatuan pekerja swasta?

EIS - bukankah MTUC ada wakil dalam Lembaga PERKESO? KWSP pun sama? Justeru, semua isu yang dibincangkan dalam pengetahuan MTUC dan kesatuan ahli MTUC, justeru kenapa hanya timbulkan bantahan bila maklumat polisi atau undang-undang baru dibentangkan kerajaan dalam Parlimen sahaja? Kenapa tak timbulkan isu yang diperjuangkan sebelum ini...

Adakah wakil-wakil pekerja dan/atau MTUC dalam PERKESO dan KWSP tak buat kerja selaku 'wakil pekerja'. Wakil pekerja perlu selalu bincang dan bertindak sebagai wakil - bukan keputusan suka hati peribadi? 

ADAKAH MTUC DAN UNION NASIONAL/REGIONAL INI BERJUANG DEMI PEKERJA DI MALAYSIA, ATAU ADAKAH IANYA SUDAH DIKOMPROMI? Soalan yang perlu ditanya ...soalan yang perlu ditimbulkam oleh ahli kesatuan dan juga pekerja lain...

Setiap masa ada kepimpinan Union yang baik, dan yang mahu berjuang dengan bersungguh demi pekerja dan Union - tetapi adakah mereka dihalang bergerak kerana dihalang dengan 'unionist' lain yang mahu hanya 'mematikan' apa-apa initiatif atau usaha perjuangan? Adakah kepimpinan dalam Union, sudah diserapi 'unionist' pro-majikan atau 'unionist' pro-kerajaan? 

Jika ya, TRANSFORMASI diperlukan, dan 'unionist kuning'(yang telah dikompromi majikan atau kerajaan, atau kepentingan peribadi) harus dikenalpasti dan dibuang keluar...