Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Chua: Have RM1,000 minimum wage in Opposition states first

PETALING JAYA: DAP has been criticised for demanding that the minimum wage be set at RM1,000 but not recommending such a move in Opposition-controlled states.

MCA Young Professionals Bureau chairman Datuk Chua Tee Yong suggested that DAP propose the wage base for the Pakatan Rakyat-ruled states of Selangor, Kedah, Kelantan and Penang first.

“At least they should implement their own proposal of minimum wage in their government-linked companies (GLCs) or government-linked investment companies (GLICs). However, nothing has been done so far,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Chua, who is Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister, pointed out that Pakatan’s Buku Jingga (orange book) had said the coalition strived to provide a minimum household income of RM4,000 a month.

“But on the other hand, Pakatan MPs have suggested fixing the minimum income at between RM1,000 and RM1,200.

“So, even if we were to add the total income of both husband and wife, Pakatan’s target of RM4,000 would not be attainable,” he said.

Chua said that in order to achieve Pakatan’s objective, the country would have to bear a burden of RM93bil as the Government would need to top up the monthly income of each household to RM4,000.

“Such a scenario would certainly lead our nation to bankruptcy. It is beneficial to set a minimum wage. However, this should depend on the financial capabilities of the respective employers as different sectors vary from one to another,” he said.

It was reported that the Government was looking at a minimum wage of between RM800 and RM1,000 for some 3.2 million workers in the private sector.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the Government had decided on the national minimum wage and the details would be announced by the Prime Minister soon.

Chua said the bureau was of the view that fixing the minimum wage at RM800 was too low as the poverty line in the peninsula was RM720, while it was RM780 in Sabah and RM760 in Sarawak.

“Thus, it will be more appropriate if minimum wage is fixed at RM900. It is recommended that even by having such a minimum wage, other employee benefits should remain unchanged,” he said

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