MEF taken to task for “fear-mongering” about minimum wage increase

Budget allocation to create digital economy good, but must not impact on human resource and employment.

KUCHING, Dec 27: The Malaysian Employment Federation’s recent implication that the minimum wage increase was for the benefit of foreign workers rather than local workers has been slammed as a thinly veiled attempt at “creating fear and resentment.”

“It is employers in Malaysia that created the demand that 30 per cent of the workforce are now foreign,” Sarawak Bank Employees Union CEO Andrew Lo, UNI MLC president Datuk Mohd Shafie and LLR Coalition Co Chair Gopala Krishnan said in a joint press statement today.

“If there is no demand, there will not be any supply and there will be no exploitation,” the statement added.

The statement goes on to critique MEF for using retrenchment figures of the media industry as an example of how ill-prepared employers are, when they claim the cause of the media industry’s retrenchment is its failure to adapt technology amidst the changing landscape and has nothing do with the minimum wage.

“Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) also refuse to accept that it is the low wages that lead to low productivity as employers will not invest in productivity-enhancing technology,” the statement continued.

The statement said that MEF even blamed the increased overtime threshold as the cause of low productivity.

“We are pleased to note that MEF now acknowledges the need for businesses to conform to international labour standards.

“Why then it does it so strongly object to the Amendments to the Industrial Relations Act that paved the way to Convention 87? Isn’t that being manipulative?” —DayakDaily