The Malaysian Reserve

New minimum wage to be gazetted this month

Kulasegaran says the implementation of the RM1,500 minimum wage will be done in stages within 5 years (Pic by Afif Abd Halim/TMR)

A study on the minimum wage policy will be tabled in the Cabinet next week, says minister

By P PREM KUMAR / Pic By TMR

The new minimum wage for the country’s private sector employees is expected to be gazetted this month, said Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran.

He said a study on the minimum wage policy will be tabled in the Cabinet next week, for deliberation and approval.

According to Kulasegaran, the study by the National Wages Consultative Technical Committee had completed its review of the minimum wage, as stipulated under the National Wages Consultative Council Act 2011.

However, it will need the Cabinet’s approval before it can be made public.

The ministry welcomes reports and suggestions from employers, non-governmental bodies and government officers to determine the amount of the minimum wage.

“We will present the report on minimum wage to the Cabinet next week,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby yesterday.

When asked if the new minimum wage could be implemented within 100 days of the new government, Kulasegaran said it is part of the five-year plan.

“Only the amount will be announced in 100 days. The implementation of the RM1,500 minimum wage, however, will be done in stages within five years as laid out in the Buku Harapan.”

Kulasegaran, who was speaking in the Dewan Rakyat to wind up debates on the royal address, said it is still too early to gauge the impact of the minimum wage revision to industries and the economy at large.

“We plan to increase the minimum wage in stages, as it will affect industries — particularly the small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

“A one-off raise of RM1,500 will increase operating costs for SMEs, which in turn result in closure of businesses and employers struggling to cope,” he said.

Kulasegaran said the first move, as according to the manifesto, would be to equalise the minimum wage between Peninsular Malaysia with Sabah and Sarawak.

“The book (manifesto) clearly states that the standardisation will be made within the first 100 days and we will stand by it.”

He added that the National Wages Consultative Technical Committee have also made favourable recommendations.

The current minimum wage for Peninsular Malaysia is RM1,000, while Sabah and Sarawak is RM920.

Pakatan Harapan, in its manifesto, pledged to standardise and increase the monthly minimum wages to RM1,500 in stages by its five-year term and review it every two years.

Kulasegaran, in an exclusive interview with The Malaysian Reserve last month, said the government will replace the current blanket regulation for all industries and introduce a new sectoral-based minimum wage policy for the private sector in the country.

He said the sectoral-based minimum wage policy came about after in-depth discussions with industries and related stakeholders.