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MEF Webinar on “Getting to know MEF”
4 May 2021
MEF Academy Events
Microsoft Excel Functions & Formulas
19-20 April 2021
“Criminal” Misconduct in Employment (Face to Face)
20 April 2021
Memahami Akta Kerja 1955
21-22 April 2021
Performance Appraisals for Work From Home (WFH) Employees
22-23 April 2021
HR Dashboard Analytics
22-23 April 2021
Supervisory Skills For The New Workforce (Face to Face)
26-27 April 2021
Implementing Cost-cutting Measures 疫情成本管理
27-28 April 2021
Understanding Labour Laws (Face to face)
27-28 April 2021
On 17 April 1959 sixty-six employers representing the entire spectrum of Malayan business met at the Selangor Club, Kuala Lumpur to inaugurate the Federation of Malaya Industrial & Commercial Employers' Consultative Association. The objective of establishing an association of employers was stated by the Chairman, Mr. I.P. Bruce of Shell, in the following words:
"The path towards progress and development along which the Federation of Malaya has chosen to travel is that of a private enterprise economy operating within the policy laid down by a democratically elected Government... It is only right that the Government should expect the interests of employers to be represented by a recognised and far-reaching association, and that it should be able to turn to that body for advice and consultation on all matters pertaining to the functioning of the free enterprise system. There are certain conditions indispensable to the proper functioning of the free enterprise, and it is the responsibility of employers to ensure that the Government maintains them."
The Association was established with 73 founder-members and one affiliate member, the Pan Malayan Road Transport Operators' Association. Mr. R.J.E. Price of Malayan Tobacco Company was its first Chairman. Y.B. Tan Sri Dato' S.O.K. Ubaidulla was elected Vice Chairman and he became Chairman in 1963. Subsequently when the Association changed its name to the Malayan Employers Consultative Association (MECA) he remained in that office until December 1982. In recognition of his untiring and dedicated service in the interest of the Association. he has been made the Hon. Life President.
In May 1962 the Malayan Council of Employers' Organisations (MCEO) was formed comprising three constituent members, viz. the Malayan Employers' Consultative Association (MECA), the Malayan Agricultural Producers Association (MAPA) and the Malayan Mining Employers' Association (MMEA). MCEO was officially recognised as the apex employers' organisation in the country serving as a forum for consultation and coordinated thinking among employers on matters of common interest. It soon became apparent, that the membership base of a central organisation had to be expanded to reflect the structural changes that were taking place in the national economy and to allow for a greater diversity of employer representation and functional effectiveness. A strategic realignment was essential to enhance the effectiveness of the Association. This view was also reflected in the Labour Minister's speech to the MCEO in 1976 when he said:
"Finally, I would like to say here that Government would like to see MCEO develop into a strong pinnacle of employers organisations in this country, whose influence would pervade all aspects of management, so as to help establish practices and conduct in labour-management relations which are conducive to the maintenance of industrial peace and harmony."
The constituent members unanimously agreed to dissolve MCEO with effect from 31 December 1977 and to transform MECA into a new apex employer organisation called the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF). The membership of MEF included all the direct members of MECA which became known as Ordinary members and six employer trade unions which became then Association members. The change involved a structural reshuffle the aim of which was to reflect the image of a strengthened, closely-knit and united central employers organisation.
This was achieved by uniting the existing employer organisations together with individual corporations in the private sector under a common umbrella thus emphasising the status of the Federation as the most representative employer organisation in the country. At the beginning of 1978 the number of members totalled 877. Now, there are over 5,000 members with membership comprising all sectors of commerce and industry and the professions, large and small. Presently the Head Office of the Secretariat is housed at its own premises, with Regional Offices in Penang, Johor Bahru, Kuantan, Ipoh and Kuching.
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