Minimum Wage: One Hand Gives, The Other Takes Away MEF Stop harassing and bullying the poor workers PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 07 March 2012

JERIT would like to express its disappointment over the statement made by the Malaysian Employer’s Federation (MEF) in the local newspapers today regarding minimum wage policy. The news quoted that MEF would accept the Government’s decision to go ahead with minimum policy; however, the MEF’s Executive Director Shamsuddin Bardan and Vice-President Michael Chiam said that the workers could lose their additional incentives and allowances.

JERIT condemned MEF’s statement which is a threat to the poor workers whose basic salary is below poverty line of RM720.  MEF should be ashamed to give such a statement and they start thinking rationally. MEF should be aware the whole proposal to implement minimum wage is to protect under-paid workers and enable them to live decently.

MEF admitted that the workers basic salary may only be between RM500-RM600 and the take-home salary in some sectors are above RM1,000 after including other allowances and additional benefits such as transport, meal and overtime payments. Since it is expected the Government would announce a  minimum wage ranging between RM800 – RM1,000, the workers living condition will go to the square one if the employers choose to remove additional benefits enjoyed by the workers. So, what is the rational in implementing minimum wage. It is also against the labour policy to withdraw benefits enjoyed by workers unnecessarily. MEF should realise that increase in the worker’s salary would have a positive impact on workers as employees will strive harder to secure employment thereby increasing productivity level. 


The news also quoted that MEF echoed concerns raised by the former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad over the negative impact of minimum wage on Malaysia’s economy. JERIT would like to refresh a statement made by Dr Mahathir in 1998 during a dialogue with MTUC which was campaigning for a minimum wage of RM900. Dr. Mahathir remarked that a minimum wage of RM1,200 should be implemented. Sadly, MEF did not echo to support Dr. Mahathir’s statement then.

MEF should realise that without the workers the employers wouldn’t maximize companies’ profits.  Workers are their indirect ‘share-partners’. JERIT call MEF to be more sincere and stop all kind of threat on the implementation of minimum wage policy .  Implement minumum wage of RM1500 now !



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