KOTA KINABALU May 6, 2012: Putatan member of parliament Datuk Dr Marcus Mojigoh stressed that disparity should not exist in the minimum wage rate between Peninsular Malaysia and the Bornean states of Sabah and Sarawak.
“My personal opinion is, the minimum wage should be the same in the country. We are 1Malaysia, we are promoting this concept, so why the difference?”
He was also of the opinion that the difference of RM100 would encourage Sabahans to seek employment in Peninsular Malaysia owing to the higher cost of living in Sabah.
Mojigoh stressed that the high cost of living and of goods in Sabah will eventually take their toll on the employers.
To implement the RM800 minimum wage would entail the employers to incur extra operational costs, he said, adding that there will be no economic growth for them.
Mojigoh said that not only the minimum wage but also the price of goods should be standardised throughout the nation.
Speaking to reporters after presenting a personal donation to the fire victims of Kampung Meruntum on Friday, Mojigoh opined that the cabotage policy was among the reasons contributing to the higher price of goods in East Malaysia.
“I am against the policy and I have raised this issue numerous times in Parliament and called for it to be reviewed.
“Why must there be a policy to protect a few shipping companies? Why do we need to protect a few shippers at the expense of the rakyat in Sabah and Sarawak?
“The government should look at the millions of Malaysians in the two states who suffer unnecessarily because of this policy,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, when touching on the issue of the PTPTN which the Opposition said would be abolished if it comes into power, Mojigoh pointed out that there is no reason to scrap the loan since the PTPTN benefits the non-Bumiputera students as much as their Bumiputera counterparts.
“This is a hot issue raised by the Opposition but the PTPTN is actually good so why should it be scrapped. It not only benefits the Bumiputera students, but also the non-bumiputera in the country.
“It also encourages students to study harder because those who attain a cumulative grade of 3.0 will be given a discount on the loan, while those who achieve a 3.75, the loan will be converted into a scholarship,” he said adding that 70 per cent of those who have benefitted from the PTPTN are non-Bumiputera.
The PTPTN is good for the non-Bumiputera because their Bumiputera peers receive other types of financial assistance from both the State and Federal governments, he stressed.
“So this government is very fair as it provides opportunity for the non-bumi students from the low income families to pursue their studies… this is the government for all the rakyat,” he said.
Mojigoh added that the Opposition just wanted to turn the issue against the Bumiputera by telling them that the PTPTN does not benefit them.