KUALA LUMPUR – The authorities have been urged to intervene and stop Zoo Negara’s management from compelling its support staff from coming in to work during the total lockdown.
Malaysian Trades Union Congress general council member A. Sivananthan said the presence of non-essential staff at the zoo increases the risk of Covid-19 infections.
On June 4, Sivananthan, along with a Zoo Negara employee who wishes to remain anonymous, told The Vibes that non-essential staff, including those working in customer service and at ticketing counters, were required to come to work without any International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) letter.
Meanwhile, essential workers attending to the animals are not given work shifts, resulting in no one attending to the animals if an employee falls ill.
Responding to the complaints, Zoo Negara deputy president Rosly @ Rahmat Ahmat Lana explained that the zoo is following National Security Council (NSC) guidelines, which stipulate that 60% of workers are allowed to come to work.
He said the requirement for staggered shifts is unnecessary because, if an employee falls ill, they can be replaced by other staff from different departments.
As for the Miti letter, Rosly said the zoo does not fall under the purview of the ministry.
However, Sivananthan told The Vibes that he is not satisfied with Rosly’s explanation.
“I state that he (Rosly) abuses the guidelines as the whole point of the current movement control order is for people to stay at home.
“Since the zoo is closed, it is not necessary for the ticketing, customer service and other non-essential staff to come to work.”
He urged the NSC, Labour Department and Energy and Natural Resources Ministry to compel Zoo Negara from forcing non-essential staff to report for work. – The Vibes, June 7, 2021