PUTRAJAYA: The highly-anticipated minimum wage for the private sector will be unveiled on the eve of Labour Day by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
A statement from the Human Resources Ministry on Wednesday said the announcement will be delivered in a ceremony to be held at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre on Monday, starting at 8pm.
Both worker and employer representatives have reached a consensus on the minimum wage rate, said to be a “win-win situation” for all, the ministry said.
“In this context, (it is) a rate that is not too high that it will affect a business or cause enterprises to be out of business or (the need to) lay off workers,” it said.
It also credited the decision making to the consultation process held by members of the National Wages Consultative Council (MPGN), which is represented by employers, employees, civil servants and field specialists such as consumer groups.
Studies were also conducted by the technical committee which comprised economists, social scientists and actuarial scientists.
The minimum wage policy is expected to benefit some 3.2 million private sector workers in small- and medium- enterprises (SME) who on average earn less than RM700 a month.
They represent some 33% of the Malaysian workforce that currently lives below the poverty line of RM763.
The minimum wage policy will be taking off under the provisions of the National Wages Consultative Council Act 2011, which was passed at Parliament in June last year.
Although the policy is expected to strengthen the purchasing power of those in the lower income bracket, the ministry cautioned that the rise in consumers’ buying power may result in higher prices of goods.
“It cannot be denied that the establishment of a minimum wage will effect an increase in prices of goods.
“This is a normal reaction in any economy worldwide,” it said, adding that the Government will continue to monitor prices of goods and services to ensure that they were offered to consumers at a reasonable rate.
– THE STAR