In Malaysia, the relationship between employers and employees governed by labour laws. Development of labour laws in Malaysia began when many Chinese and Indian labourers brought in to Malaya to work in tin mines and rubber plantations. Growth and rapid development of mines and rubber plantations in Malaya increased from time to time, and the amount of labour has also increased. Chinese and Indian labourers brought in by the English which is the mining operators and rubber plantations through agents.
At the beginning is, Chinese labour contracts to work in the mines for a certain period, and after that, they were released to find another job. Part of their wages deducted to repay the expenses to bring them into Malaya. Working conditions at the time it was very bad and they have been oppressed.
Similarly, the Indian labourers brought into Malaya. Most of them are from South India and they work in Malaya in the sugar cane plantations of coffee and rubber plantations. They are also bound under a contract system to work on these farms for a period of two or three years. Some of them continue to work on these estates and others working in various sectors, especially with the government. There is no one specific law to protect the labourers. The method used by the English merchants were to appoint a chief of his own people to manage their affairs. For example, in 1877, a Chinese Protector was appointed in the Straits Settlements to take care of public affairs and the Chinese workers to avoid persecution.
In general, the law (Ordinance) enacted labour in the nineteenth and early twentieth century was largely touched on immigration, working conditions for the admission of forced labour, housing, health conditions and so forth. In 1912, the Labour Department was established in the Straits Settlements and Federated Malay States. The Labour Code was enacted for the State of the Federated Malay States in 1912 and the Straits Settlements in 1920.
LABOUR LAW NOW
Covering the principles of relations between employers and workers in Malaysia were derived from three main sources: -
a. Common Law
b. Written law in Malaysia;
c. The decisions of the Industrial Court and Civil Court.
Common Law in Malaysia influence so broad. Unless the law involving religious affairs and family, many aspects of law in Malaysia is influenced by the Common Law. Occupation which is the reason. Common Law coming into this country through two channels, namely through the legislative and judicial.
Statute (written law) labour in Malaysia, many copied from the English labour statutes and India. Nevertheless, the statute labour in Malaysia is not entirely similar with the labour laws in both countries. To examine the provisions of the statute labour in Malaysia, there are certain provisions that are specific to Malaysia.
Statutes of labourers in Malaysia are the Employment Act, Industrial Relations, Trade Unions Act, the Social Security Act, Workmen's Compensation Act and others. This is the law on labour in Malaysia. Pursuant to section 3 and 5, the Civil Law Act, if there is a written law in Malaysia, Common Law does not apply. However, if there is a lacuna in the law, the principle of Common Law continues to apply to fill the lacuna.
Courts in Malaysia are mainly based on common law cases to clarify aspects of the labour laws in Malaysia, such as tests determine the existence or otherwise of "service contract" implied duty of an employer-employee and others. As far as can be seen, the courts in Malaysia do not discuss the matter when the court decides cases on labour.
Statutes of labourers in Malaysia are as follows:
a. Employment Act, 1955 (Revised 1981). (Amended 1989)
b. Trade Unions Act, 1959 (revised 1981), (Amendment 1989)
c. Industrial Relations Act 1957 (amended 1980, 1989)
d. Social Security Act, 1969