Wishing all readers a Happy Deepavali and hope you are having a wonderful break.
Some of you have asked for some thoughts on Budget 2018.
Well, first thing, let’s take a look at the monthly minimum wage, which has been raised by a further RM50 to RM1,100, the second increase in the year.
But this is still way too low.
We owe a lot to Mahathir for helping to bring about regime change on the back of People Power. But his record on the minimum wage issue continues to be less than stellar, even after two decades.
Let’s flash back 20 years ago, to the situation in 1998.
The late veteran trade unionist K George recalled in an article he wrote for Aliran in 2007:
The sum of RM900 as minimum wage was proposed in August 1998 when Mahathir met the MTUC leaders at the meeting called for by him. At that meeting, Mahathir surprisingly maintained that RM900 was not enough for an average family of five persons to survive for a month. Instead, he proposed that the minimum wage should be RM1,200. His excuse for not implementing his proposal of RM1,200 immediately was the financial crisis at that time in Malaysia. But when the economy started to improve gradually, Mahathir left the scene in October 2003 without resolving the minimum wage issue.Read K George’s full article here.
So two decades later, after our economy has grown by so much, we are still stuck at RM1,100. That’s still below the RM1,200 figure that was proposed about 20 years ago! You mean to say our workers have been that unproductive? Read the full article on the Aliran website