2019 Budget: Minimum wage to be streamlined nationwide
New Straits Times
November 02, 2018
By Manirajan Ramasamy - November 2, 2018 @ 5:31pm
KUALA LUMPUR: The government has proposed that the minimum wage be raised to RM1,100 nationwide from Jan 1, 2019.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said this was among the measures being adopted by the government to help the people cope with the rising cost of living.
“We understand the need and importance of ensuring that salaries can cope with the rising cost of living, hence the government has proposed that the minimum wage be raised to RM1,100 nationwide from Jan 1, 2019,” he said while tabling the 2019 Budget in the Dewan Rakyat.
Lim said, as a measure to reduce the income gap, public-listed companies will be required to display, in their annual reports, information on the highest wage and median wage ratios, as well as the highest and lowest wages ratios.
“The companies will also be required to state their plans on how they plan to improve their workers’ average salaries,” he said.
Lim said the government will also be reviewing labour laws to empower the labour market, employee welfare as well as prohibit any form of discrimination on the part of employers.
“The government will also speed up resolutions over disputes between employers and employees by setting up an Industrial Appeals Court.
Earlier, Lim stated that Malaysia’s unemployment rate stood at 3.4 per cent and that structural issues have led to long-term unemployment, especially among the youths.
He said in order to boost skills training among school-leavers and increase the marketability of graduates, the government will carry out two programmes funded by the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF).
These, he said, are the Apprenticeship and Graduate Enhancement Programme For Employability (GENERATE). The programmes, he said, can open up emplyment opportunities for 4,000 school-leavers and graduates, with an allocation of RM20 million.
The finance minister also touched on Malaysia’s ageing population. He said by the year 2020, there will be one million Malaysians aged between 61 and 65 who would still be productive and active.
“To generate job opportunities for this group, the government proposes that the mandatory Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contribution by employers be reduced from 6 per cent to 4 per cent from January 1, 2019.
“This group will not be required to contribute to the EPF and thus, be able to boost their monthly income,” he said.
He said the government is also proposing that additional tax rebates are given to employers who employ this group, with a maximum rate of RM4,000 a month.
“This is meant to encourage employers to hire those from this category, especially the B40 (lower-income earners) to work.”
New minimum wage in two months: Kulasegaran
July 24, 2018
The minimum wage in the country is expected to be increased within the next couple of months and will be implemented and standardised across the board for all Malaysians and foreign citizens.
Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran said this was following the completion of the review on the 2016 Minimum Wages Order by the National Wages Consultative Council (NWCC).
"This recommendation (to increase minimum wage) will be tabled to the government in the near future. If there are no obstacles, this order will come into effect in a month or two," he told the Dewan Rakyat today.
Kulasegaran was asked to comment on the latest development of Pakatan Harapan's (PH) promise of standardising the monthly minimum wages of employees across the country and increasing them to RM1,500 within their first term as government.
"The implementation of the new minimum wage across the board will go on inline with our 10 promises in 100 days, to ensure the rakyat get equal rights on the aspect of salary, regardless of their states," he said.
The current minimum wage is RM1,000 for those in the Peninsular Malaysia and RM920 for Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan.
It is however yet to be known what the new uniformed minimum wage would be.
Kulasegaran also explained that the minimum wage would be reviewed every two years, before finally peaking at the RM1,500 rate as promised by the end of their current term as government.
He said the review on the wages was made taking into account factors such as productivity growth rate, employers' ability to pay the salaries and unemployment rate.
Kulasegaran added that there would not be discrimination on the minimum wage implementation against foreign workers in the spirit of human rights as enshrined in the International Labour Organisation Convention.
"The standardised wage is also to guarantee and protect job opportunities for the locals. If they are not (uninformed), then there will instances where employers would prefer taking foreigners as they could pay them at a lower rate," he said.
The Ipoh Barat MP also acknowledged that the implementation of the new wages would incur increased costs to the private sector, as well as the government indirectly, especially for government contracts that are outsourced.
"In view of this, the government have studied the matter to ensure the implementation is done according to the rehabilitation of the country's economy.
Minimum wage for private sector to be decided by August, Putrajaya says
June 04, 2018
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.
Enhance the income of the majority
May 10, 2018
Pakatan Harapan will defend the fate of all Malaysians, irrespective of their race, religion and creed, especially those who need our help. Pakatan Harapan’s key strategy is to boost economic development to create more job opportunities, while at the same time provide a social security network for the lower income group. No one will be left behind.
In order to put end to the persistent discrimination against Sabah and Sarawak, the Pakatan Harapan Government will raise the minimum wage there to be equal to that of the Peninsular. Minimum wage will be raised to RM1,500 per month nationwide in the first term of the Pakatan Harapan Government, and we will review this rate every 2 years. To reduce the burden on employers, the Pakatan Harapan Government will share 50 percent of the due to the raise in minimum wage. This means that when the minimum wage is raised from RM1,000 to RM1,500, the Pakatan Harapan Government will share the cost difference of RM500 with the employer equally. The increase in foreign workers is one of the factors that has kept the wages of local labour low.
Thus, Pakatan Harapan Government promises to reduce the number of foreign workers from 6 million to 4 million in the first term of our administration.
Incentive packages for small and medium sized companies will be increased as well as for those living in villages and in FELDA schemes throughout the country.
The Pakatan Harapan Government will also assist the Islamic Religious Councils and the Islamic Religious Departments to channel the aid of zakat and charity to the less fortunate more effectively, efficiently and quickly. Information on household income and the needs of the poorest will be shared with the state government and local authorities, without overriding the state's power and jurisdiction over religious affairs.
A special agency will be established to take over BR1M management and introduce a structured cash transfer scheme. This scheme will be free from the influence or interference of political parties and politicians.
The agency will take immediate action to study the welfare benefits mechanism in developed countries and introduce appropriate schemes using local resources and Malaysia's capabilities, as well as encourage the private sector and charitable organisations to contribute.
The Pakatan Harapan Government will also enhance the involvement of welfare charities and social enterprises to assist those in need. Assistance will be provided to approved bodies.