Home Civil Society Voices RM1,500 minimum wage: Just implement it!

RM1,500 minimum wage: Just implement it!

Don’t waste time persuading incorrigible employers to act on their own


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The Penang division of the Malaysian Trades Union Congress believes in the saying: “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.”

This would be an apt description in the context of the prime minister persuading employers to implement a minimum wage of RM1,500.

However much the prime minister or the human resources minister coaxes the employers, nothing works – unlike mandating a RM1,500 minimum wage by gazetting a minimum wage order under the National Wages Consultative Council Act, 2011.

While both the prime minister and human resources minister recognise the need to implement a RM1,500 minimum wage due to the ever-increasing cost of living, they do not seem to have the political will to enforce such a minimum wage.

The prime minister’s announcement that government-linked companies will pay the minimum wage of RM1,500 is encouraging but flawed – for the simple reason he lacked the courage to announce it would be extended to all other sectors as well.

The prime minister has a fiduciary duty to be fair to all segments of society. By announcing a RM1,500 minimum wage to only government-linked companies, he has, in our view, failed to act with equity and good conscience in the matter.

The prime minister cannot be selective in a grave matter of concern, such as the much-awaited minimum wage of RM1,500.

Under the circumstances, we call upon the prime minister to immediately implement a minimum wage of RM1,500 to workers in all economic sectors of the country, as the prevailing financial constraints faced by the working population are constantly deteriorating.

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K Veeriah is secretary of the Penang division of the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC)

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
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