KUALA LUMPUR (June 15, 2011): A MINIMUM wage of RM1,500 for workers in Malaysia should be immediately implemented through the formation of a Minimum Wage Act, said Parti Sosialis Malaysia treasurer A. Sivarajan.
“There have been many recommendations made by various bodies over the years for a Minimum Wage Act, but they have fallen on deaf ears,” he said at a press conference in parliament.
He said the government had instead taken a step backwards and proposed a Wage Consultation Council bill.
The new bill is to replace the Salary Determination Council Act 1947 and is expected to be passed during the current Parliament sitting.
Sivarajan said the council (once formed) will make recommendations to the government on what constitutes acceptable minimum wage.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Trade Union Council vice president (private sector) Mohd Rozeli Majid said a minimum wage has been one of the union’s main causes over the past 20 years.
Concerns were also raised regarding the quantum of minimum wage which will eventually be proposed to the government.
Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor president Irene Xavier said the groups’ demand for a minimum wage of RM1,500 is fair, based on current living standards.
“The Human Resource Minister had last year announced that all security guards will receive a minimum wage of between RM700 and RM500, depending on location,” she said, pointing out that the final sum is still below Malaysia’s poverty line, set at RM720 a month.
A memorandum was later handed over to representatives from the office of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution, on behalf of opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, and Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran, who represented the Parliamentary Caucus for Labour and Migrant Workers.
Earlier, the group of about 50 people, led by PSM secretary general S. Arutchelvan and representatives from NGO Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (Jerit), protested outside the parliament, carrying placards which read: “Don’t play politics with workers”, “Until when will the labourers be tricked” and “Malaysia is rich but workers are poor”.
They were closely watched by some 50 armed police officers and members of the Light Strike Force.
source: the sun