KUALA LUMPUR: The current minimum wage prescribed was set according to regions by taking into account the different socio-economic factors between Peninsular, Sabah, Sarawak and the Federal Territory of Labuan, the Dewan Rakyat was told yesterday.
Deputy Human Resource Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Abd Muttalib said it was subject to Section 22 (1) of the National Wages Consultative Council Act 2011 (Act 732) that provides that the recommended minimum wage rates are by sector, type of employment and regions.
“If different minimum wage rates are set according to urban and rural areas, it is feared that enforcement will be difficult and may result in displacement of workers from rural to urban areas due to higher minimum wages in urban areas,” he said during the Question and Answer session.
He was replying to a supplementary question from Datuk Hasbullah Osman (BN-Gerik) who wanted to know if the ministry was reviewing the Malaysian wages scheme for the private and industrial sectors with the rising cost of living especially for people living in urban areas.
Ismail said to increase the people’s income in line with the government’s desire to become a high-income nation by 2020, the government would conduct a review on the Minimum Wage Order at least once in every two years, in line with the provisions of the Act.
He said the government had just completed review of the Minimum Wage Order and agreed to raise the minimum salary rate from RM900 to RM1,000 per month in Peninsular Malaysia while from RM800 to RM920 per month in Sabah, Sarawak and the Federal Territory of Labuan starting July 1 last year. Hence, he said the next review of minimum wage rates will only be carried out in 2018.
“The government takes into consideration the views of all parties through a balanced approach by weighing in the interests of employers, employees and the government that no decision will burden the employer that it will affect the employees,” he said. — Bernama