KOTA KINABALU May 18, 2012: Sabah employers basically accepted the proposed implementation of RM800 minimum wage for employees in the state although they have raised a few issues related to the local situation, according to Human Resource Minister Datuk Dr S Subramaniam.
Describing it as an interesting development, Subramaniam said, am interested in the matters raised by the employers here today (yesterday).
accept these views and understand the issues, and I support that there must be serious attempts to address them.
ut I welcome the fact that they support the proposal and from the national point of view, that is something good for the workers in Malaysia as a whole,?he said.
He said the minimum wage is expected to be gazetted by next year.
fter it is gazetted, professional sector and employers with more than five employees are required to implement the new minimum wage within six months, while those who employ less than five workers will have a year to implement the new salary scale,?he said.
Subramaniam was commenting on the RM800 minimum wage set for Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan and RM900 set for Peninsular Malaysia, as announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak on Workers Day.
He said the government understands the management’s point of view but at the same time, they have to look at the needs of the employees.
On Federation of Sabah Manufacturers’ (FSM) request to stagger the implementation of minimum wage over three years, Subramaniam said employers may apply to the National Wage Consultative Council should they need extension (NWCC).
He stressed that there is no political influence in the NWCC, the technical committee of which is made up of economy experts.
e feel that if the decision is made by politicians, it tends to be politicised,?he said, adding that the proposal was not another political gimmick.
Subramaniam said: hen we came up with the decision to revise the salary scales in the country, we felt it was necessary as the gap was so huge between Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia.
he last review on minimum wage was in 2004 and the salary scale has differed over the years.
his time, the review is going to stay and it will be done biennially. We do not even know whether this decision will give us (ruling government) more or less votes, but this is not just another political gimmick.?
On the revision period for the minimum wage, Subramaniam said it is stated in the Act that the amount would be revised every two years while there is also a provision for the extension of a 12-month implementation period for micro-enterprises.
e have taken a brave step forward with this minimum wage system. I am sure everything will fall into place with time,?he said.
The new rates will have a bigger impact in Sabah as the average salary there is RM577, followed by Sarawak at RM758. In the peninsula, the average minimum wage is RM1,131.
The varying average salaries between Sabah and Sarawak and the peninsula may see different minimum rates among the three groups.
Once the disparity in the average salary lessens, a review will be made to streamline the minimum wage,?he said.
He said once the proposed rate was implemented, employers would see a minor increase in operation costs, but this would have little effect on their total expenditure.
The rate we are trying to propose is based on a formula that takes into consideration all these factors and will not affect the industries and productivity or increase unemployment.
If we keep the wage between RM800 and RM1,000, it will not have any negative impact on drawing investments, but if it goes above RM1,000, then it may cause a negative impact on the economy.?
He said a median wage policy would be established in stages, with a grace period given to employers to restructure their wage schemes once the new minimum wage is implemented.
He reminded employers that they risk a maximum RM10,000 fine per worker if they fail to comply with the policy.
KOTA KINABALU May 18, 2012: The government will not impose a different private sector minimum wage for Sabah and Sarawak if a review conducted by the National Wage Consultation Council (NWCC) finds that the economies of the two states continue to grow, said Human Resource Minister Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam.