Police to look into claim ATA IMS whistle-blower beaten by police

Police to look into claim ATA IMS whistle-blower beaten by police
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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 27): The police said on Saturday (Nov 27) they will look into a claim a factory worker of Dyson supplier ATA IMS Bhd was beaten at its station but that they had not received any formal complaints.

British home appliance maker Dyson told Reuters that it was ending its contract with ATA after an audit of the company's labour practices and allegations by a whistle-blower.

Dhan Kumar Limbu, a former ATA worker, told Reuters on Thursday that ATA officials took him to a police station in June, where he was questioned about sharing information on conditions of the factory with activists and then beaten by police.

The police department in Johor, where ATA's factory is located, said it had not received any reports on the matter.

"Johor police takes note of the issue that was reported and will conduct an investigation if what was reported exists," it said in a statement on Facebook.

ATA said on Friday it had appointed consultants to review findings of forced labour in an audit summary it received from Dyson and claims of physical abuse raised by a former worker.

The manufacturer said it had hired a law firm to conduct an independent review of the allegations of physical abuse by the former worker, and a detailed report would be finalised soon.

Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M Saravanan said the ministry will investigate Dyson's decision to sever ties with ATA.

In interviews with Reuters, seven current and former ATA employees said they had worked overtime in excess of limits under Malaysian law and paid recruitment fees in their home countries to labour brokers, a practice activists criticised as a form of debt bondage.

Dyson contributed around 80% of ATA's revenue. Shares in ATA, which made parts for Dyson's vacuum cleaners and air purifiers, had plunged 55% since the Reuters report.