“Our Hands are Tied”, Says HR Minister on the Fate of MAS Workers

10th Oct 2017

According to the Malaysian Human Resources Minister Richard Riot, there isn’t much this ministry can do regarding the fate of 3,600 former Malaysia Airlines (MAS) employees that this company had laid-off as a part of the restructuring programme it started in 2015.

Mr. Riot said that the ministry’s hands are tied as MAS no longer exists as a company and as a result, they can’t go after the individuals. Instead, MAS had declared bankruptcy and has been replaced by Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB).

The minister said:

According to the law, as the company had declared bankrupt, we can’t go after it because it is no longer in existence.

He also said that the ministry sent letters, explaining the situation to the laid-off workers.

Our ministry, through the Industrial Relations Department, has written 1,500 letters so far, out of the 3,600 individuals, with full explanations. Actually we are not required by law to give an explanation.

Former MAS workers filed their cases with the HR ministry over two years ago, but without any progress. The National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (NUFAM) questioned the delay on 21st September.

NUFAM President Ismail Nasaruddin said:

Some might think the matter has already been resolved with the airline. The minister has not even referred the case. We demand that the ministry speed up the referral process of these 3,600 cases as they have been waiting for far too long.

According to Mr. Nasaruddin, NUFAM approached the ministry about this, but was not given a response. The last time, they sent a letter to the Deputy Minister Ismail Muttalib and Secretary General Adenan Ab. Rahman on 6th September. However, neither of them responded as of yet.

He also said that he is worried those who were laid-off will not receive any compensation after all.

Asked why it took them so long to refer the cases to the ministry, Khalid Jalil, Director-General at the Department of Industrial Relations said they had waited for the moratorium to be over.

He said:

The last day of the moratorium was 24th May so we could only act after that.

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