Home TA Online 2010 TA Online Human Resources Ministry denies workers a minimum wage

Human Resources Ministry denies workers a minimum wage

Follow us on our Malay and English WhatsApp, Telegram, Instagram, Tiktok and Youtube channels.

Workers should be aware that all the talk about a high-income country doesn’t imply high wages for them, says Rani Rasiah.

The flimsiest of excuses is now being given by the government for not implementing a minimum wage. The government conducted a survey through its blog and according to the Ministry of Human Resources, there were very few respondents, and so they have dropped the idea!

How removed the government is from the people. How many working class families own computers? And even for those who do, how many have the time, outside their 12-hour workday schedules, to surf the net?  Wouldn’t it have been more credible if the government had said that it didn’t want to upset employers let alone cross swords with them?

This episode just further confirms that the government has no intention of raising the income level of the worker whose wage level is now solely determined by the individual employer. In fact retaining such a bad wage scheme is in line with the government’s policy of liberalising the economy. Low wages and the absence of laws to ensure a fixed minimum wage for workers is a pull factor for foreign investors.

Workers should be aware that all the talk about a high-income country doesn’t imply high wages for them. High income reflected in a higher GDP will not lead to higher incomes for workers even though it is possible if the government so wishes.

According to the 9th Malaysia Plan, the GDP of Malaysia was RM729 billion. If that figure was divided by the 27 million population, the household income of a family (assuming an average family size of five people) could be RM11,250 a month.  

READ MORE:  Anwar's first anniversary as PM: Fix the economy and hasten reforms

However, the unequal distribution of the country’s wealth makes us a notoriously unequal country, with about 60 per cent of families earning less than RM3,000 per month.

As we have seen, this is so not because we are a low-income country but because of the way the ruling class wishes to distribute the wealth. A more equitable wage policy which can help redistribute wealth is out of keeping with the present overall plan. This is why the government, which glibly talks about being representative of all Malaysians, is always cooking up excuses to deny workers a decent minimum wage.

Rani Rasiah, an Aliran member, is a coordinator with the Oppressed People’s Network (Jerit).

Stay connected, current and committed to justice. We deliver the truth right to your doorstep every month for only RM30 a year — which is far less than your newspaper bill each month. All you have to do is click here.

Justice was never won without personal sacrifice – whether measured in time volunteered, energy devoted to a cause, or financial support generously given. We need your support in our struggle for justice. Your contribution no matter how small will be like a droplet that builds up into a wave of change. Click here if you would like to contribute financially.

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
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
Support our work by making a donation. Tap to download the QR code below and scan this QR code from Gallery by using TnG e-wallet or most banking apps:
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x