Thursday, January 17, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all Malaysian Citizens.

My apologies for not writing for so long. This was due to many factors, the most telling and contributory factor being laziness. Sometimes, my wife also refused to help me type out blogposts :)

We had a lot of parties, travelled a bit, put on a lot of weight.  My daughter has grown (she'll be 10 soon). The firm did well, and we've got a new team now. Jayashree is still with us and has been joined by Murali.

Work for me personally was satisfying, although I found myself doing a lot of counsel work,

On the IR front however, I am saddened that a lot of workmen who lost their jobs between 2010 and 2012, found that their avenues to seek redress at the Industrial Court were closed - because the Minister exercised his discretion not to refer them to the Industrial Court. Due to economic reasons, many of these workmen are not in a position to challenge these decisions at  the High Court.

Unlike Civil proceedings, access to the Industrial Court by a dismissed workman, is solely by way of a reference by the Human Resources Minister (pursuant to section 20 of the Industrial Relations Act).

Our Federal Constitution makes provision that all Malaysians  should be given access to justice. It is therefore my view that a Minister should not be given the absolute discretion whether to refer or not to refer a workman's complaint to the Industrial Court, as that would mean that the minister solely determines whether that Malaysian is given access to justice. I am of the opinion that for this reason, this particular law should be revoked as it is clearly contradictory to the Federal Constitution.

The Federal Constitution also recognises the  right to livelihood. Whether a workman has been terminated  rightly or wrongly,  is for the Industrial Court to determine. The Hon. Minister should therefore not be given the absolute discretion to filter complaints of dismissal.

To refer or not to refer should not be the question...

Glory Glory Man Utd!


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