Education Ministry flayed for no minimum wage (Malaysiakini) PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 25 September 2014
Several NGOs today staged a brief protest in front of the Education Ministry, demanding to know why cleaners and security guards at some schools were not being paid the minimum wage.

Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) and Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (Jerit) said in a survey they conducted in 16 schools, 14 have contractors who were paying their workers as low as RM650 a month.

"If the government cannot even ensure that these workers are paid according to the minimum wage, how will it control smaller establishments?

"Keep your house in order and implement the proposed minimum wage of RM900 a month," PSM secretary-general S Arutchelvan (right) said.

Jerit’s workers unit coordinator Sivaranjani Manikam told reporters that workers were afraid to come forward as they fear being sacked by their employers, who are contractors to the ministry.

The NGOs also claimed that most of the workers' EPF and Socso contributions are also not paid.

Accepting the memorandum from the NGOs was the education ministry's media head Ab Kahar Harun who told reporters they have no jurisdiction in the handling of wages.

"We can terminate the contractors involved, but it is not our obligation to force the contractors to pay the minimum wage.

"It's not in our jurisdiction. They (NGOs) need to ask the Human Resource Ministry," he stressed.

Wages paid based on invoice

However, Ab Kahar said they have always transferred funds to the respective states which will then be channeled to the schools, according to the invoices sent.

"It doesn't matter if the invoices are backdated. As long as there's an invoice, wages will be paid," he said adding that the contractors can actually claim from the ministry if they had to pay more.

Ab Kahar also said that it is not an easy task to meet every contractor as there are more than 45,000 in Malaysia.

According to the NGOs, the ministry had promised to conduct a through check on the 14 schools surveyed by PSM and Jerit by the end of this month.

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