Minimum wage at RM1,500 receives mixed reactions

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 2): The minimum wage rate of RM1,500 expected to be gazetted this month has received mixed reactions from different organisations within the country.

Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) president Datuk Abdul Halim Mansor said it fully supported the increase in minimum wage increase over the next five years, provided there was no pressure on any parties, especially employers.

"MTUC is still fighting to raise the minimum wage rate for employees to no less than RM1,500. We made a decision on this (minimum wage increase) through surveys conducted with the National Wage Legislative Technical Committee and the discussions at the MTUC Delegates Conference.

"It covers a number of aspects, that the minimum wage should be implemented only for local workers in all sectors, besides the fact that the wage rate must be effective and in line with job responsibilities," he said when contacted by Bernama today.

In a question-and-answer session at the Dewan Rakyat yesterday, Human Resources Minister M Kula Segaran said the new minimum wage rate was in line with Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) promise in the 14th General Election, with a review every two years.

However, Malaysian Employers Federation executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan was of the opinion that it is unfair for employers to bear the burden of the increase in wages.

"In its manifesto in GE14, the PH government promised to help employers by subsidising 50 per cent of any increase in the minimum wage, but now the government says it does not have the money to pay the subsidy.

"The question is whether it is fair for employers to bear 100 per cent of the increase in wages when the government itself had promised to provide the subsidy," he said.