East Malaysia wage floor set above median, says deputy minister
KUALA LUMPUR, May 7 — The RM800 monthly minimum wage set for Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan is far above the current median wage, Deputy Minister of Human Resources Datuk Maznah Mazlan said today.
She said the current median wage for Sabah and Labuan was RM577 whereas in Sarawak it was RM738.
“In Sabah, for example, the RM800 minimum wage is 39 per cent more than the median wage, which means that no less than 50 per cent of workers in Sabah will get a raise of at least 39 per cent,” she said after opening the Human Resource Ministry-National Institute of Public Administration (INTAN) executive discourse on “Implementation of Minimum Wage Catalyst for a High-Income Nation”, here.
Maznah said the minimum wage set for Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan was agreed upon by representatives of both employees and employers, after taking into consideration the different factors affecting the states involved.
She said that if the minimum wage were set at RM900 like in the peninsula, it was feared that employers, especially the smaller ones, would face difficulty in carrying on with their businesses or might have to shut down altogether.
“The surge to RM900 would shock employers and it certainly has its implications whereby employees could lose jobs, which would ultimately lead to many other problems,” she said.
The Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs) had called on the government to set the minimum wage for the private sector in Sabah and Sarawak at RM1,000, saying employees in those states faced a high cost of living.
While announcing the minimum wage on April 30, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had said that the difference in the wage was just for a start and that the government hoped that it could be streamlined to a single rate nationwide. — Bernama