Under Budget 2016, Private sector workers in the peninsula will see a minimum wage increase from RM900 to RM1,000, and from RM800 to RM920 for those in Sabah and Sarawak. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, October 23, 2015.
The Malaysian Trades’ Union Congress (MTUC) has expressed disappointment with the government over the new minimum wage increase for private sector employees as proposed under Budget 2016.
Its secretary-general, N. Gopal Kishnam, said he expected a RM1,200 minimum wage, similar to the rate for public sector workers. “We are extremely disappointed with the announcement due to the increase in living cost nationwide,” he told The Malaysian Insider in an immediate reaction after the tabling of the budget in Parliament today.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced the minimum wage increase for private sector workers in the peninsula from RM900 to RM1,000, and from RM800 to RM920 for those in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan.
The minimum wage does not apply to domestic workers.
Najib, who is also the finance minister, announced the minimum wage of civil servants to begin at RM1,200 and to take effect from middle of next year.
Gopal said the RM920 increase for private sector workers in Sabah and Sarawak was not realistic as the cost of living there was higher compared with the peninsula.
He said about 800,000 employees, including foreign workers, benefitted from the minimum wage scheme that first came into force in 2013.
Gopal previously said the union was banking on Najib to fix the minimum wage ceiling rate at RM1,200 a month after the National Wages Consultative Council failed to agree on an acceptable sum for an increased minimum wage despite holding three meetings.
A minimum wage for workers in Malaysia was introduced in January 2013, at RM900 a month for those in the peninsula and RM800 for those in Sabah and Sarawak.
Under the Minimum Wages Order 2012, the minimum wage must be reviewed once in two years and employers who breached the directive could be fined up to RM10,0000 for each employee.
At present, wages beyond the minimum rate paid by the private sector is based on market forces or collective agreements between employers and unions. – October 23, 2015.