ISKANDAR PUTERI: The state government will consider carrying out a study on a living wage policy and its effectiveness if implemented in Johor.
Mentri Besar Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin said that while many countries, including Britain, had adopted a living wage policy, the government had to take into consideration several factors.
In peninsular Malaysia, the minimum wage is RM900 while it is RM800 in Sabah and Sarawak.
The living wage is considered the minimum income necessary for workers to meet their basic needs and is usually based on the cost of living in a particular area.
“It is a good suggestion and we can do a study on how the system works and its effectiveness. But we also have to look at other factors, such as whether we have the power to implement this or employers will adhere to it.
“If this is taken as the basis for wages, we have to make sure that such a policy does not affect investments in the state,” he told Datuk Dr Adham Baba (BN-Pasir Raja).
Dr Adham had asked on the possibility of the state government conducting a study for the implementation of such a policy.
Johor, said Mohamed Khaled, had taken several initiatives to tackle the rising cost of living, such as the setting up of Muafakat Johor Affordable Community stores and putting aside RM1.3mil in discounts for 6,500 people from the low-income group.
“We have increased the construction of affordable and transit homes and extended the free bus services to other areas as well as educational incentives and aid to newly enrolled students in higher institutions, including food aid for some 10,000 poor students.
“We have doubled the financial aid to 1,800 fishermen with a one-off sum of RM2,000 and introduced the Urban Farming programme in the Iskandar Malaysia region,” he said.