KUALA LUMPUR – September 6, 2018: The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has expressed disappointment over the new minimum wage, citing it as being a little too little, while two Pakatan Harapan MPs have also spoken against it.
“I thank the government for streamlining the rate throughout the country but I am severely disappointed with the new rate.
“RM1,050 is just RM50 more from the current rate for the peninsula and just RM130 more for Sabah and Sarawak. Is that even enough for them to get by?” questioned MTUC president Datuk Abdul Halim Mansor.
Klang MP Charles Santiago of the ruling Pakatan Harapan wants the government to review the rate, describing the RM50 increase as an insult to 15 million labourers.
He said in a statement that he was shocked with the announcement,adding that it contradicts Pakatan’s manifesto.
The Prime Minister’s Office, in a statement yesterday, said the uniformed minimum wage will be implemented from January 1, with the decision based on recommendations by the National Wage Consultative Council.
MTUC had previously proposed for the new rate to be set at RM1,500 while the Malaysian Employers’ Federation proposed RM1,100.
Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah also of Pakatan Harapan echoed Santiago’s statement, noting that the RM50 increase is not enough to alleviate the burden of the poor.
“An increase of RM50 could not possibly make a huge impact on the needy, including the B40 group and the urban poor community,” she said in a statement.
Before the 14th general elections on May 9, Pakatan Harapan had pledged to increase the minimum wage of the Malaysian private sector to RM 1,500 over five years.
Santiago also referred to the Bank Negara 2017 annual report which pointed out that the expenditure of the bottom 40% (B40) of households expanded at a faster pace compared to their income.
Parti Sosialis Malaysia central committee member S. Arutchelvan vented his frustration over the announcement, labelling it a total sell out and humiliation to the low-income workers.