Tuesday, January 27, 2015

If Minimum Wage is less than RM1,500, then this government really do not care about the poorest of workers?

MINIMUM WAGE - well, the Malaysian government has already acknowledged that households earning less than RM3,000 need financial assistance from the government. Logically, if both husband and wife are working, minimum wages should not be less than RM1,500. Then, the government need not step in and help anymore - To have a minimum wage lesser than RM1,500 is absurd - because still we will need to use people's money to subsidize the poor worker's household. Really, it should be the Employers who should be paying a more just wage of moure than RM1,500.

Do not forget, that all workers still have to make statutory deductions to EPF and SOCSO - hence, even with RM1,500, the take-home pay will be less. 

It was this government that worked to keep wages low - and to help people they tried to keep the cost of living low. There were subsidies that kept the prices of basic items that people needed to live at a low and affordable price. But subsidies are disappearing - and cost of basic items are rising.

There was 'price-control' laws in place before that kept prices fixed and low - but look at the list now, and you will see that most of the previously 'price-controlled' items are no more in the list today. How many really remain? Well, the government still do come in to do 'price control' of certain items - but alas, in some supermarkets and shops, you can get these temporary price control items at prices much lower than the 'price control' rates. 

Now, come April, there will be GST - well,I believe that even though there may really be no increase in cost of production and marketing of goods - there will be an increase in prices - hence a higher cost of living.

Now, cost of living varies according to location - and as such, really this government should maybe emulate countries like India which takes this factor into consideration in determining the minimum wage. 

Of course, some of of the 'smaller' employers like small retail shops and businesses may have difficulties - but maybe for these some 'profit sharing arrangement' could be formulated so that workers will be protected. Maybe 50% of the profits should be used to pay workers... No need to help the medium enterprises - only the micro enterprises. 

It is shocking that employer association is protesting the rise of the minimum wages - how much really of their annual profits are going to worker wages...? Be reasonable...be human...we are talking about the livelihood of the poorest of workers... and really, a reasonable wage should be at least RM1,500 in this modern times especially in Klang Valley and the bigger towns...

Published: Tuesday January 20, 2015 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday January 20, 2015 MYT 7:54:15 AM

At odds over new minimum wage

PETALING JAYA: A year after the implementation of a national minimum wage, things are heating up again with a proposal to review the RM900 ceiling upwards.
The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF), which opposed the previous ceiling, wants the minimum wage to stay put at RM900, but trade unions are clamouring for it to be raised to and standardised at RM1,200. 

This is following the completed review of the policy by the National Wages Consultative Council which submitted its recommendations to the Human Resources Ministry recently. 

Sources close to the council revealed that there were differences in opinion among the stakeholders involved, but they had “agreed to disagree”.

“MEF wants the current minimum wage to remain. 

However, the MTUC (the Malaysian Trades Union Congress) wants the minimum wage to be raised to RM1,200 and for it to be standardised across the peninsula and Sabah and Sarawak.” 

The source said the Government had proposed RM1,000 as the revised minimum wage. 

“The council has submitted its feedback to the ministry for deliberation.

“We hope the Government will come up with a fair decision to all,” said a source to The Star. 

Another source said that the final decision would be announced by Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot soon, adding that it could be as early as next month.

Richard was reported to have said recently that details of the revised minimum wage policy would be announced once the Cabinet gave its approval with him saying that “there will be a little change” involved.

The minimum wage policy, which was enforced in January last year, requires employers with six or more workers to pay their employees a minimum wage of RM900 monthly in peninsular Malaysia and RM800 in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan.

MTUC recently called on the Government to increase salaries by at least 6% citing the minimum wage as insufficient to deal with rising costs.

When contacted, MEF executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said it was the federation’s view that the current figure of RM900 should stay as it was deemed reasonable at this time.

“Increasing the minimum wage should be avoided due to the current sluggish economic situation and the drop in fuel prices, along with its ripple effects,” he said.

Shamsuddin said employers were still trying to “adjust” to the existing minimum wage. - Star, 20/1/2015, At odds over new minimum wage

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