Monday, January 30, 2017

43 Groups - INFINEON Must Reinstate Zulfadlee Thye Abdullah, President of Workers Union

Media Statement – 31/1/2017


Reinstate Zulfadlee Thye Abdullah, President of Infineon Technologies Melaka Workers Union

We, the 43 undersigned organisations and trade union are shocked to hear about the wrongful termination of Muhammad Zulfadlee Thye Bin Abdullah, the President of the Infineon Technologies Malaysia Workers Union (Kesatuan Pekerja Pekerja Infineon Technologies (M) Sdn Bhd) at INFINEON in Malacca, which is said to be the largest assembly of INFINEON with a workforce of about 8000 people.  Zulfadlee, an employee since 1998, has been the President of the Union  since 2005.

INFINEON is a German Company that produces, amongst others, electronic and auto components, which are said to be used by major Brands including Apple, BOSCH, Philips, Microsoft, Hewlette Packard, Dell and Continental.

On 13/12/2016, Zulfadlee was terminated on the grounds that he ‘committed the act of malingering’, with reference to a sick leave obtained on 18/10/2016 from a doctor, Dr Aw Cheng Yew  of  Kllnlk Melaka, which is a panel clinic of the Employer. The basis of the allegation seems to be because he was present at an activity of the Selangor Division of the Malaysian Trade Union Congress(MTUC)  in Putrajaya on the same date when he was on sick leave.  As such, one may assume that maybe the charge was simply pretending to be sick (or faking illness) for the purpose of avoiding work or duty.

It must be stated that the reason for termination used was not an employment misconduct stated in INFINEON Technologies (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd’s document entitled Policy for Misconduct and Disciplinary.

Further, the word ‘malingering’ is not a commonly used word, and as such many are unaware of the meaning of that word. To compound matters, in this case, the word ‘malingering’ allegedly was never even clearly explained to Zulfadlee, whose mother tongue is the Malay language. When such English words are used in a charges levied against a worker, and then not explained clearly, it will have a tendency to be confusing and may result in injustice.

In law, Zulfadlee was entitled to 22 days of paid sick leave every year, and it must be pointed out that he was examined by a qualified doctor who concluded that he was entitled to   sick leave, and a medical certificate was signed and issued by the said doctor. A sick leave is given only when the doctor, after examining decides a worker is not medically fit to perform his/her duties at work.

There was no question of Zulfadlee lying or pretending to be sick, for on the subsequent day he went to see a specialist doctor, who allegedly discovered that he had a stone in his bladder and he was then given further sick leave for 3 days on 19/10/2016, 20/10/2016 and 21/10/2016. Despite being on sick leave, Zulfadlee did come to the office for a few hours to do some urgent work on 2 of these days but he was not charged for committing the ‘act of malingering’ for these days.

Being on a sick leave does not  mean that one is to be confined at home and bed rest, and cannot do any other things including also attending some union meeting or activity – a sick leave only means that he is not medically fit for work on the said day, and in law he becomes entitled to paid sick leave.

On 18/10/2016, Zulfadlee said that he had no plans whatsoever to go to the Putrajaya union activity with his union members who planned to go. It was only after he had obtained medical leave whilst he was sending off the union members heading to Putrajaya, that he was convinced by his fellow union members and suddenly decided to follow them in the bus.

Now, even if an Employer disputes the Medical Certificate issued by the doctor, then the Employer should reasonably have taken action against the doctor and/or the clinic – not with the employee.  It must be pointed out that generally a panel clinic of the employer, are less likely to simply issue Medical Certificates to employees unless the doctor is convinced that the said worker is entitled to sick leave. In this case, the Employer really had no reasonable basis to even suggest that Zulfadlee was ‘malingering’ or lied to obtain the sick leave. In such health matters, the Employer is certainly not competent – only the qualified doctor is.

We do not believe that any failings of a doctor, if there even is, should ever be blamed on a worker, and certainly not be used as justification for termination.

Further, attending or participating in a union activity cannot and should never be an employment misconduct and/or a breach of the employment contract.


As such, we are of the opinion that the termination of the Union President may really not  be because of an ‘act of malingering’ by an employee, but simply a union busting action targeting the Union President and the Union.

In INFINEON’s letter dated 6/1/2017, rejecting Zulfadlee’s  appeal against the termination it was stated, amongst others, ‘…The basis of our decision was premised on the fact that the Management could not condone nor mitigate punishments for a serious act of misconduct committed by a Union President leading the employees of Kesatuan Pekerja - Pekerja lnfineon Technologies Malaysia itwu,’ This letter was signed by Lee Cheong Chee, the President & Managing Director of lnfineon Technologies Melaka.

The said letter, also did state, ‘…your illustrious career and contributions to the Company has been well acknowledged through your progress during your tenure. While that may ordinarily be a mitigating factor in considering any appeal, the Management has decided that the your act of malingering is deemed to be unacceptable and is aggravated in view of you being the Union President at the point the act of misconduct was committed…’

Besides Zulfadlee, 6 other members of the Executive Committee of the Union, including the Vice President and the Secretary, were also targeted and subjected to disciplinary action – and some of this had ended with a stern warning, whilst only the Union President was terminated.

Considering the fact that out of the 40 over employees that participated in the Union program on 18/10/2016, and only the President and 6 of the Union leaders have been subjected to disciplinary action, it certainly looks that  INFINEON  maybe discriminating against employees who are leaders of the Union, and maybe reasonably said to be an act of ‘union busting’.

The timing of these disciplinary actions and the termination of the Union President, when the Union and INFINEON is starting negotiations concerning the next Collective Bargaining Agreement, whereby the first meeting is scheduled for 23/1/2017 is most disturbing. Members of the Union will most likely be prejudiced by this.

It looks like the Employer’s actions in this case was maybe to instill fear in the Union, its members and other employees, which may affect the effectiveness of the trade union. These actions of the Employer would impact on the duty and obligation of Unions to fight for better rights and working conditions, highlight future wrongdoings, and fight against violation of the worker rights. It is failure to recognize and respect  the freedom of association.

The failure of this Union and/or its members to openly protest the wrongful dismissal of the Union President indicates that the Employer’s strategy to create a docile and compliant union maybe working. It may also seriously affect the upcoming Collective Bargaining Agreement to the  detriment of employees and Union members.


INFINEON Technologies (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd.,a subsidiary of INFINEON, a German company, in this case seem to have acted contrary to the INFINEON’s own policy and Code of Conduct, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines, Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition Code of Conduct, UN standards and principles; and other relevant standards and good practices.

Brands and corporations that do have INFINEON in their supply chain also have the obligation to ensure that justice be done, and that Codes of Conducts or Policies not be violated by reason of these action/s of INFINEON, vide it’s Malaysian subsidiary, INFINEON Technologies (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd, including the discrimination and the wrongful termination of the Union leader.

Justice demands that INFINEON Technologies (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd should immediately reinstate Zulfadlee without electing to simply just wait for the long drawn out court process in Malaysia, that could take even 5 - 9 years before court may award victory to a wrongfully terminated worker. As such, unless INFINEON immediately reinstates Zulfadlee, an employee of INFINEON for 18 years,  great injustice would be done to this worker who has wrongfully been deprived of his employment and income that is so needed for him and his family to survive.

Unjust Malaysian laws at present, states that if the worker cannot be reinstated, he will be awarded compensation in lieu of reinstatement for just a maximum of 24 months, when previously this compensation would have been payment of all income worker would have earned from date of wrong dismissal until the date of judgment(or reinstatement). The new amended limit is not anymore a deterrent for employers seeking to wrongfully get rid of employees, especially worker leaders.

Further, in the case of a Union leader, the chances of getting employment with any other employer, especially in the same sector, is also most difficult compared to other workers. Termination of strong Union leaders is grossly unjust to the Union and its members. Without immediate reinstatement, great injustice will be done.

Therefore, we

Call for the immediate reinstatement of Zulfadlee Thye Bin Abdullah, the President INFINEON Technologies Workers Union;

Call for the immediate withdrawal of disciplinary action/s against other Union leaders and/or members, and/or for the revocation of any punishment that has already been handed out;

Call on INFINEON and its subsidiary, INFINEON Technologies (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd, to respect and promote worker and trade union rights, and cease discrimination against Union leaders, and also cease union busting activities.

Call on Apple, BOSCH, Philips and other companies that has INFINEON in its supply chain to immediately  ensure that INFINEON respect the Freedom of Association of Workers, Worker and Trade Union Rights;

Call on Germany to ensure that INFINEON comply with the OECD Guidelines, United Nations and  International Labour Organisation (ILO) standards, principles and best practices, and other similar obligations to ensure that human rights and worker rights are respected, protected and promoted;

Call on INFINEON and INFINEON Technologies Melaka to respect and promote human rights, including worker and trade union rights

Charles Hector
Syed Shahir bin Syed Mohamud
Mohd Roszeli bin Majid
Pranom Somwong

For and on behalf of the 43 organisations, trade unions and groups listed below

Asociación de Trabajadoras del Hogar a Domicilio y de Maquila–ATRAHDOM,Guatemala C.A.
Association of Human Rights Defenders and Promoters- HRDP
Building and Wood Worker's International (BWI) Asia Pacific
CEREAL Centro De Reflexión Y Acción Laboral (CEREAL), México
Center for Alliance of Labor and Human Rights (CENTRAL) -  Cambodia
Christian Development Alternative (CDA), Bangladesh
Clean Clothes Campaign International Office(CCC)
Club Employees Union Peninsular Malaysia
CWI (Committe For Workers International) Malaysia
Electrical Industry Workers' Union(EIWU)
Electronics Industry Employees Union Southern Region Peninsular Malaysia(EIEUSR)
Electronic Industry Employees Union Northern Region Peninsular Malaysia
GoodElectronics Thailand
IndustriALL Global Union
Institute for Development of Alternative Living (IDEAL)
Kesatuan Eksekutif AIROD
Kesatuan Pekerja-Pekerja Mitsui Copper Foil(MCFEU)
Kesatuan Pekerja-pekerja Perodua EngineManufacturing Sdn. Bhd
Kesatuan Pekerja-Pekerja Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Sdn Bhd (KPP Proton)
MADPET [Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture]
Malaysian Trade Union Congress(MTUC)
Movimentu Kamponezes Timor Leste-Mokatil
National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE)
National Union Employees in Companies Manufacturing Rubber Products (NUECMRP)
National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (NUFAM)
National Union of Transport Equipment & Allied Industries Workers (NUTEAIW)
North South Initiative (NSI)
Paper Products Manufacturing Employees’ Union of Malaysia (PPMEU)
Parti Rakyat Malaysia(PRM)
Pertubuhan Angkatan Bahaman, Temerloh, Pahang, Malaysia
Persatuan Komuniti Prihation Selangor & KL
Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor(PSWS)
PINAY (The Filipino Women's Organization in Quebec), Canada
Progressive Voice, Myanmar
PROHAM -Persatuan Promosi Hak Asasi Manusia
Sawit Watch, Indonesia
Solidarity of Cavite Workers (SCW), Philippines
SUARAM(Suara Rakyat Malaysia)
Tenaga Nasional Junior Officers Union (TNBJOU)
WH4C(Workers Hub For Change)
Workers Assistance Center, Inc., Philippines
Yayasan LINTAS NUSA, Batam-Indonesia

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Death row inmate S. Prabagaran want Malaysia to take Singapore to the International Court of Justice(ICJ).

Monday, 16 January 2017 | MYT 3:14 PM

Mum and Singapore death row son want ICJ to look into case

KUALA LUMPUR: In an unprecedented case, death row inmate S. Prabagaran and his mother are making a judicial review application to direct the Malaysian Government to start proceedings against Singapore in the International Court of Justice over his conviction for drug trafficking.

His lead counsel N. Surendran said the application for leave was filed at the High Court registry here Monday to stop Prabagaran's execution after he was convicted for drug trafficking.

He said they filed the case in Malaysia because Prabagaran had exhausted all appeals in Singapore.

"There is no other way to save Prabagaran's life. The main grounds (cited in the application) is that fair trial was denied in Singapore," Surendran told reporters.

He said they are asking the Malaysian Government to step in as "every person has the right to a fair trial, which is guaranteed under customary international law".

Asked by the media, Surendran said the application does not mean that they are interfering in Singapore's internal matters but merely seeking justice.

In the application for leave, Prabagaran and his mother V. Eswary named the Foreign Ministry and the Malaysian Government as respondents.

Among others, they want a declaration that the respondents are legally obliged to protect and give effect to Prabagaran's right to a fair trial, life and liberty.

Eswary cried uncontrollably after the filing of the court papers.

"He is innocent and I just want his release," she said in between her sobs.

In her affidavit in support, Eswary said her son was convicted in the Singapore High Court on July 22, 2014 for trafficking in 22.24gm of diamorphine.

She said Prabagaran was sentenced to death on Sept 22, 2014 under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

Eswary said her son's appeal to the Singapore Court of Appeal was dismissed on Oct 2, 2015.

Prabagaran then applied to the Court of Appeal to re-open his appeal and set aside his sentence, but the motion was dismissed on Dec 2 last year.

She said that Malaysia, on its own and in exercising the protection of its nationals, is entitled to full reparation for the wrongs done.

She said that on Dec 21 last year she and members of the Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign submitted a memorandum to the Malaysian Government at its high commission in Singapore to refer her son's case to ICJ based on breach of fair trial but there has been no response until now. - Star, 15/1/2017

ADPAN urges Philippines NOT to bring back the Death Penalty

Philippine : Do not revive the Death Penalty

ADPAN strongly urges all members of the Philippine House of Representative and Senate to reject the reinstatement of the death penalty and uphold the rights to life as enshrined in the Constitution.

Reinstating the death penalty would violate Philippine’s international legal obligations, in particular, the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which the country has ratified.

The reasons behind the reinstatement of the death penalty are ill founded and purely a political one. Numerous studies and analysis have concluded that death penalty does not deter crime. Indeed, there has been no existing reliable evidence to prove otherwise.

ADPAN also wishes to highlight that the UN Office on Drugs and Crime has consistently called for the abolishment of death penalty on drug related offences, citing that such irreversible and oppressive laws are not an effective prevention and solution and it is not supported by international drug conventions.

It is also to be noted that on 11th January 2017, Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand Mr Wisanu Krea-ngarm had said that Thailand would eventually do away with death penalty by trying to amend the law to find alternative to the capital punishment, taking into consideration the global trend on abolition.

The Malaysian government has also announced its intention to abolish the mandatory death penalty on drug offences while a comprehensive study is now underway that may also see the total abolition of the death penalty.

Philippine, if successfully revive the death penalty, would not only move backward in its human rights standards and obligations, and would also not be in line with the progress made by its neighboring countries towards the eventual abolition of death penalty.

ADPAN states its disappointment that this Bill to reinstate the death penalty is being rushed on 16 January 2017 when the House of Representative resumes, and urges all members of the House of Representative and Senate to consider it carefully and reject it, respecting and upholding the right to life.

Ngeow Chow Ying
For and on behalf of the
ADPAN Executive Committee
15 January 2017

The Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN) is an independent cross-regional network committed to working for an end to the death penalty across the Asia Pacific region. ADPAN is made up of NGOs, organizations, civil society groups, lawyers and individual members, not linked to any political party, religion or government and campaigns against the death penalty. It currently has members in 28 countries: Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, China, Denmark, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Tonga, Vietnam, UK, USA.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

MADPET Urges USA To Immediately Release 2 Malaysians Being Detained Without Trial For Over 10 Years In Guantanamo Bay Detention Centre

Media Statement – 16/1/2017

MADPET Urges USA To Immediately Release 2 Malaysians Being Detained Without Trial For Over 10 Years In Guantanamo Bay Detention Centre

MADPET (Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture) is shocked to find out that 2 Malaysians have been subjected to detention without trial for allegedly over 10 years in the United States of America’s infamous detention facility in Guantanamo  Bay in Cuba.(FMT News,8/1/2017). Mohd Farik Amin and Mohammed Nazir Lep  have been allegedly detained for about 10 years and 4 months, for allegedly being involved in the 2003 bombing of the JW Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, which killed 12 and injured 150 others.

Article 10 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights clearly states that, "Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.". Everyone have the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.

It must be pointed out that these 2 Malaysians were amongst the Guantanamo detainees who had been recommended for prosecution by the Guantánamo Review Task Force as of January 2010. But sadly, after almost 7 years, they have yet to be granted their fundamental right to a fair trial.

It is said that the Guantanamo Bay detention facility is controlled by the US military, but not actually part of the country and therefore not subject to US laws. There have been allegations of torture, and also deaths in custody at this detention facility. President Obama, when he became President promised that he will close down this facility, but alas it still remains open.

MADPET is of the opinion that all persons currently detained without trial should be immediately and unconditionally released. It is unconscionable and unjust for persons to be detained without trial, and in the case of these 2  Malaysians, it has been more than 10 years.

Malaysia should have been protesting the detention without trial of any Malaysian, who have been denied their right to fair trial. The failure to come to the aid and assistance is a failure on the part of the government.

Malaysia should certainly not support the justification forwarded by foreign nations to detain without trial, and/or to torture Malaysians. As such, it is most sad that the Malaysian police seems to be now justifying the 10 year plus detention without trial of Malaysians by the US.

MADPET is also disturbed by statements allegedly made by Malaysian police counter-terrorism chief, Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay, which maybe an attempt to convince the Malaysian public the reason for the detention without trial, and maybe also the failure of the Malaysian government to come to the assistance of these Malaysians overseas – victims of denial of right to a fair trial.

Amongst others, Ayob Khan was quoted saying, ““They are high-ranking members with a great deal of influence. There is a high possibility they might return to their militant ways and join other groups, especially the Islamic State,”.  It may be of interest to know whether the Malaysian police’s view is based on their own investigation, or simply an acceptance of what the US detaining authority told them. Are there even attempts by the Indonesian government to get these 2 Malaysians to be charged and tried in Indonesian courts for their alleged crimes related to the bombing in Jakarta?

The police officer’s, public prosecutor’s and/or the government’s belief in the guilt or innocence is irrelevant because no one is guilty unless tried and convicted after a fair trial.

If they have broken laws in Malaysia, then they must forthwith be brought back, charged in court and tried. If they have not broken any Malaysian laws, then, of course, Malaysia will have no justification to arrest or detain them on return to Malaysia. Continued detention without trial in Malaysia is not acceptable.

The said media report indicated that  ‘…Ayob said that if the two were transferred back to Malaysia, they would be placed in the de-radicalisation programme, which has been proven to be effective…’. There also was a similar suggestion made earlier ‘…last September, deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Nazir might be transferred to Malaysia but he would have to continue the de-radicalisation programme in jail…’

MADPET is extremely concerned about what is meant by this ‘de-radicalisation programme in jail’, and hope that Malaysia is not proposing detention under trial under POCA(Prevention of Crime Act), POTA(Prevention of Terrorism Act) or some other Detention Without Trial law.

This is unacceptable and MADPET reiterates that Malaysia must abolish all detention without trial laws, and immediately release all those currently being detained and/or being subjected to restrictions by virtue of these draconian POCA and/or POTA.

Therefore, MADPET

Calls on the United States of America(USA) to immediately release Mohd Farik Amin, Mohammed Nazir Lep,any other Malaysians and others currently being detained without trial in Guantanamo Bay Detention facility and other detention facilities in or under the control of the USA.

Call on the Malaysian government to do the needful to ensure that human rights of Malaysians, including the right to fair trial, of those currently being held in Guantanamo Bay Detention facility and detention facilities overseas are always respected and protected;

Reiterate our call on Malaysia to immediately repeal the Prevention Of Crime Act 1959(POCA), Prevention Of Terrorism Act 2015(POTA)    any such Detention Without Trial laws; and

Reiterate our call for the immediate and unconditional release of all persons currently being detained/restricted under Prevention Of Crime Act 1959(POCA) or any such Detention Without Trial laws.

Charles Hector
For and on behalf of
MADPET (Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture)


Will Obama send Malaysia terror accused home?

FMT Reporters
 | January 8, 2017 
Malaysia doesn't recognise the US court's authority on them and the Americans have their concerns with the law here so it'll be difficult, say sources.


PETALING JAYA: Two Malaysian militants held in Guantanamo Bay, the United States’ infamous military prison in Cuba, are unlikely to be among the 22 detainees transferred back to their home or other countries, reported a local portal.

According to The Star Online, intelligence sources said the “long and difficult” transfer process meant it was unlikely that Mohd Farik Amin aka Yazid Zubair, and Mohammed Nazir Lep aka Bashir Lap, would be sent to Malaysia.

Farik and Nazir reportedly had a role to play in the 2003 bombing of the JW Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, which killed 12 and injured 150 others.

Before this, Daily Mail reported that outgoing US President Barrack Obama was planning to transfer 22 detainees before Jan 20, the date Donald Trump will be sworn in.

The targets for release were reportedly those who have been detained for more than 10 years — and both Farik and Nazir have been there for 10 years and four months.

But intelligence sources The Star Online spoke to ruled out the two being transferred back to Malaysia.

“It is a long and difficult process. Both countries must agree on the method of transfer and a suitable location, as well as duration to hold these prisoners in Malaysia,” the source told The Star.

It is understood that the US government was seeking to charge and sentence Farik and Nazir in a US military court but have the remainder of that prison term served in Malaysia.

Another source said the problem with this was that Malaysia didn’t recognise the military court’s authority and that the US didn’t agree with the Prevention of Crime Act, which Malaysia may use to detain the two.

Malaysian police counter-terrorism chief, Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said Farik and Nazir posed a high level of danger, given their involvement in international militant organisations, al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiah.

He said Farik was an explosives expert, while Nazir specialised in hijacking American interests in the region.

“They are high-ranking members with a great deal of influence. There is a high possibility they might return to their militant ways and join other groups, especially the Islamic State,” said Ayob, who is Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division head.

In recent times, a number of Malaysians have left the country to join Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, with some even becoming suicide bombers.

Authorities in Malaysia have voiced concerns about returning militants attempting such activities here.
Ayob said that if the two were transferred back to Malaysia, they would be placed in the de-radicalisation programme, which has been proven to be effective.

Last September, deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Nazir might be transferred to Malaysia but he would have to continue the de-radicalisation programme in jail. - FMT News, 8/1/2017


Citizens of Malaysia

Two citizens of Malaysia have been held at Guantánamo. The detainees include Zubair (Mohd Farik Bin Amin) and Lillie (Mohammed Nazir Bin Lep).
NameCitizenshipStatus2010 Task Force Determination
Lillie (Mohammed Nazir Bin Lep) Malaysia Held Recommended for prosecution
Zubair (Mohd Farik Bin Amin) Malaysia Held Recommended for prosecution