RM1,500 minimum wage proposal ‘too hasty’, says Chinese Chambers of Commerce

ACCCIS said that now is not the right time to increase the minimum wage as it will exacerbate the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on SMEs. File Photo

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KUCHING, Feb 8: The Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sarawak (ACCCIS) has branded the proposal to increase the minimum wage to RM1,500 a month as “too hasty” and lacks “in-depth consideration”.

The association was referring to a recent statement made by the Human Resources Minister M Saravanan who informed that the ministry may implement the new minimum wage by year end once if it is approved by the Federal Cabinet.

Following that, ACCCIS stated that it is not the right time to increase the minimum wage as it will exacerbate the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

“As most are aware, maintaining a good cash flow and reducing operation costs are the two prerequisites to keep most businesses afloat.

“In order to cope with various uncertainties due to the Covid-19 outbreak, businesses need to have a strong cash flow to cushion and overcome the impacts of the pandemic.

“It should be the priority of the government to work closely with the business community and other stakeholders to fight Covid-19 and strengthen our economy as of now so that businesses can stay afloat and workers can keep their jobs,” it said in a statement today.

It further said that the hasty implementation of a revised minimum wage will kill off the surviving chance of many struggling businesses and will inevitably lead to massive layoffs and a significant reduction in employment opportunities.

Additionally, it pointed out that many families will lose their livelihoods resulting in many unwanted social problems and domestic demand will also decline due to the inflationary pressures on the prices of goods and services and ultimately economic recovery will be derailed.

Thus, ACCCIS appealed to the government to postpone the adjustment of the minimum wage system for at least two years to allow domestic businesses to have sufficient time to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. — DayakDaily