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Malaysia says it penalized 400 companies this year for labor offenses

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia has taken action against 400 companies so far this year for violating labour laws, state news agency Bernama reported, citing Human Resources Minister V. Sivakumar.

The ministry’s labour department issued fines totaling 2.17 million ringgit ($463,000) against 272 employers, while the courts fined 128 employers a combined 242,000 ringgit, Bernama cited Sivakumar as saying on Thursday.

The labour violations included illegal wage deductions, Sivakumar said.

The minister did not name the companies, nor did he give details of the labor offenses.

Malaysia is a key link in the global supply chain, manufacturing everything from palm oil to medical gloves and semiconductor chips.

Malaysian companies have faced U.S. bans in recent years over allegations of abuses against migrant workers, who are employed widely in the country’s manufacturing and plantation industries.

The allegations of forced labour include debt bondage, excessive working hours, retention of passports and unhygienic dormitories.

Malaysia has set a target to eliminate forced labour practices by 2030. – Reuters

Jino Nicolas

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