RM1,500 minimum wage needs to be reviewed following SST hike: MTUC

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has demanded a review of the minimum wage rate following the Sales and Service Tax (SST) hike.

MTUC Secretary-General Kamarul Baharin Mansor, in a statement today, urged the government to announce the new rate, adding that the last review was conducted almost two years ago, when it was set at RM1,500.

"It is urgent to review the rate due to the effects of the increased SST tax, water and electricity rates, and the cost of essential goods," he said.

Kamarul reminded the government that the National Wages Consultative Council Act requires a reassessment of the minimum wage every two years.

"The minimum wage rate needs to be reviewed to determine a new rate in line with the current cost of living increase," he said.

He also cited a report by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) in 2018, which it was found that the reasonable living wage for single individuals is RM2700, for childless couples RM4500, and for couples with two children RM6500.

"A static wage rate will cause workers to remain in poverty even though they are employed. Careers such as cleaning, security guards, and 3D jobs will be affected if the rate is not adjusted according to the current situation," he added.

He also mentioned that the majority affected by the minimum wage rate are those declared below the national poverty line.

"MTUC urges the government to announce the new minimum wage rate after two years and not use the excuse that studies are being conducted," he concluded.

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