KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 6 — The government says it is committed to its manifesto of increasing the minimum wage to RM1,500 over a five-year span, says Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister, Ong Kian Ming.
“We are doing our review on the minimum wage every two years, and we will continue to monitor economic conditions at that time.
“I am sure the economic conditions will be much better at that time. So we will wait and see. We will continue to have discussions with all stakeholders,” he told a press conference at the flag-off of the Technology, Ecosystem and Culture (TEC) Immersion Programme.
He was responding to the recent announcement of a new minimum wage of RM1,050 per month nationwide effective Jan 1 next year.
He also emphasised that this increase (by RM50 for Peninsular Malaysia and RM130 for both Sabah and Sarawak) is for now, and the amount would gradually be raised when economic conditions improve further.
Meanwhile, Ong said the government is waiting for industry feedback on the increase, but expressed confidence that manufacturers in urban areas such as Johor Bahru, Penang and Selangor would be able to comply.
“However, maybe manufacturers in Sabah and Sarawak will find it more challenging because there is a difference in the minimum wage between the Peninsula, and Sabah and Sarawak.
“I will visit Sabah and Sarawak to understand the challenges they are facing,” he added.
Under the TEC Immersion Programme, organised by the Productivity Nexus for Retail and Food and Beverages in partnership with the University of California, Berkeley, 36 local businesspersons will visit four large organisations in the Silicon Valley on September 30-Oct 4.
Planned visits include to the headquarters of Google, Googleplex and Target Store’s Livelab, where e-commerce and its ecosystem and culture were founded. — Bernama