PETALING JAYA: Human Resources Ministry will look into setting minimum wage based on sectors which will take into consideration the current situation and needs of the related businesses and industries.
“We will consider minimum wage which is based on region, such as Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular as suggested by the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM), as well as sectors, before coming up with a realistic recommendation to be forwarded to the Cabinet,” its Minister M Kulasegaran said.
He said the current minimum wage, set at RM1,100 from RM920 for all sectors, was too "steep" and that some businesses had to lay off their workers or close down.
Meanwhile, Kulasegaran said that for now, the government is unable to provide subsidy for minimum wage as proposed in the Pakatan Harapan election manisfesto.
“The country’s finances are not condusive for us to realise the manifesto. But, rest assured that the manifesto is for over a period of five years, meaning that we still have time (to implement it),” he said.
PH, in its 14th General Election manifesto, had promised to raise the minimum wage to RM1,500. It had said that the minimum wage if not agreeable by employers, will be shared 50-50 between the government and employer.
On an separate matter, Kulasegaran said his ministry is also mulling to amend the existing labour laws, including the Labour Act, Employment Act 1955, Employment Insurance Act, among others.
“Most of the Acts are outdated and need to be amended to reflect the current jobs and labour force.
“For instance, the present Employees Act 1956 is only relevant to workers earning below RM2,000. What about those who earn more, they are also employees," he said after a dialogue session with FMM, here, today.
He said the ministry is in the midst of streamlining the Acts to suit the current labour force.
“This will include making the Employment Act relevant to all employees regardless of how much they earned a month.” he said.