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HR Ministry: Hundreds of minimum wage postponement requests denied

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KUALA LUMPUR: The Human Resources Ministry has rejected the request of hundreds of local employers to postpone the minimum wage requirement which comes into effect on Jan 1.

Its Minister, Datuk Richard Riot said the highest number of applications was from companies involved in small and medium industries (SMI) and large firms with millions of Ringgit in profits a year.

“We still received applications for postponement last week. Many have been rejected.

“We are firm on this and employers must abide by the regulation by Jan 1, 2014,” he told reporters after opening a two-day forum, ‘Leadership for Entrepreneurs’ which was attended by 100 SMI entrepreneurs here Tuesday.

He said the enforcement of minimum pay was a government directive, through the General Order, and Malaysia could not achieve a developed nation status in 2020 if it was not complied with.

The directive of minimum pay of RM900 for peninsula Malaysia and RM800 for Sabah and Sarawak was made by the National Wages Consultative Council – represented by six employer unions, six worker unions and six representatives from the Ministry – which had implemented numerous studies, including implication to companies and the nation, he said.

Meanwhile, Riot said the Ministry was implementing a study on the need for foreign labour in the country.

“The study is to determine the need of the national industries for foreign workers. We do not want too many foreign workers in our country,” he said when asked about the 1.4 million foreign workers currently in the country.

He said the Bangladesh Human Resources Ministry had offered its manpower to Malaysia and was prepared to send 1,000 workers a week.

On local workers, Riot clarified that Malaysia was still lacking in skilled workers and the government had set a target of 50% of the 20.8 million local workers to comprise skilled workers by 2020.

Currently, he said the number of skilled workers among the local populace stood at only 20%.

– Bernama

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