Digital Asia News Update
- The Straits Times
The Malaysian government announced on Wednesday (Sept 5) that the minimum wage for the private sector will be raised across the country.
Starting January 1 2019, the new minimum monthly wage is RM1,050 (S$257, S$350) – up from RM1,000 for the peninsula and RM920 for East Malaysia.
Malaysia’s Prime Minister’s Department announced in a statement that the changes were made following recommendations by the National Wage Consultative Council (MPGN).
The government has also asked businesses not to raise prices of goods in view of this announcement, and told the relevant ministries to monitor the situation.
It was also revealed that no subsidies will be provided to employers to manage the transition due to the nation’s fiscal situation.
The Prime Minister’s office said: “The increase of the minimum wage is in line with the country’s current economic situation. We have to be mindful that any drastic increase in wages could cause problems for other industries and affect the country’s competitiveness.”
Raising the minimum wage was one of changes that the new government had promised, with Pakatan Harapan having promised that wages across the country will be equalised and that the statutory minimum wage be increased to RM1500 within its first five-year term.
There is also a reason that the wage hasn’t been increased to RM1500 immediately, with the government saying: “It is more reasonable that the minimum wage is raised in stages in the years to come so industries, especially small business owners, won’t have to close shop due to high operating costs which would lead to unemployment”.