Suhakam calls for protection against workplace discrimination after tudung controversy

Source: Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 ― The freedom for workers to express their religions must be protected, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) said today.

“(The commission) counsels strongly that the freedom to manifest one’s religion or belief without discrimination must be protected in the workplace,” Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail said in a statement.

“While employment contracts can stipulate specific employment conditions, these shall not imply whether directly or indirectly discriminatory practices which may amount to a waiver of the right to freedom of religion and expression,” he added.

Suhakam was responding to ongoing debate on the purported practice by certain international hotel chains here barring Muslim female frontline staff from wearing tudung or headscarves while at work. Read more

Tudung ban on hotel workers a violation of women’s rights, says minister

Source: Malay Mail Online

PUTRAJAYA, Nov 16 — The tudung (headscarf) ban on Muslim hotel staff is a violation of women’s rights, says Women, Family and Community Development Minister, Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim.

She said the move was against the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

“I was shocked with the news (on the tudung ban), This (wearing tudung) is a woman’s right. This issue has never cropped up before. Why has it become an issue in our country now?” she said to reporters after opening the forum on ‘Legal Counsel For Children: Their Right To Be Represented’, here, today.

Recently, the Malaysian Labour Centre of the Union Network International (Uni-MLC) claimed that many Muslim female hotel employees had complained about the discriminatory practice of being told to remove their headscarves.

The Malaysian Association of Hotels (MSH) chairman Samuel Cheah Swee Hee then reportedly said that the policy was practised by the international hotel chains that used the same standard operating procedure on uniforms globally.

On the issue, Rohani also welcomed and appreciated the statement by Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz who regarded the tudung ban as discriminatory and insensitive.

Meanwhile, Rohani said children drawn into cases involving the family law should get legal representation by counsel in order to safeguard their welfare and for their voice to be heard.

She said in divorce cases in court, couples had their respective counsel to fight for their rights and welfare but the children had no counsel to voice out their views and rights.

Rohani said the ministry had organised today’s forum in collaboration with Lawyers Friends for Life to discuss the importance of counsel to represent children in such cases, besides seeking a suitable mechanism which could protect their rights.

She said New Zealand was among countries where children were represented by counsel.

Rights groups support anti-discrimination laws

Source: Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 — Several non-government organisations (NGOs) urged the government today to enact anti-discrimination laws, after a PKR lawmaker suggested legislating against workplace discrimination.

The Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) said such laws were necessary after a recent incident involving an international hotel not allowing its front desk staff to wear headscarves.

“All policies should uphold the basic principle enshrined under Article 8 of Federal Constitution that guarantees equality and non-discrimination on the basis of gender and religion.

“Towards this aim, we call for increasing urgency to adopt a Gender Equality Act for Malaysia that would end gender discrimination in the workplace and other spheres of life,” the group said in a statement today. Read more

Lawyers: Workplace discrimination law won’t affect Bumiputera quotas

Source: Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 ― Enacting a law against employment discrimination will not contradict constitutional provisions that provide for Bumiputera quotas for positions in public service, lawyers said.

Lawyer Surendra Ananth noted that the Federal Constitution’s Article 153 ― which covers the special position of Malays and Sabah and Sarawak’s natives ― is limited to only the public sector in terms of the workplace, and already provides for the equality that a workplace discrimination law would push for.

“I don’t think there would be a contradiction of Article 153. As far as workplace is concerned, Article 153 refers expressly to public services only. Further, Article 153 inherently provides for the safeguard of equality and non-discrimination,” he said, citing Article 153(5) which expressly said that nothing in Article 153 would diminish Article 136. Read more

JAG: Strip-down interview only part of a larger problem

Source: FMT News

The entire airline industry has long violated women's human rights by 'commodifying' their bodies, says the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality. Pic from FMT News.

The entire airline industry has long violated women’s human rights by ‘commodifying’ their bodies, says the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: The Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) has hit out at Malindo Air for “exploiting and commodifying” women’s bodies, saying it reflects a larger problem in the airline industry itself.

“The way Malindo Air treats potential female flight attendants is discriminatory, perverse and sexist.

“No potential employee of any airline should be subjected to such degrading treatment,” it said in a statement today.

JAG was responding to a recent report in The Malay Mail which said that female flight attendant candidates at Malindo Air’s walk-in interviews were told to strip down to their bras. Read more

Removing top ‘normal procedure’, says airline

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Malindo has two uniforms — a high-collared white blouse or a white kebaya top paired with a sarong. — AFP pic.

Malindo has two uniforms — a high-collared white blouse or a white kebaya top paired with a sarong. — AFP pic.

PETALING JAYA, April 5 — It is the right of the employer to request potential flight attendants to expose their chests to interviewers, said Malindo Air public relations and communications director Raja Sa’adi Raja Amrin.

The requirement to remove their tops, but with bras on, was to see if applicants had visible marks due to the material of Malindo’s uniform.

Raja Sa’adi said such checks were necessary as their uniforms were “partially see-throughs”.

“It is not an issue. We have the right to conduct such body checks on them. I think most airlines do the same,” he said.

“We need to see if they (applicants) have scars, pimples or tattoos that could be seen through the uniform. Our flight attendants wear a corset inside and if it is covered by the corset, it is okay.” Read more

Malindo denies report on strip-down during interviews

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Malindo Air today insisted that the grooming checks were no different that what the airline had practised since 2013. — File pic from MMO.

Malindo Air today insisted that the grooming checks were no different that what the airline had practised since 2013. — File pic from MMO.

KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 — Malindo Air today disputed a report that candidates to be flight attendants were made to strip down to their bras during grooming checks.

The airline was referring to a Malay Mail report today, but did not state what it was denying specifically.

Instead, it insisted that the grooming checks were no different than what the airline had practised since 2013.

“In perspective of an article on Malindo Air’s recruitment process of cabin crew in The Malay Mail newspaper dated 5 April 2017, the airline denies of the allegations upon internal investigations done,” it said in a statement distributed by state news agency Bernama.

“Grooming checks for visible marks are conducted privately by female supervisors in a professional manner and is part of the interviewing process. Herein candidates are briefed ahead and consent from each candidate is required prior proceeding to ensure there is no prominent marks will be visible while wearing the uniform.” Read more

Let workers with dyslexia thrive in right roles

Source: Free Malaysia Today 

shamsudinbardan-dyxlexia

Malaysian Employers Federation executive director Shamsuddin Bardan says bosses must identify what are the hidden talents of their employees who are dyslexic – Pic taken from FMT news

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) says companies should bring out the best in their workers if they are known to have dyslexia.

Its executive director Shamsuddin Bardan said that bosses must know the strengths of their dyslexic workers and assign them jobs which they can perform well. Read more

One-third complainants sacked for having HIV, discrimination report shows

Source: The Malay Mail Online

There were 3,330 new HIV infections reported last year, according to statistics from the Health Ministry. — AFP pic.

There were 3,330 new HIV infections reported last year, according to statistics from the Health Ministry. — AFP pic.

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 13 — Five out of 15 people who filed a workplace complaint lost their jobs last year after their employers found out they had HIV, according to a finding by the Malaysian AIDS Council (MAC) released today.

MAC’s HIV and Human Rights Mitigation Report 2015 also showed that termination of HIV-positive workers mostly happened in the tourism and entertainment sector such as hotels, golf resorts and an entertainment venue.

One of the cases also occurred in a government-linked public transport company.

Eight of the 15 complaints involved some form of workplace discrimination, including demotion at the workplace due to their HIV-positive status and also a forced resignation. Read more

WAO: Just one in eight women fought pregnancy discrimination

Source: The Malay Mail Online

It is presently not illegal in Malaysia for prospective employers to ask job candidates if they are pregnant or planning to conceive, while such questions are prohibited in the US under PDA. — AFP pic

It is presently not illegal in Malaysia for prospective employers to ask job candidates if they are pregnant or planning to conceive, while such questions are prohibited in the US under PDA. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 10 ― Lack of awareness caused nearly 90 per cent of pregnant women who faced discrimination at work to lodge formal complaints, according to a Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) survey.

In its “Workplace Discrimination Survey” that polled 222 women, the group said many who were dismissed or overlooked for promotions due to pregnancy did not speak out as they did not know their rights or feared reprisals.

“A woman should be free to choose if and when to have children. She should not have to fear losing her job because she has a baby,” said Sumitra Visvanathan, executive director of WAO. Read more