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PUTRAJAYA: Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem said a new minimum wage for Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan will be announced next year, according to a Bernama report carried by Malaysiakini today.
The move will narrow the minimum wage gap for the private sector which is currently RM1,000 for Peninsular Malaysia, and RM920 for Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan, he revealed.
Riot said the National Wages Consultative Council (MGPN) had started making plans to review the Minimum Wages Order 2016 to allow the government to determine the new minimum wages rate in line with the country’s current socio-economic development.
The minister highlighted that the minimum wages order must be reviewed at least once in two years and that the review will, amongst others, look at the ability of the employer to pay the minimum wage to ensure that the minimum wage policy meets all objectives.
“The setting up of a group of wage and minimum wages researchers will have a positive effect which will allow the government to provide adequate social protection to workers throughout the country. The enforcement of the minimum wages is an important aspect which will benefit the employees especially those with low income in the B40 category,” he said.
Riot was speaking at a press conference after presenting appointment letters to 25 members of the National Wages Consultative Council who were appointed for the period Oct 1 to Sept 30, 2020 to ensure the continuity of implementation for the minimum wages policy.
He said closing the minimum wage gap between employees in Peninsular Malaysia and in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan was gradually being realised with the appointment of two members of the MGPN from the Sarawak and Sabah State Secretary’s offices.
“The review will take into consideration the cost of living as well as the operations cost which have to be borne by the employer who manages to close the gap in income in Malaysia. Previously, the minimum salary in Peninsular Malaysia was RM900 while in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan, it was RM800. In 2016, we closed the gap to RM1,000 (Peninsular) and RM920 (Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan).
“One day, the salary in both categories will be on par. This is still being studied by the Minimum Wages Technical Committee and the MGPN before it is tabled to the Cabinet,” he said.
Riot said as of June, 98 per cent of employers in 142,151 statutory checks being carried out by the Labour Department had complied with the Minimum Wages Order.