Minimum wage for private sector to be decided by August, Putrajaya says

Human Resource Minister M. Kulasegaran speaks during a press conference after the monthly assembly of the Ministry of Human Resources in Putrajaya June 4 , 2018. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Human Resource Minister M. Kulasegaran speaks during a press conference after the monthly assembly of the Ministry of Human Resources in Putrajaya June 4 , 2018. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

PUTRAJAYA, June 4 — Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) RM1,500 minimum wage pledge for private sector workers is still being discussed, Human Resource Minister M. Kulasegaran said today.

In a press conference after his first monthly assembly with ministry staff, Kulasegaran said the new minimum wage quantum for the private sector would be announced by August, after it gets a nod from the stakeholders and the Cabinet.

"Today, I can only announce that the new minimum wage rate for private sector workers is in the process of being reviewed, and if it gets the approval and agreement, will be announced by the government, latest in August this year," Kulasegaran said.

“You see, we have put the upper limit at RM1,500 In our manifesto. We will definitely achieve that figure, but that quantum of increase for now, it is being discussed by all parties.

“So as I said on the 13th [of May], the stakeholders; the unions the employers and others, and government, we will call all of them,” he told the press.

Kulasegaran said he was confident that the pledge can be fulfilled, but a discussion is needed with key stakeholders of the industry, including workers and employers’ unions, as well as with the Cabinet.

Kulasegaran said that the government has to be cautious in implementing the pledge, as it should not lead to a crisis where businesses are forced to shutter, creating unemployment.

“It doesn’t benefit nobody. So we must have a situation of encompassing everybody. So I, as minister, will have discussions with as many people as possible, in trying to achieve the best result,” he added.

In its manifesto, PH pledged to equalise and increase monthly minimum wages to RM1,500 by the first term and reviewable every two years, with government to contribute half of the pay hike.

The current minimum wage for the private sector is RM1,000 in Peninsular Malaysia, and RM920 in East Malaysia.

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