PKR leader gives her thumbs up to minimum wage hike

Voon Shiak Ni

KUCHING, Sept 6: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) National Women vice-chief Voon Shiak Ni today applauds the federal government for increasing and standardising the minimum wage to RM1,050 across the board nationwide.

Neither too high nor too little, especially for Sarawak, she said as an employer herself, it was a fair and reasonable raise that was affordable to small scale companies, adding that employers should pay more if they could afford better wages for their staff.

She said setting the minimum wage was good to ensure that everyone who worked should be paid at least RM1,000 monthly as many blue collar workers were still paid below that amount.

“Setting a minimum wage takes into consideration a lot of factors, especially involving the private sector, as it can mean survival issues for both employers and employees.

“If it is too high, then small companies cannot afford to engage more staff and may lead to retrenchment,” Voon said in a statement today.

Besides that, she added, the higher operating cost might be put into the cost of goods and services, resulting in price hikes.

She also pointed out that the domino effect of imposing a higher minimum wage could lead to price hikes of goods and services and retrenchment if the economy of the nation remains slow.

Therefore, she agreed that a slow but steady increase in minimum wage over the years would be good and more practical while the nation put efforts to revive the economy.

The announcement was made through the Prime Minister’s Department yesterday after the Minimum Wages Order 2016 was reviewed by the National Wage Consultative Council (MPGN). It will take effect on January 1, 2019.

On another note, Voon warned employers to avoid discriminating against their employees, regardless of their background.

“Employers also need to be warned that they need to ensure their employees are adequately paid for their services rendered and to refrain from all forms of discrimination or overworking their workers.

“We have received complaints from some workers that employers are not bothered about their well being. Some employers even cut the pay of their workers for being late for 10 minutes,” she lamented. — DayakDaily