Thursday, May 05, 2016

1MDB Directors - Resignation/Removal Insufficient? Must be held liable if they did 'wrongs'?

Resignation of Directors alone is insufficient - the Directors were responsible for all the actions of 1MDB. CEO alone cannot do anything without the approval and/or instructions of the Directors. Now, these Director's are responsible for the losses suffered by 1MDB, and for any 'illegal' actions of 1MDB. 

Even if the CEO is a Director, it matters not because decisions are made by all Directors - not just one Director be he the CEO or the Managing Director or the Chairman of the Board of Directors. They have equal power...Now, if they did no 'wrong' - but just made bad decisions, then they may not be liable. But if they did wrong, then they are liable, and can also be sued by 1MDB and/or its owners. Was there a 'breach of trust''?   

Directors are not mere 'seat warmers' or there for 'decoration' - they are given the responsibility (and/or trust) by the owners of the company to manage the running of the company. Go study the role and powers of the Board of Directors. [Now, one person that can overrule the decision of the Board of Directors is the owners of the company - well, if this happened, this will be reflected in the minutes.]

How much were we paying the 1MDB Directors every month? Were there additional allowances? Was it RM20,000 or was it RM1 million per person per month? It would be good that the government discloses this... [Of course, if the Director was a Ministry Representative, who usually is a public servant, he/she will just doing their job and will not have to be paid...]

Are we going to FREEZE THE ASSETS of these Directors? Maybe, we should also make sure they do not leave the country to escape the jurisdiction of our Courts. Maybe, we should prevent them disposing their assets... 

Resignation ...or were they removed by the owners? Not very clear...looks like they were removed...Was this removal because the owners of 1MDB found that they had done 'wrong' and as such need to be removed? Hopefully, 1MDB owners do not issue any letters saving (or 'protecting') them from legal actions?

Malaysian government also needs to also consider whether these former 1MDB Directors, who sit as Directors in other government-owned entities or GLCs should also be removed as Directors in such entities - this would be logical...

Ordinary Malaysians may not have the required 'legal standing' to commence actions against these Directors personally, but 1MDB and the owners, and the Finance Ministry/Government of Malaysia certainly do...

We have seen in the past, even in the case of Malaysian Airlines, Directors have not been taken to task for their 'wrongdoings' when they were Directors...

Let us not take the same position in this case, or in any such cases involving government-owned companies or GLCs...

Directors, who saw 'wrong' being done - would have spoken out during the Meetings (we will be able to identify them from the Minutes.) They may have voted against some 'bad decision' - again, this would be seen in the Minutes. 

They could have also personally brought these concerns to the owners... And, if they just could not anymore in good conscience tolerate the wrongdoings, they could have resigned on their own accord ... and not wait to be removed. Well, some of these factors may have a bearing on their liability...

People should understand the roles and responsibilities of being a Director in companies - and not just simply accept appointments as Directors as it is good for their 'resume' or just a means to get additional income and maybe even 'influence'...

In this 1MDB issue, it was Najib(the Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Chairman of the Baord of Advisors), the BN government and maybe just the CEO who hav been taking most of the flak...but let us not forget, that these Directors are also responsible...

Let us not sweep this matter under the carpet... mere removal as Directors is insufficient 'punishment'...if they did wrong. The Directors too need to be accountable for their actions...

Now, we have removed the Directors, and maybe even the Advisors - but really, Prime Minister Najib also needs to remove now the Finance Minister. 

We need a NEW Finance Minister, who will be able to be more 'independent' in looking into the 1MDB affairs now. The old Finance Minister, alas, would have been the one who appointed the Directors, the Advisors, ...and who was in charge of ensuring that 1MDB was doing no 'hanky panky'... so, no choice, let's have a new Finance Minister...Maybe, it should be someone who is not presently in the Cabinet? Well, it is all up to the Prime Minister...

If there is going to be a new Board of Directors, let us make sure that representatives of the relevant Ministries, i.e. public servants, are also appointed as some of the Directors. This will ensure better control and monitoring - for these reps will be also reporting directly to their respective Ministries. So, erroneous decisions and/or actions could come to notice sooner and be stopped before it is implemented.

For government owned companies, and GLCs, maybe we need a new law - an Act of Parliament, which will cover all aspects of operations, maybe also even remuneration or allowances of CEOs and Directors - it is absurd that some CEOs are being paid tens of thousands ringgit per day. As a guideline, they should not be paid more than the Prime Minister.

The Act should also provide for the Auditor General to be auditing these companies - for after all, these are companies owned by the Malaysian people vide the government. 

The Act must also provide for accountability to Parliament - maybe even the obligation to report to Parliamentary Select Committee/s. Now, only after it is 'too late' do we get to know - it is thus better that there is some continuous monitoring by Parliament...by our 'wakil rakyat'(people's representatives)...

We have to learn from our mistakes, and do the needful now...






MoF Inc on 1MDB: Board of directors' resignation accepted, Arul still president 
By Azura Abas - 4 May 2016 @ 4:25 PM

PUTRAJAYA: The Minister of Finance Incorporated (MoF Inc) today announced its agreement to fully implement recommendations made on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) in the Public Accounts Committee report. 

It said that MoF Inc, as the 100 per cent shareholder of 1MDB, made the decision after a detailed study and due deliberation. 

It said it has accepted the resignation of the 1MDB Board of Directors, effective May 31, 2016. 

"MoF Inc. will appoint new board members in due course, to reflect the limited business profile of 1MDB," it said in a statement today.

It added Arul Kanda would remain in his role as 1MDB president until further notice. 

"He will continue to focus on his specific mandate to implement the rationalisation plan, which will include resolution of the recent contractual dispute with IPIC (International Petroleum Investment Company)." 

The detailed PAC Report recommendations, are as follows: 

* Transfer of ownership of Bandar Malaysia Sdn. Bhd., TRX City Sdn. Bhd., Air Itam lands and Pulau Indah land to MoF Inc; 

* Dissolution of the 1MDB Board of Advisors, and, 

* Removal of Article 117 and change of all  references from “Prime Minister” to “Minister of Finance”, in the 1MDB Memorandum and Articles of Association. - New Straits Times, 4/5/2016

Malaysia dissolves 1MDB advisory board; takes over its assets

Malaysia's finance ministry said it also accepts the resignation of 1MDB's Board of Directors with a new board set to be appointed 'in due course'.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's finance ministry said on Wednesday (May 4) it would dissolve the board of advisors at 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and take over its remaining assets, in an apparent move to scale down a state fund whose scandals have rocked the government.

Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) last month had called for the 1MDB advisory board, chaired by Prime Minister Najib Razak, to be abolished, after a probe into alleged graft and mismanagement at the fund, whose debt in January had totaled about 50 billion ringgit (US$12.5 billion).

The finance ministry, which is the sole shareholder of 1MDB, said in a statement it would also comply with the PAC's recommendation to remove Article 117 and change all references of "Prime Minister" to "Minister of Finance", in the fund's company articles. Najib is also the finance minister.

Article 117 requires the prime minister's written approval for all of 1MDB's financial commitments, including investments, and matters such as the appointment of the board of directors.

Ownership in 1MDB's subsidiaries and land assets in Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd, TRX City Sdn Bhd, Air Itam and Pulau Indah will be transferred to the Ministry of Finance Incorporated, the ministry said.

It did not say what happens to the debt linked to these assets.

In its report, the parliamentary committee had slammed the board of state fund 1MDB for being irresponsible and urged a probe into its former chief executive, but stopped short of implicating Najib.

The ministry also accepted the resignation of 1MDB's Board of Directors, who had collectively stepped down after the release of the report.

New board members would be appointed to reflect the limited business profile of 1MDB, it said.

However, 1MDB president Arul Kanda will remain in his role until further notice, according to the statement.

"(Arul) will continue to focus on his specific mandate to implement the rationalization plan, which will include resolution of the recent contractual dispute with IPIC (International Petroleum Investment Co)," the ministry said.

Last week, 1MDB did not meet its deadline to pay a US$50.3 million coupon on a US$1.75 billion bond following a stand-off with Abu Dhabi sovereign fund IPIC, triggering cross defaults on some of its other bonds.

Kho Jasbing - Which political party and which candidate will fight to save the life of a Sarawakian?

SARAWAK State Elections - What is the response of the government? What is the response of the DAP? PAS? PKR? Amanah? The candidates contesting? 

Remember Kho Jabing is a Sarawakian? Not a Muslim maybe but certainly a 'Bumiputra'. Looking at the past reactions when a Muslim girl was facing the death penalty in China, one wonders whether ethnicity and religion has a bearing on how PAS, BN, PKR, DAP and others will react? If so, this is most disturbing... for we have do what a good human being would do - do the needful to ensure that life is spared...and call for the abolition of the Death Penalty...Remember our calls and actions can work for we were successful is saving Sabahan Vui Kong from being hanged in Singapore...

He may deserve to be punished - but do we want him to be hanged to death? Certainly not...

Of relevance that the re-sentencing High Court commutted his sentence, and the Court of Appeal in a split decision 3-2 decided that he be hanged to death. As such, 3 judges say hang him, and 3 judges say he should be imprisoned for life... 

See the High Court judgment that decided that he should not be executed - 

Kho Jabing - the High Court Judgment that sentenced him to life imprisonment - Save the Life of this Sarawakian?

Family of convicted murderer pleads for his life

Lenduk (second left) flanked by her brother Junggoh Baling (left), brother-in-law Lunchong Gangsi (second right) and Jumai at the press conference yesterday.
Lenduk (second left) flanked by her brother Junggoh Baling (left), brother-in-law Lunchong Gangsi (second right) and Jumai at the press conference yesterday.

KUCHING: Anguished family members of convicted murderer Jabing Kho, 32, are pleading with Sarawak leaders to try and save him from the gallows by imploring Singapore President Tony Tan to grant him clemency.

Jabing’s mother Lenduk Baling, 55, said the family had exhausted every legal avenue to save her only son after the Singapore Court of Appeal upheld Kho’s death sentence on April 5, 2016.

“We know that the odds are not in our favour. But we (family) will try any means possible to overturn the death sentence against my son to life imprisonment. I have lost my husband, I cannot bear to lose my only son,” said Lenduk who fought back tears when speaking at a press conference yesterday.

She also admitted to have spoken to the Singaporean authorities by offering herself to undergo the death sentence in place of her son.

Also speaking was Jabing’s sister Jumai Kho, 28 who said the unfolding saga has become a mentally and physically  challenging ordeal for the family ever since her brother was arrested in the republic.

“We are mentally and physically tired. Despite that fact, we will never give up on our desire for Jabing not be imposed the death penalty but granted clemency for life imprisonment,” said Jumai who together with her mother arrived in Sarawak on April 13 after attending the sentencing by the Singapore Court of Appeal on April 5.

She also said with the backing from Sarawakian state assemblyman or members of parliament, at least their voices in the republic would be louder.

“I am just a sister and housewife. No one in Singapore is willing to hear the pleading voices of mine or my mother’s,” she added.

Also present at the press conference were representatives of the Advocates’ Association of Sarawak who called on the Malaysian government to support any further application for clemency.

“We are not condoning the actions by him (Jabing) but we are urging the government to do its utmost to intercede with the Singaporean authorities to commute Jabing’s death sentence to one of life imprisonment,” said association president Leonard Sim explaining that their views were purely based on humanitarian ground.

He said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Nancy Shukri and Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem had given their assurance that the State and Federal Governments were doing all they could to save Jabing from the gallows.

Also present were representatives from the Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign (SADPC) and We Believe in Second Chances who will be submitting a petition within this next few days to the Singapore president to grant clemency to Jabing.

Kirsten Han, a member of We Believe in Second Chances during the press conference revealed that the last clemency granted by the president was in 1998.

Both organisations, she said would also be urging the Cabinet of the Republic of Singapore to advise their president in granting the clemency as they strongly believed that every human being deserved a second chance in life.

Jabing was convicted of murder under Section 300 (c) of the Penal Code on May 24, 2011 which carried the mandatory death sentence at the time of conviction.

In 2012, the Singapore parliament amended the Penal Code to give judges the discretion to sentence offenders convicted under Section 300 (c) to life imprisonment with caning.

On Nov 18, 2013, Justice Tay Yong Kwang resentenced Jabing to life imprisonment and 24 strokes of the cane.

However on Jan 14, 2015 the Court of Appeal by a majority decision (with two out of the five judges dissenting) overturned Justice Tay’s decision and sentenced Jabing to death.

Jabing was scheduled to be executed on Nov 6, 2015 after his petition to president of Singapore for clemency failed. However, the execution was temporarily stayed pending the hearing on Nov 23, 2015 of his application to review and set aside the sentence.

On April 5, 2016, the Court of Appeal upheld Jabing’s death sentence, lifting the stay of execution that they had issued in Nov 2015 after Jabing’s lawyer filed a criminal motion at the eleventh hour.

Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2016/05/02/family-of-convicted-murderer-pleads-for-his-life/#ixzz47lDTkoOc

Is Hadi speaking for PAS?PKR? Amanah?DAP? Only Muslims or Men can be Chief Minister/Menteri Besar?

A foolish statement by PAS for he forgets that in Sarawak, the biggest religious group are Christians...if we just look at the Sarawakians themselves, Christians make up about 40%...Sarawak - Christians(44%), Muslims(30%), Buddhism(*13.5)%? Gerrymandering?

Now, when it comes to choosing the Prime Minister - our Federal Constitution only has one requirement, i.e. that the said person enjoys confidence of the majority of Members of Parliament - hence, any MP irrespective of gender, ethnicity or religion can be PM. This is correct but alas, many State Constitution is not in line with the said Constitutional principle...

SELANGOR is such an example - and, disappointingly, even though the Opposition has more that two thirds majority, there has been no move to amend this State's Constitution - WHY? Is it because the Opposition, be it DAP, Amanah and PKR also believe the same???

In Selangor, remember that it was Wan Azizah, a woman, that was alleged to have enjoyed the 'confidence of the majority' - but then, the Opposition compromised when there was objection based on gender, and so Azmin Ali got the chance of becoming Menteri Besar.... so, we now have a 'second choice' who is the MB of Selangor...I was ashamed that the Opposition did not take a more principled stand on the issue...

What we need is for the BEST person to be our PM, MB or Chief Minister - NOT the BEST person who satisfies the race/religion requirement or gender requirement?

In Trade Unions and other organizations, there are elements that have tried to use race and religion, but alas such attempts are rejected...In trade unions, it has not been unheard as to how employers have tried to use religion for 'union busting'...

Thursday, 5 May 2016 | MYT 11:25 AM

Sarawak polls: Only bumiputra Muslim can be chief minister, says Hadi Awang

KUCHING: PAS will not allow non-bumiputra – especially those from DAP – to rule Sarawak, says Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang (pic).

The PAS president said while the state could have leaders from various racial backgrounds, it had to be ruled by a bumiputra Muslim to ensure a just leadership in accordance with Islamic principles.

"The Chinese, the Indians and other races are our leaders too, but they need to be led by a Muslim.

"That is why PAS wants Sarawak to be governed by the Muslim bumiputra, not other races," he told hundreds of supporters here, Wednesday night.

Hadi also said unlike other Opposition parties, PAS' decision to contest 11 seats in the election showed that it had no intention to rule Sarawak.

"We would just like to be an advisor to the ruling government," he said.

Hadi added that even if PAS won all the 11 seats it is contesting, it will not be able to form a majority government as there are 82 seats in the state assembly.

"But they (the other Opposition parties) contested the remaining seats," he said.

Pakatan Harapan's DAP is contesting 31 seats in the state election, with PKR contesting 40 and Amanah, 13.

However, DAP and PKR will clash in six constituencies.

Barisan Nasional has already won two seats uncontested. - Star, 5/5/2016


Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Did Abdullah Sani 'lie'/fail, or did Dr Mahathir shun MTUC's and Worker's Struggle?

Sad day for workers and trade unions, as the turnout for the May Day Rally, which was projected to reach 10-20 thousands was less than 1 thousand.(one paper said only 200??)

What happened to Dr Mahathir? What happened to the 19,000 plus who failed to turn up to the MTUC May Day Rally? Remember, it was the Acting President who told the media 

In announcing Mahathir’s participation, MTUC acting president Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid told reporters that the rally would demand better treatment for workers nationwide, irrespective of whether they are foreign or local.


"Our demands include the setting of the monthly minimum wage to RM1,200, maintaining the EPF (Employees Provident Fund) withdrawal age at 55 and further study on the impact of the goods and services tax (GST) on the rakyat," he said.



“We hope to get an attendance of between 10,000 and 20,000 people at the rally....
Quizzed further on Mahathir’s presence, MTUC secretary-general N Gopal Kishnam said the union hopes he would share his contributions towards workers in the country during his tenure as prime minister.

MTUC May Day Rally with Dr.M at Wisma MTUC - expected 20,000?

So, what happened with Dr Mahathir? Did he change his mind about promoting and protecting worker rights? I wonder... His absence, and the absence of 19 thousand of workers is sadly a bad reflection on Acting President Abdullah Sani... who also happened to be a Member of Parliament? Did he also not have the 'attraction' and/or support of workers in his own constituency? 

MTUC needs to be careful not make claims to the public ...to the media ...and then be shown to have not delivered. It weakens not just MTUC but also other Unions..

There were 2 May Day programs, one organised by Malaysian Trade Union Congress(MTUC), the body that is the 'official' representative of all workers and trade unions in Malaysia as far as the Malaysian government is concerned, and as far as the International Labour Organisation(ILO) is concerned.

The other program was in Kuala Lumpur, a march which was organised by several civil society and non-governmental organisations. Interestingly, this program seem to have seen a greater participation compared to the program organised by MTUC.

MTUC has 240 member trade unions (MTUC Website), and as such, even if 10 members per Union, there would have been at least about 2,500. But, this is trade unions - so one will expect so much more workers to turn up on this important gathering. So, why did so few turn up? Have the trade unions in Malaysia no support from its own members? The low turn-out also questions MTUC's credibility as the representative of Malaysian workers and trade unions..

Such events is an OPPORTUNITY to demonstrate the strength and solidarity of Malaysian workers and trade unions, which is very important when it comes to dealing with not just the EMPLOYER but also the GOVERNMENT. The objective is to show that TRADE UNIONS do not just have 'paper membership' but have an active membership committed to worker and trade union rights. DO NOT VIOLATE WORKER RIGHTS - FOR WE ARE MANY AND OUR UNIONS ARE STRONG, AND WE WILL FIGHT FOR WORKER AND TRADE UNION RIGHTS...

The state of the Trade Unions in Malaysia is disturbing - hence, even the Malaysian Government shows little 'respect' or regard to their views. A nationwide protest and handing over of memorandums will have little effect on the government because the government just do not believe that MTUC and/or Trade Unions have the support of the nearly 13 million workers in the country. Likewise, employers also are becoming 'less worried' of trade unions.

TRUE, Malaysian laws and policies do not favour the promotion and respect of worker rights. The government recently passed a law that allows employers to delay payment of overtime payments, etc by ONE month - and there was little protest about this. So overtime this month, which was paid usually at the end of the month with basic wages - can now be delayed a further month. Remember, if a worker gets his money one month earlier, even putting that sum in a bank will earn him/her interest...

Delaying payment of overtime and allowances by a month, also affects the workers ability to leave employers. Why? To leave now, means I may never get the overtime payment and/or other allowances. Does this new law make Malaysian workers 'BONDED LABOUR'? Something to think about...   

SO, WHAT WENT WRONG WITH THE MTUC PROGRAM AND WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE?

NOT ATTRACTIVE - Well, calling workers to gather to listen to the Acting President, Scretary General and MB Azmin Ali speak on a public holiday is certainly not at all 'attractive' to me... Why call Azmin Ali - has he done anything for workers even in Selangor? Well, if Azmin allowed the gathering to be held in PJ Civic Centre free of charge or some other field/hall/stadium under State Government control, it would be maybe OK to give him a chance to speak...


More workers may have turned out if it was more attractive and participative ...  Maybe some prominent worker leader of past...but do we have anyone like that? Maybe, if there was nore activities - sporting events, picnics, group activities and discussions - maybe even sharings from recent worker 'heroes'...or current worker issues..

Well, who may be 'worker heroes'  and good examples '

1 - The workers who picketed in front of BAT - well they got arrested for making noise BUT they came out again and picketed at the same location after that, and that took GUTS... SYABAS - a great demonstration of struggling on without fear or favour? That is the kind of workers we need for the success of worker struggles... we fight on no matter what...

2. NUFAM - well, this Union has continuously been vocal and fighting hard for the workers in MAS...compared to even that big in-house union called MASEU.. comparatively NUFAM stands out as a UNION taking the fight into the public arena...and using the media as much as possible... {Other Unions shy away from a'public struggle' - chosing rather to complain to some government department about the employer's alleged wrongdoing...is that the way a UNION fights... well, any worker, even those without Unions, can lodge complaints in government departments...so, ask yourself, is this how a UNION fights and struggles for worker rights...?

3 - NUBE - well, for me, that may be best national Union for this period - their struggles were not only on every issue even when rights violations even involved just one worker, like the alleged harrassment. Their struggle involved members in the fight... they got members to protest..to picket...They could also be said to be very creative - using even the YouTUBE - In so doing, NUBE leaders did not fight alone but with their members... something that many UNIONs are forgetting - now many Unions fight is done by leaders alone...not with members.. The NUBE example of struggle needs to be followed by other UNIONs... Remember, just filing complaints in government department is not the way a UNION fights ...such 'complaint filing'  should always be the very last resort - when the fight between the UNION and employer is getting no where...in fact, the fight with the Employer in the public arena needs to continue until the dispute is resolved...

4 - WESTERN REGION ELECTRONICS UNION  - well, they achieved a great success in the Union Busting case...

WELL, WHO CAME?      
The MTUC May Day rally - officiated by Selangor menteri besar Mohamed Azmin Ali - saw participation from some 200 workers representing member unions, including the National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (NUFAM), National Union of Bank Employees, as well as the National Union of Transport Equipment and Allied Industries Workers.
Others may have been there...maybe in too small numbers so as not to be noticed by the media... well NUBE was there...and National Union of Transport Equipment and Allied Industries Workers - being the Union of Syed Shahir, the former President MTUC, and Gopal, the present Secretary General of MTUC. Well, was Abdullah Sani's Union - the Club Employees Union there? 

NUFAM - well, interesting. NUFAM's application to be a member of MTUC was turned down (or has it already been accepted) - but still they do turn up in numbers for MTUC May Day gatherings... 

MTUC AND TRADE UNIONS IN MALAYSIA MUST REVIEW THEIR WAYS OF DOING THINGS AND THE STATE OF AFFAIR OF UNIONS - DO UNIONS ,HAVE THE CAPACITY TO LEAD AND MOVE THEIR MEMBERS TO ACT IN SOLIDARITY AND GREAT NUMBERS? 

IF UNIONS CANNOT DEMONSTRATE THAT THEIR MEMBERSHIP REALLY DO HAVE THE CAPACITY TO FIGHT...AND WILL FIGHT...THEN MAYBE THE DAYS OF STRONG TRADE UNION MOVEMENT MAY BE OVER...THERE IS A NEED FOR 'TRANSFORMASI' OR REFORMASI... LEADERS MUST LEARN HOW TO FIGHT WITH THEIR MEMBERS  NOT JUST ALWAYS ALONE ALLEGEDLY ON BEHALF OF THEIR MEMBERS...

This is my personal opinion... what do you think?






'Impossible' to reach high-income nation status by 2020: MTUC

Alyaa Alhadjri Published     Updated

The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) today warned that it would be impossible for Malaysia to achieve a high-income nation status by the Year 2020, unless the national minimum wage is increased annually by RM1,000 from this year onwards.

From July 1, the minimum wage will range from RM920 to RM1000.

MTUC secretary-general N Gopal Kishnam said this was based on figures quoted by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak in his speech to launch the National Transformation Programme 2015 last week.

“Based on the figures, the average monthly income per person is about RM3,000. To reach a high-income nation status, the average must be raised to at least RM5,000.

“So definitely we can’t achieve the target,” he said.

In his speech, Najib had said that the national per capita income has increased from RM28,000 in 2010 to over RM36,000 last year.

Gopal Kishnam, however, noted how studies have shown that 65 percent of Malaysian families are living on a monthly household income of approximately RM3,500.

"An annual increment of between three per cent and five per cent does not commensurate with the 20 percent to 30 percent increase in cost of living," said Gopal Kishnam during his speech at MTUC's annual May Day Rally at its headquarters in Subang Jaya this morning.

"The government has also announced developments of affordable homes priced at up to RM400,000…a worker will need to earn approximately RM10,000 a month to afford monthly instalments on a 90 percent loan for such houses,” he said.

On the new minimum wage effective July 1, Gopal Kishnam said MTUC is standing by its demand that all workers should receive a minimum wage of RM1,200.

“It is good that they (the government) have abolished the guideline on implementation of minimum wage. There is also no difference between foreign and local workers.

“But at the same time, we (MTUC) are still demanding for RM1,200 as the minimum wage for all workers,” he stressed.

In unveiling Budget 2016 last year, Najib had announced that the minimum wage in Peninsular Malaysia will go up from RM900 to RM1,000, while the minimum wage in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan will go up from RM800 to RM920.The minimum wage for civil servants will also go up to RM1,200, while minimum pension will be RM950.

Other union leaders who took to the stage included MTUC acting president Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid, MTUC former president Syed Shahir Syed Mohamud and MTUC former secretary-general Halim Mansor.

The MTUC May Day rally - officiated by Selangor menteri besar Mohamed Azmin Ali - saw participation from some 200 workers representing member unions, including the National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (NUFAM), National Union of Bank Employees, as well as the National Union of Transport Equipment and Allied Industries Workers.

Read more: https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/339868#ixzz47OAQvha9

Interestingly, the other May Day event got more media coverage...

Malaysia: Hundreds of workers march in May Day rally to demand better wages

Asian Correspondent - ‎2 hours ago‎
DEMANDING better working wages and conditions, several hundreds of protesters marched in a peaceful rally in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur this morning. The crowd had gathered outside a shopping mall called Maju Junction this morning in a bid ...

On May Day, demonstrators rally in city for higher floor wage (VIDEO)

Malay Mail Online - ‎5 hours ago‎
Rally participants hold a banner outside Maju Junction Mall in Kuala Lumpur May 1, 2016. — Picture by Kamles KumarKUALA LUMPUR, May 1 — Some 100 people dressed in red shirts or bandanas have gathered outside the Maju Junction Mall here ...

Crowd gathers as May Day rally kicks off

The Star Online - ‎4 hours ago‎
KUALA LUMPUR: Hundreds gathered for the May Day rally at Maju Junction here to fight for the cause of workers nationwide. The primary agenda of the day was to push for a minimum wage increase from the existing RM900 to RM1,500. There were also ...

Poor turnout at May 1 rally without politicians

Free Malaysia Today - ‎2 hours ago‎
KUALA LUMPUR: Some 500 people gathered in the city centre today for the May 1 workers' day rally. The rally, organised by some 70 non-governmental organisations, activist groups and political parties, started outside the Maju Junction Mall at 9am.

On May Day, demonstrators rally in KL for higher floor wage

TODAYonline - ‎2 hours ago‎
... bandanas gathered in the federal capital here demanding a higher minimum wage of RM1,500 (S$515) for workers, in conjunction with Labour Day on Sunday (May 1). The rally, jointly organised by some 70 groups, including Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM), ...