ATA slams activist’s remarks on partnership with Suhakam
5 January 2021
An activist’s comments on the collaboration between ATA IMS Berhad and the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) border on bullying, the company said.
ATA said the remarks by migrant worker activist Andy Hall on Suhakam’s approach and auditing methods were “biased” and “contradictory” to what he claimed to advocate.
“For Hall to question the credibility and capability of a national human rights body, and the genuine intentions of an independent corporate organisation in improving ATA’s sustainability efforts borders on bullying,” it said in a statement today.
“This is especially since Hall himself had never visited ATA in person and does not verify any allegations of forced labour prior to arriving at his own conclusions.”
“As someone in the field of migrant workers’ rights, ATA expected Hall to appreciate that concerted efforts are being made and implemented in stages by the company towards safeguarding the well-being of its foreign workers,” ATA said.
“Hall’s current actions seem contradictory to what he claims to advocate. It is apparent that his biased views and actions are detrimental to ATA’s efforts in the ESG and CSR spectrum.”
ATA said it was happy to receive the Suhakam representatives, adding that the commission not only commended the company for its commitment, but also recommended measures to improve on their efforts.
“ATA has immediately worked towards putting in place these measures based on Suhakam’s feedback and is working closely with them for further improvements,” it said.
“Towards this, ATA hopes for all parties to be fair and to consider our remedial measures to ensure the well-being of our local and foreign workforce.
“We (also ask for) the space to carry out continuous improvements without external interruptions or interference.”