Socso takes legal action against Penang construction site employer

Fire and rescue personnel look for survivors on Tuesday. – Facebook pic, November 30, 2023.

FIVE out of the nine foreign workers involved in the collapse of a Penang warehouse construction project, are not registered with the Social Security Organisation (Socso) and never made any contributions.

In a statement, Socso quoted Human Resources Minister V. Sivakumar saying legal action will be taken against the employer responsible at the site in Batu Maung, near Bayan Lepas.

Sivakumar said this was a clear contravention of section 6 of the Employees’ Social Security Act 1969 (Act 4) and said according to section 94, employers who fail to register and contribute for foreign workers can be prosecuted.

“Failure to register and contribute for foreign workers can be prosecuted under section 94, Act 4, which carries a fine of RM10,000 or two years in prison, or both, if convicted,” Sivakumar was quoted as saying.

In the 9.58pm incident on Tuesday night, three Bangladeshi workers were killed when the under-construction logistics warehouse collapsed while another two were critically injured.

The construction of the three-storey logistics business complex with office space, parking, and warehouses is located on the southern part of Penang.

All foreign workers – including those who serve as labourers – are required to register and contribute to Socso effective January 1, 2020.

In the statement, Socso said that the two foreign workers who lost their lives and the two who were injured were registered with the organisation but no contributions were made from 2020 to July 2023.

“The other foreign worker who died had no record of registration and contribution.

“The ministry, through Socso, is still actively conducting a review with the Fire and Rescue Department, the Bangladesh High Commission and other related agencies,” it said. – November 30, 2023

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