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Minimum wage: Jerit disappointed with Ministry’s response

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For the past one decade, Gabungan Pekerja Kilang dan Kesatuan, Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (GPKK/Jerit), Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC), NGOs as well as individuals have been petitioning for a Minimum Wage Act .

Memorandums, letters, surveys and studies have been submitted again and again to the Human Resources Ministry, urging the Government to enact a Minimum Wage Act in Malaysia.

Yet, there is no implementation of a national minimum wage in Malaysia. What we have are consistent statements with the same excuses by every newly appointed Human Resources Minister and Deputy Minister on why minimum wage cannot be implemented in Malaysia.

Despite all the memorandums and surveys, newly appointed Human Resource Minister S Subramaniam announced that his ministry had launched a blog to obtain public views on the governments’ proposal to implement a minimum wage. And yesterday, the deputy Human Resources Minister, Maznah Mazlan, told Parliament that the government had only received 77 responses from the public since March this year and the feedback is too small to implement the policy.

The answer by the Deputy Minister is totally unacceptable. What about the many memorandums submitted earlier? how about the 80,000 signed cards submitted by GPKK, Jerit in 2006 to Parliament demanding a Minimum Wage Act? Isn’t all this feedback from the people supporting a Minimum Wage Act? Do you think a normal worker knows about the poll done in a blog opened by the Ministry? Why is it that when the government wants to take away subsidies there are open days, exhibitions and various leaflets, whereas the poll about minimum wage is done hush hush.    

Enough of this stories. The Ministry wants feedback? Well, we will be giving them feedback. GPKK/Jerit will be coming over to the Human Resource Ministry on 1 July 2010 to submit a memorandum on Minimum Wage based on the feedback of workers in Johor, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Selangor, KL, Perak, Kedah and Penang. We hope the Minister, S. Subramaniam, and his deputy will be present to accept our memorandum and listen to the workers’ issues.  Then we will be able to judge whether the minister is committed in implementing a Minimum Wage Act or if it is just a drama to scam the people.

Gabungan Pekerja Kilang and Kesatuan

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