Group wants RM1,500 min wage: ‘BN, Harapan promised this’

PSM deputy president S Arutchelvan, calling for the tabling of the minimum wage in the upcoming Parliament sitting, said raising it to RM1,500 should not come as a surprise.

“In our past elections, both the BN and Pakatan Harapan coalitions promised to raise the minimum wage to RM1,500, so this rate should not be a surprise to anyone,” he said.

He was part of a group that handed over a memorandum at Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s office in Putrajaya today.

The Ad-hoc Committee Urging for RM1,500 Minimum Wage’s memorandum was received by an administration officer at the premise’s entrance.ADS

The committee said they represent over 130 non-governmental organisations, trade unions, and PSM.

On the amount, Arutchelvan (above) said what they are asking for is lower than the RM1,800 being pushed for by the Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs).

In addition, he said the formula being applied by the government to decide on the minimum wage would actually bring the rate to RM2,170.

The group argued in their memorandum that the country’s minimum wage was up for review in 2021 and a revised rate was supposed to be implemented in January 2022 but this had not happened.

It described how low-wage workers made many sacrifices with no increment over the past two years and rejected employers’ fears that raising the minimum wage would be harmful to the economy.

The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) recently argued against the RM1,500 revised rate and urged for implementation to be delayed to the end of 2022.

This was after Human Resources Minister M Saravanan indicated a revised RM1,500 minimum wage is expected to be implemented at the end of the year.

‘Raising minimum wage obligatory’

The ad-hoc committee emphasised that raising the minimum wage was “mandatory to deal with the rising cost of living which oppressed the working class”.

It added that the positive wage adjustment to the lowest income bracket would boost the country’s economy.

It also pointed out that in the spirit of the Malaysian Family as promoted by Ismail Sabri, the immediate implementation of the RM1,500 revised minimum wage was “desirable, reasonable, and obligatory.”

Labour union UNI-MLC’s deputy president Ismail Ali suggested that the new rate could be implemented in stages based on how much companies can afford.

“Previously, this was done when the minimum wage was raised from RM900 to RM1,000.

“What’s more important is that the new rate is tabled in Parliament and implemented immediately.

“The government would be able to monitor the gradual implementation so companies that are facing losses can implement the new rates once their income improves.

“We are not asking the government to force employers to implement the new rates immediately,” he explained.

Government Contract Workers Network Secretary M Sivaranjani said 60 percent of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Malaysia are doing well and can afford the RM1,500 rate.

She explained a good example to view their affordability was to view the salary of the CEO of the company in comparison to the lowest income earner in that company.

“The wage gap was a clear indicator of the level of deceit toward employees.

“The government cannot accept verbal confessions of losses and instead must check their financial statements,” she demanded.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *