Minister: Cabinet will decide on minimum wage quantum within 100-day deadline

Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran speaks during a news conference at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur August 1, 2018. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran speaks during a news conference at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur August 1, 2018. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 1— The Cabinet will decide on the new standardised minimum wage quantum before the 100 day-deadline for the Pakatan Harapan administration is up, Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran said today.

“The quantum will be decided within the first 100 days,” Kulasegaran told reporters in Parliament today.

The Pakatan Harapan government, in its election manifesto had proposed the rate be increased from RM1,000 in Peninsula Malaysia and RM920 in Sabah and Sarawak to RM1,500 nationwide, within its first 100 days in government.

Kulasegaran said that the Cabinet will discuss and approve the quantum for the entire country within a week, but did not provide any additional details beyond that.

He said the National Wages Consultative Council will look into the proposed wage structures before presenting its findings to the government.

“They would also look and examine a new minimum wage rate every two years until the PH administration comes to an end, in line with the National Wage Consultative Act 2011.

“This policy must go on with the recovery of the national financial state, and once it improves, more initiatives to increase income levels will come,” he added.

Kulasegaran emphasised that the RM1,500 targeted minimum wage would be implemented in stages, and not immediately.

“If it is implemented immediately, there will be problems with employers handling the increased operational costs.

“It could also cause employers to close down, subsequently resulting in a loss of jobs, which would stunt the growth of smaller businesses,” he said.

Kulasegaran added his ministry is working on a roadmap to formulate a system that will allow the minimum wage to eventually increase to RM1,500.

He also said efforts are being made to balance out the minimum wage structure between the peninsula and Sabah and Sarawak.

“Balancing out the wages between the peninsula and the eastern states is one we believe needs to be done,” he added.

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