PR: BN’s minimum wage ‘almost no change at all’
UPDATED @ 08:01:39 AM 05-10-2012
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 4 — The ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition’s minimum wage policy brings about “almost no change at all”, the federal opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) said today.
“The announced minimum wage rate of RM900 for the peninsula and RM800 for Sabah and Sarawak is actually inclusive of allowances, which effectively means the basic wage is still between RM700 and RM800,” PR said in a statement signed by PKR’s Chua Tian Chang, the DAP’s Liew Chin Tong and PAS’s Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.
“This means the purported changes were almost no change at all,” they said, claiming that a study by the Human Resources Ministry showed a third of the workforce currently earn around RM700 each month.
PR asked BN Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin (picture) to join the federal opposition coalition in demanding that the government “declassify” a confidential World Bank report titled “Optimal Design for a Minimum Wage Policy in Malaysia” dated July 28, 2011.
PR also said that talk that “an additional RM200 in minimum wage would bankrupt companies is simply untrue.”
Yesterday, Khairy had attacked PR’s proposal to set the minimum wage at RM1,100, arguing that higher floor wages will cause companies to go bankrupt.
But Chua said at a press conference today: “The problem is not minimum wage per se, the problem is actually the lack of support services.
“Although we maintain that RM1,100 is viable for majority of enterprises, unfortunately the smaller enterprises are not sufficiently protected and the government has not given them enough support for them to sustain even RM700.”
PR said this shows that the minimum wage policy “must not be implemented in isolation and in a piecemeal manner”.
It added that the pact had proposed to cut down reliance on foreign labour and human labour, as well as increase female participation in the workforce.