KUALA LUMPUR: More than 100 workers staged a peaceful protest outside the Parliament calling for the Government to review the monthly minimum wage of RM1,050.
The protesters were from the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC), Malaysian Socialist Party (PSM), Friends of Women Selangor Organisation, and several other non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
The group gathered at Padang Merbok at 9.30am and started to walk to the Parliament at 10.30am.
They chanted “hidup hidup, bantah bantah 1050, bangkit bangkit rakyat” (long live, resist 1050, stand up people) while bringing their respective party’ and organisation flags.
Protesters stopped about 100 metres from the Parliament as the area was cordoned off by the Light Strike Force and policemen. The group dispersed at 1pm.
One of the protesters, Soh Sook Hwa, 36, said the new RM1,050 minimum wage could not cover the living costs.
“The Human Ministry promised to review minimum wage every two years. It has been more than two years now, and the raise is only RM50.
“RM50 is not enough to cover inflation and the National Wages Consultative Council has recommended the minimum wage in Peninsula should be at RM1,250 and RM1,170 in East Malaysia.
“Even if the Government wants Peninsula and East Malaysia to have the same minimum wage, RM1,050 is still lower than the suggested RM1,170,” the graphic designer said when met at the protest.
Soh said the RM50 raise showed that the ministry was not sincere about the issue.
“This also indicate that they did not respect the findings of the council.
“Do the ministers not understand the predicament faced by the people?The protest today was to urge the ministers to review their decision,” she said.
Another protester, Syakira Suhaimi, a fourth year International Islamic University Malaysia student, hoped the ministry would reassess the monthly minimum wage of RM1,050.
“Today we did not come with big hopes that the government will change its decision. We hope that they get the message that Malaysians despite race and religion, we are here today to express our dissatisfaction.
“I am in my last year of university, I will graduate soon and I do not wish to see that after studying for so many years and the minimum wage that I receive is on RM1,050,” she said.