Come 1st January 2013, workers in Malaysia should have started receiving minimum wages of RM900 for those in Peninsular Malaysia, and RM800 for those in East Malaysia, but alas many employers are trying to evade paying Minimum Wages. For Malaysia, who never had 'minimum wages', this would be the first time that the government had to step in through laws to require employers to pay their workers a minimum wage. The call for minimum wages have been made by workers and trade unions for a long time, but finally the government decided to move when their own survey of salaries of Malaysian workers in 2009 revealed that employers were unjustly paying workers low wages. The National Employment Returns 2009, 34% of 1.3 million workers in the study earn less than RM700. The poverty income line for 2009, for Sabah (RM1048) and Sarawak (RM912), whilst for Peninsular Malaysia it is RM763. Malaysia's average poverty line income then was RM800. - Charles Hector Blog
In Malaysia, the employment laws clearly prohibit discrimination of workers based on nationality, and clearly and justly, when we talk about minimum wages, we are talking about Basic Wages, i.e. work for 8 hours per day, not including rest days, public holidays, overtime, allowances like shift allowances and other benefits. The Human Resource Ministry for a long time was wrongly allowing some employers to recover levy payments and other payments, which in law were not permissible lawful deductions, and finally as of 1st April 2009, employers were no longer allowed to make such wage deductions to recover levy that employers have to pay the government when they choose to employ a migrant worker rather than a local worker.
The rationale behind getting employers to bear the levy was to discourage them from employing foreigners.... - Bernama, - Star, 16/4/2009