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Govt to review minimum wage this year, says Sim
Published on: Thursday, March 14, 2024
By: FMT, Ameer Fakhri
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Govt to review minimum wage this year, says Sim
Human resources minister Steven Sim said the views of all stakeholders will be taken into account in coming up with a new minimum wage.
PETALING JAYA: The government will review the minimum salary this year in accordance with the National Wages Consultative Council Act 2011, says human resources minister Steven Sim.

“We will take into account the views of all stakeholders, including employees and employers, as well as socioeconomic reports such as those mentioned in the Bank Negara reports,” Sim said in the Dewan Rakyat during his ministry’s winding-up speech today.

He was responding to a question by Rodiyah Sapiee (GPS-Batang Sadong) regarding the adjustment of the minimum wage to align with recommendations from reports by Bank Negara and EPF.

Yesterday, MTUC called on the government to raise the minimum wage in light of the recent 2% hike in the service tax.

Its secretary-general, Kamarul Baharin Mansor, said it had been almost two years since the minimum wage was set at RM1,500 on May 1, 2022, noting that the National Wages Consultative Council Act mandates that the council restudy the minimum wages order every two years.

Separately, Sim dismissed a claim by Siti Mastura Muhammad (PN-Kepala Batas) that the number of expatriates working in professional and highly skilled sectors in the country has exceeded those of local graduates.

“In 2023, the number of active expatriates stood at 109,707 compared to 2.2 million skilled Malaysian workers. So, that is not quite accurate, as it only represents 4.9% of the total skilled workforce,” he said.

Sim said the number of approved expatriate workers over the last three years has been declining from 62,352 in 2019 to 37,919 in 2023.

He stressed that the intake of expatriates is limited to critical sectors where local talent is insufficient, adding that local talent can benefit from expatriates through knowledge and technology transfer.

Two important meetings to take place this month

Sim also announced that two important meetings involving disputes between employees and employers will take place later this month.

The first meeting is between the Kedah government-linked company (GLC) Kedah Agro Holdings Bhd and the state government, scheduled for March 17, regarding reported salary arrears.

FMT previously reported that Kedah Agro Holdings, owned by Kedah Menteri Besar Incorporated (MBI), has not paid the wages for its 24 workers since last September.

The second meeting is a reconciliatory meeting scheduled for next week, involving the National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE) and the Malaysian Commercial Banks Association (MCBA).

The purpose of the meeting is to address the dispute regarding a local bank’s refusal to pay festive bonus as stipulated in a memorandum of understanding between the two entities.

FMT is withholding the identity of the bank pending its comment.

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