Pakatan rejects RM1,500 wage proposal

Leven Woon (FMT) January 7, 2013

Its leaders say that the proposal is not practical.


PETALING JAYA: Several Pakatan Rakyat leaders have poured cold water on the Malaysia Workers Network’s manifesto demanding a minimum wage of RM1,500, saying that this is not applicable to the country at the moment.

Citing a classified World Bank’s report on the implementation of minimum wage in Malaysia, PKR director of strategy Rafizi Ramli said the country could only afford a minimum wage of RM1,100, otherwise it would have adverse impact on the industries.

“The report stated that if the minimum wage goes beyond RM1,100, the economy would not be able to absorb [the increase],” he told FMT today.

The RM1,100 rate was proposed by Pakatan in its alternative budget.

Yesterday, the Malaysia Workers’ Network, a coalition of more than 20 trade unions, have asked for RM1,500 minimum wage in its five-point manifesto for the upcoming general election, saying that this takes into account a worker’s monthly expenses.

They also pointed out that Selangor government has adopted RM1,500 in the government-linked companies (GLCs).

Rafizi said the Selangor’s policy was not applicable to the rest of the country because each state has different level of development and different types of industry.

“If it is higher than RM1,100, it will begin to severely affect the lower-value industry and destroy jobs,” he said.

When told the Human Resources Ministry has claimed the same thing when Pakatan proposed its RM1,100 floor wage two months ago, Rafizi said: “The ministry’s statement was based on propaganda, not facts and figures, while our decision is precisely based on data.”

However, he was willing to discuss the matter with MWN by producing the data.

“My fear is that the union has not seen the data; once it has seen it , I think the union would understand,” he said.

Not sustainable

DAP Bukit Bendera MP Liew Chin Tong said Pakatan would stick to the proposed RM1,100 rate and assist industries to upgrade from labour-intensive operations to the skill-based ones.

“The immediate challenge for Malaysia now is to reduce the number of unskilled foreign labour and move our industries to depend less on labour.

“Once skills, productivity and wage grow in tandem, a higher minimum wage is desirable,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kuala Selangor MP Dzulkefly Ahmad said the RM1,500 proposal was not sustainable as it would be counter-productive to workers in the market.

Dzulkefly, the PAS MP who was in the Pakatan’s minimum wage research team, also said a fair wage policy was another concept pursued by the opposition pact.

He said at the moment, the salary earned by a CEO and a driver was world apart because low-ranked workers have been deprived the rights of equitable profits.

“It’s all about the willingness to share profit of the company to the public and to let workers to live with a dignity,” he said.

2 thoughts on “Pakatan rejects RM1,500 wage proposal

  1. Just like everything that Umno has proposed this minimum wage is another one of Umno’s deception and an illusion. They are doing and saying things that are pleasing to the ears of the people. At the end the real issue like under their control Malaysia, still remains in the third world and heavily in debt. If they cannot even address these problems why talk about minimum wage or to become a high wage nation ? The fact that they can only talk about in five or ten years from now Malaysia hopes to be performing miracles like achieving high income nation , moving into the first world and everything else. It is only an illusion, empty promises and hopes only.
    So long Malaysia is in control of these incompetent and corrupted scumbags and parasites. Dreams are free and will remain a tool for these morons to use as their deceptions, so for crying out and for the sake of your children and grand children just kick these corrupted morons out of Putrajaya in the coming GE ! Can’t you see even after 55 years as the watchdogs of this country we are still struggling in every area and rated badly in every field.
    Just look at your neighbour, Singapore, who has literally got nothing , except a group of hard and honest working and above all a bunch intelligent people to really work for the country. To day they are rated almost in every field in the top three and above all the richest nation in the world.
    Ever wonder why this is possible ? Malaysia can be like they are if only we have politicians from Umno who go around enriching themselves only and now we all know one of them even hidden away all over the world US$44- billion. Yet this very person is always trying to say he has only accumulated 200 share of Malayan Tobacco after 22 years as P.M. of Malaysia. But can still travel all over the world and travel to a resort island off Italy. Oh that must only be a dream all Malaysians.

  2. The bosses are very funny. They will pay top rent and buy expensive properties and cars for themselves and their business, but pay bottom dollar for their workers. Go see how much Rentsl are paid by these bosses in the ratio market such as KLCC and mid valley. And see how much the workers earned.

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