I was not aware that Najib had recently announced that the Minimum Wage Rate will not be increased - Now, the coverage of this very important news for all Malaysians was not that good, was it? My internet search revealed that the news was picked up and carried by just 3 media organisations - WHY? In fact the Bernama Report in Malay carried by Utusan never even mentions this announcement about Minimum Wage.
This should have been an important matter since many have been calling for an increase of the Minimum Wage considering the increases in the cost of living - most recently by way of the implementation of the GST? Star report tells us about this and also reports the reaction of the gathered workers..
Minimum Wage of RM900(for Peninsular Malaysia) and RM800(for Sabah and Sarawak despite the higher cost of living) started being paid on 1 January 2013. Well, that means that rate has not increased for over 2 years plus ... and we have had removal of subsidies, price increases and now effects of the GST - and, this Prime Minister and the BN government obviously cares little for the POOR worker..He also said minimum wage could not be increased now. “There are calls to increase the minimum wage. But we cannot increase it every year. Which country increases minimum wage every year? It needs to be increased periodically. Today is not the time for me to announce a new minimum wage.”
His announcement drew groans from the crowd.
Yes, the Minimum Wage policy really is meant to benefit the poorest of workers - those who have been earning the lower than RM900 per month ...and really there should not have been exemptions that allowed employers to continue to pay workers less than RM900 - but alas, this BN government, gave many employers EXEMPTION from having to pay minimum wages....and sadly some workers started enjoying minimum wages on 1st January 2014.
Shame on you Barisan Nasional government for not even doing the just thing for 'low-incomed workers' in Malaysia. This government is certainly not a caring government when it comes to poor workers and their families.
When workers are paid low, many are forced in having to have second sources of income. And yes, many will be forced to work really long hours every day - up to even 12 hours a day. And, Malaysia to facilitate this oppressive and unjust situations sets the monthly limit of overtime work at 104 hours, which is equivalent to 4 hours per working day. So, many a poor worker can be made to work 12 hours a day (8 hours normal working hours PLUS 4 hours overtime). Yes - overtime today in many workplaces is no more a choice that the workers have. If you refuse to work overtime, you may end up with no more employment ...
Malaysia had to fix a MINIMUM WAGE when the government admitted to the fact that many a worker are being paid way too low a wage - in fact below the poverty line, and this was known in 2009 - but it took until 1 January 2014 that the government did something by the Minimum Wage
"...The other reason is, according to our National Employment Returns 2009, 34% of 1.3 million workers in the study earn less than RM700. It could be more. Our Government has determined the poverty line to RM720, so we have by virtue of the wage mechanism itself, we are creating poverty in about 34% of people on the go, without doing anything else at all. So when the Government decided the poverty rate is RM720 and our wage mechanism by virtue implementation as we have, shows that 34-35% of below poverty line and that is something to do and to think about...." -
Now, the Minister was wrong when we look at available figures for 2009 [ See also RM7.98 per day for food only per prisoner - More money than minimum wage (RM900) being spend per prisoner by Malaysia]
What is the poverty line income today? Some say that the best way to reduce poverty is to simply keep the poverty line income unreasonably low...And, there was a recent report that seems to imply that Malaysia is still keeping the poverty line the same... Absolute poverty, on the other hand, is a measurement based on the declared poverty line. In Peninsular Malaysia, this is fixed at RM763, RM912 in Sarawak and RM1,048 in Sabah.(See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/putrajaya-claims-reduced-poverty-but-un-report-shows-more-poor-malaysians#sthash.LO4YXScF.dpuf)
Malaysian government admitted through BR1M that households earning less than RM4,000 are in need of financial assistance - so really, the normal maximum working persons in an household are the 2 spouses - should not then reasonably our Minimum Wage should be RM2,000 a month?
How long really will the poorest of workers in Malaysia be earning RM900 or RM800(in Sabah and Sarawak)? Remember also that after Malaysia signs the TPPA, which has an ISDS clause, Malaysian government may no longer be able to increase Minimum Wages without facing the risk of being sued by some 'foreign investor'. See:- For raising minimum wages, Egypt sued by Veolia, a French multinational?
Minimum wage remains unchanged
He assured that the government would continue to review the matter, pointing out that all relevant parties needed to be consulted before the government can implement a new policy. An announcement on the new rate would only be made come the right time.
‘Too soon to review minimum wage’ - NajibPublished on Sunday, 03 May 2015 20:25
0 CommentsKUCHING: The country’s minimum wage will remain unchanged until the next review, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.Najib who is also finance minister said relevant parties would be consulted before the government can implement a new rate.“We have only implemented the minimum wage policy for about a year and five months. There are proposals to raise the minimum wage but this cannot be done every year. In fact, there’s no country which increases the minimum wage every year.“Come the right time, we can announce the new minimum wage rate,” he said when officiating at the national-level Workers Day celebration at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here on Friday.The minimum wage policy in Malaysia introduced on Jan 1, 2013 was fully implemented after January last year at RM900 per month in the peninsula and RM800 for Sabah and Sarawak.The minimum wage must be reviewed once in two years under the Minimum Wage Order 2012.He said implementation of the minimum wage policy had gone smoothly with the majority of employers abiding by the ruling.Touching on the welfare of workers in this country, Najib said the government is always looking to gradually increase the component of wages to match gross domestic product (GDP) growth.“What is the component of wages in our GDP? I was told that the trend has improved. From 28 per cent, the figure has increased to 32 per cent. For developed countries, the benchmark is 40 per cent. I hope that in years to come, the country’s component wages could reach the 40 per cent level,” he explained.Najib said this target would not happen overnight but move in accordance with the country’s human capital capability. Increased productivity will raise profit that lead to improvement of the nation’s GDP and component wages.“If we continue to offer low wages, the country will remain a developing or third world nation. We want to become first world, a developed nation that can compete by offering quality human capital,” he said.Najib mentioned that Malaysia only has 25 per cent skilled workforce, 61 per cent semi-skilled workers and12.9 per cent non-skilled.He believed skilled workforce must be raised to a much higher percentage and that the 11th Malaysia Plan would emphasise productivity.He said apart from the government’s effort, employers in the private sector must play a role in retraining workers to improve their skills and productivity to enable them to acquire better positions for better pay.
Updated: Saturday May 2, 2015 MYT 12:19:59 PM
11MP to focus on human resources development, says PM
“We will emphasise on productivity-led growth.
“The future of this country, its rate of growth, must be based on improvements in productivity,” he said.
Presently, only about a quarter of the country’s workforce are considered skilled workers, he said, adding that the percentage was at least 40% in developed countries.
“Undersea welders earn from RM8,000 a month. When a person acquires skills, their productivity and output increases.”
For new skills, Najib emphasised, employers should not just depend on new graduates.
Existing staff could be provided with learning opportunities.
Najib also announced the expansion of civil servants’ unrecorded three-day compassionate leave to include parents-in-law, adopted children and adoptive parents effective July 1.
Najib also said that Socso coverage would be expanded to all Malaysian employees regardless of maximum salary, and the ceiling for workers’ insurance coverage would increase from RM3,000 to RM4,000.
The popular Socso Health Screening Programme would be going mobile, he added.
“I will also ask employers to rethink their reliance on cheap labour, especially foreign.
“This dependence on cheap sources of labour will not guarantee competitiveness anymore.”
The celebrations turned a little sour when Najib said there would be no increase to the minimum wage just yet.
He also said minimum wage could not be increased now.
“There are calls to increase the minimum wage. But we cannot increase it every year. Which country increases minimum wage every year? It needs to be increased periodically. Today is not the time for me to announce a new minimum wage.”
His announcement drew groans from the crowd. And they turned to boos when he talked about the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Najib said GST was not meant to add burden to the rakyat but an opportunity to add to the government revenue.
“What is difficult is people who try to take advantage of the situation,” he said.
“We have to look at the country’s production, the price of oil has reduced, fallen, the country’s revenue is affected. ‘Nasib baik’ we introduced GST.”
Asked to comment on the crowd reaction, Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem said: “I cannot be speaking on behalf of those who jeered. I do not know what was in their minds, so ... I prefer not to comment further.”
He, too, said the challenges in implementing GST were making it unpopular.
The national level Labour Day event was being held for the first time in Kuching. - Star, 2/5/2015,
Kerajaan sentiasa jamin hak pekerja dalam negara
Selain ini, menurutnya kerajaan juga memperkenalkan dasar khusus bagi meningkatkan taraf hidup pekerja dan meningkatkan daya saing industri seperti dasar gaji minimum dan dasar umur persaraan minimum.
"Dalam hal ini, saya menyeru warga pekerja, majikan dan pihak industri khususnya di Sarawak untuk terus menyokong hasrat kerajaan melaksanakannya supaya ia dapat berjalan dengan lancar," katanya.
Beliau berkata demikian semasa berucap pada Majlis sambutan Hari Pekerja Peringkat Kebangsaan 2015 yang dilancarkan Najib di Pusat Konvenysen Borneo Kuching di sini hari ini.
Sementara itu, Adenan berkata beliau mahu supaya aspek penguatkuasaan perundangan dan promosi keselamatan dan kesihatan pekerjaan di Sarawak digiatkan lagi bagi meningkatkan pematuhan dan seterusnya mengurangkan kemalangan industri dan penyakit.
"Adalah amat wajar jika aspek keselamatan dan kesihatan diletakkan sebagai salah satu daripada prosedur tadbir urus terpenting bagi sesebuah organisasi," ujarnya.
Tambahnya, Sarawak sekarang mempunyai 1.1 juta pekerja yang menyokong penuh hasrat kerajaan negeri untuk mencapai status negeri maju pada 2030.
Terdahulu Menteri Sumber Manusia Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem dalam ucapannya berkata sambutan Hari Pekerja Peringkat Kebangsaan tahun ini mencipta sejarah dengan penyertaan Kongres Kesatuan Sekerja Malaysia (MTUC), Kongres Kesatuan Sekerja Dalam perkhidmatan Awam (CUEPACs) dan Persekutan Majikan Majikan Malaysia (MEF) buat kali pertama.- BERNAMA