KUALA LUMPUR | To ensure transparency, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has called on government-linked companies (GLCs) and government-linked investment companies (GLICs) to hire Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) representatives to be part of their board of directors.

He said the presence of MTUC representatives in each GLC and GLIC would provide the necessary platform for workers to air their complaints and grievances without fear or favour.

“As part of an effort to add value to transparency, I would like to announce that all GLCs and GLICs must appoint an MTUC representative as members of their board of directors.

“This is to ensure that workers’ voices will be taken into account when the directors’ board make a decision.

“It is the government’s hope to see all relevant employees get to play their respective roles in administrative matters,” he said in speech when officiating the 42nd MTUC Assembly in Universiti Malaya here today.

Also present were Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M Saravanan and MTUC secretary-general Kamarul Baharin Mansor.

The prime minister said national development process can be expedited if the working class takes part in government-related matters by maintaining stability, unity and industrial relations.

Ismail Sabri also pointed to the importance of reskilling and upskilling among Malaysian workers, adding that the MTUC must prepare a holistic, effective and comprehensive plan for the public.

As part of Putrajaya’s effort to empower MTUC, Ismail Sabri said the government has agreed to provide a RM4 million yearly grant to MTUC.

“The government has agreed to provide an annual grant of RM4 million to MTUC to implement significant awareness and training programmes.

“I am confident that through strategic education plans, MTUC can continue to play a vital role in producing dynamic employees.

“At the same time, as a parent body that fights for the rights and destiny of workers, the MTUC should also be mindful of the needs of special union members belonging to the B40 group and the hardcore poor group.”

Ismail Sabri, who is the first prime minister to be invited to officiate an MTUC assembly, said the plight of the working class is close to his heart.

“The ‘Malaysian Family’ approach aims to ensure that none of our family members live in poverty. I understand this situation well because where I came from, I was surrounded by poverty.”

Commenting on the current price hike on essential items, the prime minister said the country had managed to escape global inflation after Putrajaya decided to provide necessary subsidies for certain items.

“Our inflation is still low as compared to other countries because we give out subsidies. Instead of buying one whole chicken for RM23 like in Singapore, we are paying around RM9, thanks to our subsidy.”