Wednesday, July 8

Clear air on new minimum wage, ministry told

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MIRI: The Ministry of Finance has been urged to clear the air over which cities in the country the revised minimum wage of RM1,200 would be implemented.

Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) Pujut chairman Bruce Chai said the ministry should name the cities without delay because the new policy would come into effect beginning next year.

The announcement on the new minimum wage, he added, had caused uncertainty because the ministry had not named the cities, which would also affect investor confidence.

“Uncertainties and confusing government policies only create anxiety or negativity to investors,” he said.

He was asked to comment on the impact of the minimum wage which would be limited to workers in major cities in the country as announced by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng when tabling the Budget 2020 on Oct 11.

Lim said this was part of the drive to modernise the labour market.

Chai, who is a businessman, hoped the minister would clear the air in coming weeks as the repercussion of uncertainties could rattle investors’ confidence in putting their money in the country.

“These days, major local or international investors don’t want uncertainties but the bigger picture is not about just raising minimum wage but creating more employment opportunities in Malaysia,” he said.

Chai said the minimum wage raise is unlikely to have a major impact on most of the big-time manufacturers as their plants may be outside major cities.

He called on the federal government to provide more incentives with attractive policies to boost local and foreign direct investments.

“These should include exemptions and incentives and Budget 2020 lacks clarity,” he said.