Why the minimum wage should be RM1,800 today – not RM1,100

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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

READ MORE:  Workers' Day blues: When food prices make your stomach churn
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Ho Wan Lai
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Ho Wan Lai

RM1800? Better wage must come with better productivity.
SMEs may opt for automation in line with IR4.0 then those who do not improve their skills likely be “chopped” off.

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Automation bundled with AI tech costs heftily only the big corporations / MNCs can afford to experiment. Coupled with low Ringgit value & coming import taxes on softwares, what’s going to be left on the SMEs table after the P&L bean counting??? Big boss ego against reasonable labor request only brings more harm than any good!

Brother Sumareh
Guest
Brother Sumareh

Banks oredi chopping off front counter staffs as you all like online stuff, only old seniors no apps very difficult now don’t know how to use apps to do simple banking.

Cygnus Knight
Guest
Cygnus Knight

Singapore’s PayNow system – can transfer money to one another using smartphone. The direction to cut bank counters, abd the counter staff is inevitable with such technoligy disruption.

https://www.straitstimes.com/business/banking/go-cashless-with-paynow-fund-transfers-from-july-10

ghee kiong
Guest
ghee kiong

SME now get 1% tax saving, must invest in automation before labor cost go up RM1800 er unskilled worker.

Cygnus Knight
Guest
Cygnus Knight

Now no need to pay money to HRDF.
In fact, SMEs should claim money back from HRDF if indeed the fund has been misappropriated for personal gain by its directors.

Cygnus Knight
Guest
Cygnus Knight

Wage increase must be linked with skill-based productivity for our nation to be competitive.

Wei
Guest
Wei

that is injustice in the eye of “justice” warrior…

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

So, now you already woke up to injustice? Now I like you hahahahaha!

Shriek
Guest
Shriek

Ask one ton mee seller, why no productivity but increase price?

Cygnus Knight
Guest
Cygnus Knight
Brother Sumareh
Guest
Brother Sumareh

This Sunday Deepavali Batu Uban open house go tell your adun Kumaresan to increase minimum pay. Sim Tze Tzin and CM Chow Kon Yow will be there. You folks not happy no library can talk direct to Sim. You folks not happy with PIL go face Chow. We write here no action self syiok only.

Venue Sekolah Kebangsaan Minden Heights at Gelugor from 7pm.

Anil can be there to witness MOU signed for better wages, new library, and no PIL.

James K
Guest
James K

Very socialistic mindset. Has any socialist country in history prospered? Most became dictatorships or failed state. Wages, just like prices, have to be determined by market forces.
The issue here is not wages, but to increase productivity, upskill the labour force, create better jobs, and provide better education for all.

X Man
Guest
X Man

Socialist thinking people cannot understand productivity.
Competency and skillets are important to command higher pay.

glissantia
Guest
glissantia

“Has any socialist country.. prospered?” Is that why the empire is struggling to destroy Cuba, Venezuela, Russia and China, and overthrew so many populist governments?

“determined by market forces”: You mean the thugs at the top who engage in insider trading and employing illegals and price gouging.. who get a slap on the wrist when caught? Like the head of Goldman Sachs who is now “sorry and ashamed”?

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

When the guys at top management have their days of super-high salaries (some as high as Rm100K, Rm30-50K the norms), they lament any increase in salary will jeopardise the corporate earnings. Actually, if I am not wrong these guys are only protecting their super-high salaries which they gleefully justify with low costs of doing business (not highlighting the high salary costs of these execs) at the expense of the majority lower ranks stuck at super-low pays as long as they can annually show great profit figures to the board of directors & investors. Even the kopitiam owners can raise stall… Read more »

Shriek
Guest
Shriek

No problem if gaji nail. Dish washing, kitchen hand, barber orso raise price to get their 1.80k. Tunglang fully agrees???

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Is that a problem to you??? Pls try harder spinning the real world.

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Do you envied they earn more than you??? Komtar Dedak cannot support lifestyle of single troll! Forget about a family.

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

So, no problem with you. Why ask some more obvious?

Shriek
Guest
Shriek

Tunglang, cheap one ton mee? How the owner, his wife and helper gets 3x 1800 pay per month??

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Cheap wan tan tee attracts many B40, so what’s the problem? Don’t get jealous of their good business!

Shriek
Guest
Shriek

Why no complain when mat sallehs get more when than local manager?7

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Have not heard of expatriate pay? Too sorrowful that there’s no expat pay for shriekers! Hahahahaha!

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Wan Tan Mee seller can make it good, you also get jealous! No wonder shrieking is your career nobody wants to pay Rm1800!!! Pls try harder or fail!

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Heng GS Taiwan engineers are flocking to China for better salaries and perks, they learn new idealogies to reunite Taiwan with Mainland. Good Malaysian engineers head south to Red Dot past decades, many become PRs and later citizens valuing meritocracy there. So, actually part of the problems is the low salary syndrome pervasive & allowed (by leaders such as Mahathir) in Malaysia (in order to attract FDI) besides the meritocracy denied in a level playing field of true Malaysian talents in our midst. This has driven many to offshore greener pastures (of higher salary) many of whom have proven high… Read more »

Shriek
Guest
Shriek

Same, many pg lang went to kl to work and open hokkien mee stalls

Wei
Guest
Wei

entrepreneur of small and medium enterprises who survive on razor thin margin should just close shop and prepare to work for Anil because he can pay you at least RM1800 minus the risk and headache..

ghee kiong
Guest
ghee kiong

Obviously anil never operate business before. Can pay more if workers are productive. But our local rilek culture means they want easy job but high pay.

Wei
Guest
Wei

then the production worker should apply for the top management post…hehe

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

This is how you spin your sick life to look clever! Not a good try, hahaha!

Shriek
Guest
Shriek

Football, badminton, tennis players, boxer earning thousands or millions no body complain? Managers getting thousands or millions a lot of contention?

Cygnus Knight
Guest
Cygnus Knight

Professional footballers are highly paid too.
https://www.businessinsider.my/premier-league-highest-paid-players-2018-8/?r=US&IR=T

Pay commensurates with skills. A week’s wages (90 mins of football) is more than what we could earn in a lifetime.

V Ramesh
Guest
V Ramesh

A top local player in Liga M can command RM80,000 a month. Also check how much Lee Chong Wei get paid, salary and endorsement fees, so much so that he could not afford to retire despite health concern.

V Ramesh
Guest
V Ramesh

Members of the Perak football team will each receive RM10,000 and a plot of land from the state government for winning the Malaysia Cup on Oct 27.

Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu said the tokens of appreciation will be handed to each player and football officer in a ceremony soon.

The players also got PJK pangkat!

B40 can nurture their kids to become professional sportsmen. Not forgetting e-Sport too.

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

People who don’t see these corporate … (fat bonuses+benefits) happening don’t seemed to be concerned of these …. hidden behind productivity shrieks against decent salary calls of majority.
This is how relaxed & indifferent an attitude as long as they got a job until the day they are finally put on the chopping board!

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

The problem with corporate mindset in Malaysia is the lower the salaries, the better. Nevermind if it is still stagnant at 80s or 90s Malaysian level. Expectation of productivity (or even exceeding salary equilibrium to decent output) is the norm before they give an extra carrot. BUT the things they produced are sold at prices rising every year. Blame it on Mahathir? YES. His enticement to FDI put a cap on any decent rise in minimum salaries. Nevermind that households ate kangkong while he ate French loaf! Indecent increase price strategy @ year-on-year low labor costs: Take for example Asic… Read more »

ghee kiong
Guest
ghee kiong

Ask yourself why Singapore can pay high salary. Singapore focus on value add activities and compete in world stage. Top talents got high pay. Skilled workers from Malaysia also go work in Singapore, leaving our SME with cheap low skill foreign workers.

Shriek
Guest
Shriek

Because of dumno been implement getting cheaper guest workers. They make money, boss’s has to squeeze the workers. Pay low but work 7/11.

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Top talents leave b’cos local companies + MNCs cannot pay in the believe of indecent low salary cap so attractively sold by Mahathir (I repeat this for your benefit of understanding) but also low salaries @ low Ringgit value. Which MNCs do not want to take advantage in this window of opportunity to reap & e-bank massive profits back to their homelands? Paham kah? And why do you think Singland grabs Malaysian talents if in your educated perception they are not productive in Malaysia??? Go figure out! But SingLand is also not that naive to make equal salary scale for… Read more »

Cygnus Knight
Guest
Cygnus Knight

Top talent must venture outside Bolehland to find success if the local policy discriminated against you, with or without ICERD ratification.

https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/11/14/28yearold-malaysian-listed-on-forbes-30-under-30/

Shriek
Guest
Shriek

He spin whenever he can and he is always right.

V Ramesh
Guest
V Ramesh

Blatant increase of wages that not according to market forces will make cost of doing business going up. The additional cost will ultimately be passed down to consumers. In the end there is no real increase in wages due to the inflation effect.

Cygnus Knight
Guest
Cygnus Knight

You are right. Go to McDonald’s and check its menu price – gone up! Happy Meal now RM1 more! McD hike price to meet the new min wage?

Saiwen
Guest
Saiwen

Unlike other countries, Malaysia including Penang need wider roads to allow parking on roadside, double yellow line also can. Otherwise hard to find place for parking.

Heng GS
Guest
Heng GS

Traffic rules violated on island, you passed traffic code exams yet no distinctions among no line, single or double white line and yellow line. Penang truly a rogue traffic jamming with no positive solution in sight, only more roads and now hotels on hills.

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

This is a rogue state gomen acting arrogantly despite all the signs of calamities past & to come. Rogue to the point of no ears but despicable acts in the name of insanity of development. They will never wake up until GE15. Truly b…….

Shriek
Guest
Shriek

Same as rogue China? If continue with old Mao style, billions will still be under nourish. Look about 700 million chinese are better off. Many include pg lang are begging Chinese to visit and stay in pg hotel or eat. Musang king.

Cygnus Knight
Guest
Cygnus Knight

Bolehland under Regim Jibby provided free milk to B40 students?

glissantia
Guest
glissantia

We hear the mantra repeated that the only alternative to labour cost is productivity or automation. Usually, a crony of the minister of a transnational is waiting in the wings to push an outlandish solution. In close-one-eye Bolehland, the actual solution has often been to bring in foreigners and treat them as slaves. This suits the foreign and local agents, money-lenders, extortionist enforcers, blood-sucking diplomats of the foreign country, paper-pushers, etc. What no one mentions is lowering the high salaries. In the 1980s, a foreigner told me that in his peaceful and prosperous country, the higher salaries were rarely more… Read more »

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

No wonder Ah Long business is a thriving one.
I once saw an insurance agent who was among the top agents in Penang went to an illegal Ah Long office (fronted as another business) which I suspected his envied insurance agent income (in the tens of thousand Ringgit per month) was insufficient for his lifestyle or Ah Long business was his extra profitable income.

What happens to supposed enforcement when one can see the many stickers with mobile numbers on TM roadside ports, TNB lamp posts & even on palm trees.
Pulau Pinang Darul Ah Long Boleh!

ghee kiong
Guest
ghee kiong

MNCs can invest elsewhere where labor cost is low. Vietnam is a new choice and Malaysia got bypassed because labor cost is getting higher due to minimum wage guidelines not better productivity.

Heng GS
Guest
Heng GS

Past 10-15 years hardly any innovative mindsets and execution to propel Bolehland as high income nation. Now Malaysia is trapped between advanced and newly emerging nations. Malaysia now lacks talents (because most already in overseas contributing to other nations growth) to match high side while too costly and too cozy (over relax lepak culture) to compete with hunger nations like Vietnam and now Myanmar, who though in labor intensive but same time hearing for high tech (go check Samsung high tech operations in Vietnam, Danang port Vs POrt Klang etc).

Shriek
Guest
Shriek

Same as singland. They started off with textile industry and tire making and assembly lines. How to compete with big brother. So they upgrade. Look they manufacture computer wares.

Lee TG
Guest
Lee TG

Theoretically acceptable, but impossible practically and politically at this time unless labour productivity can improve instantly with immediate reduction of manpower. Businesses ma close shop when labour costs increase without increasing revenues and caoacitues, and unemployment may rise with retrenchments, unless the country can attract more direct investments to create more job. All these will take time, perhaps 5 years to move to 1500 minimum wage , and to reach 1800 will take longer. The keys to higher minmum wage are still productivity and more job opportnities, and these will take time.

Shriek
Guest
Shriek

Reduce guest workers why pg forum don’t educate the 12k who sign the petitions to take whatever jobs. They can go to UK, USA to do menial jobs

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

At our low Ringgit value, FDI cannot afford to pay decent?

Cygnus Knight
Guest
Cygnus Knight

Problem is we have been attracting foreign FDI/MNCs that capitalise on labour intensive – cheap because we merrily import foreign labour. Our universities are not producing competent graduates with relevant skills to attract high value high tech investment. Also Malaysian Labour (MaLao) have been crossing the causeway to earn Sing$ in factories.

X Man
Guest
X Man

Need value added industry.
Sadly in Malaysia local brand cannot go far in innovation.
I bought a Pensonic kitchen appliance when my daughter was born.
Today my daughter graduated from University and Pensonic still make low value appliances!

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

My nephew works in an MNC in Bayan Lepas. He got a degree, a master & lots of management experience. But when it comes to chopping heads, he’s asked to do the dirty job – asked his once buddy classmates to resign. Now, you say FDI/MNCs come here for the cheap labor intensive pursuits. But how come in my nephew’s case, the MNC can afford to chop heads of talents (not semi-skilled but highly skilled) & recruit new ones? The main reason was to go it cheap – without paying high salaries & bonuses for seniors, getting it cheaper by… Read more »

Cygnus Knight
Guest
Cygnus Knight

From time to time MNCs chopped deadwoods.

Heng GS
Guest
Heng GS

The reality of corporate world is youur nephew has done no clean job to safeguard his position in the company. It’s cruel in such survival mode. Just hope his conscience is clear to avoid unpleasant karma as what goes on may have reversed cycle. Bless him.

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Oh you meant the MNC big boss who (cowardly) wanted to look good is free of karma consequence? What logic is this or is it also survival in karma realms? Then the fella who pull the gallow string to hang convicts must have a lot of karma!
Karma knows who are the culprits & what is fairness, rest assure & don’t spin.

Shriek
Guest
Shriek

U want to spoil the market? During chinese new year, pg land charge more than hundred ringgit for just chicken rice!!

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

The crux of the problem is low salary cap sold by Mahathir & even perceived by Najib as a competitive strategy to attract MNCs at local labor expense. Who cares if companies employ locals or wai lao. So, it’s inevitable that Malaysian talents leave for offshore greener pastures, not b’cos they are not productive, which others welcome them with wide open arms. Productivity is another excuse in Malaysian low labor renumeration. I won’t say anything for many of our Malay uni graduates who have to buck up or balik kampung.

ghee kiong
Guest
ghee kiong

Go study Economics 101.

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Economics is a difficult subject, much more laborious if trying to understand in BM. It requires not a rot learning but an introspective, questioning mind & wide knowledge of monetary system, banking, business, politics, labor market, marketing & economic strategy.

Shriek
Guest
Shriek

Of course unable but can spend petrodollars going around to seek the cheapest one ton mee

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Everyday wan tan mee must be numbing! No wonder one shrieks!

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Why so kay po? Nothing better to do to earn Rm1800?

Shriek
Guest
Shriek

Still sleeping? Few mighty Yankee dollar MNC oredi move out of peng land. There are many choices in this world. Vietnam and US fought but US now willing to dump money in Vietnam. Dong is cheaper. Ringgit not bullock cart wheel.

Lee TG
Guest

It is easy to say should be by looking back, without mentioning the inaction by the government and companies for the last two decades. I do understand the difficulty now as companies had been pampered for the last two decades with lowly paid foreign labour. Minimum wage is a double edged sword

X Man
Guest
X Man
Cygnus Knight
Guest
Cygnus Knight

A Bangladesh newspaper has exposed how the previous Malaysian government had allegedly created a manpower syndicate which monopolised the recruitment of Bangladeshi workers to the country.

The Daily Star reported that it had spoken to officials and obtained documents which showed that the syndicate raked in billions of ringgit from the two million odd Bangladeshi workers who came to Malaysia since early 2017.

https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2018/11/427302/daily-exposes-how-previous-administration-created-monopoly-recruitment

glissantia
Guest
glissantia

At small scales: more half-baked regulation + no enforcement = more selesai + more side income.

At large scales: more double-talk + more megaprojects = more wealth stuffed overseas + support from the hypocritical West that benefits from natural resources and return of funds.

Moral of the story: I help you, you help me. Stay stupid. When society of the environment collapses, you can always eat and drink money.

Cygnus Knight
Guest
Cygnus Knight

Lee Chong Wei to soldier on.
https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/11/08/chong-wei-my-desire-to-win-olympic-gold-has-not-faded/

Between now and Tokyo Olympics, he could still make lots of money from sponsorship, endorsement, advertisement etc, regardless of health factor. Remember China’s Liu Xiang?

Heng GS
Guest
Heng GS

LCW oredi got strong backbone during jibbie era. Remember the watch?
Now he needs to honour his Yonex Samsung endorsement which are good money he can use to support cancer stricken folks financially.
LCW legacy incomplete until he also gets acknowledgement from new Malaysia leading to Tokyo Olympics. We wish him well.

Ma jiji
Guest
Ma jiji

I heard the E&E sector in China is even paying their engineer 3 times higher salary than our Penang boys of getting only about RM3000/= which is considered as “well paid” in Malaysia !

Heng GS
Guest
Heng GS

Taiwan engineers are flocking to China for better salaries and perks, they learn new idealogies to reunite Taiwan with Mainland.
Good Malaysian engineers head south to Red Dot past decades, many become PRs and later citizens valuing meritocracy there.
If you are 21 to 32 not yet have babies, best to try out greener pastures outside and come back to retire but make sure send back money to your parents because cost of living escalating and most politicians here only care about themselves only.

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

High time for Malaysians to be self employed, to be enterprising & be own boss. When that happens coupled with a clamping on foreign labor, there will be a shortage of local labor, skilled or semi-skilled.
Then bosses will come crawling to you like centipedes bypassing the HR department! “Lu ai ha-mih tiau-kia?”

Wei
Guest
Wei

for the information of those who still live under the coconut tree, there has been shortage of labour in this country for very long time…do you see many centipedes crawling up to you ?…hehe

Heng GS
Guest
Heng GS

Wei is quite comical, provides tension relief to readers who are facing high cost low wages life. Hehe

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Either you are in denial or making fools fo yourself.
Go ask the mechanic shops, ask why they cannot get good staffs but frequent employee turnover.
The reason is the good ones, after 2-5 yrs of experience go set up shops. This is just one industry example which already has been happening for 2 decades.

BTW, when reading do understand what is a metaphor & what is literally.
If you are still literal in all manners of English comprehension, I suggest you go straight to the jungle for a centipedes crawling to you experience!!!

Heng GS
Guest
Heng GS

Just take hehe as pinch of salt lah, Mr (or Miss) tunglang. The more you respond to comical stuffs, the more you have fallen in traps providing more comical relief on far more serious subject.

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Try harder to be another comic!

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Motherly advice? Or headmistress counselling? Hahahahaha!

Shriek
Guest
Shriek

You are the culprit. See what you said. Get self employed and be the boss. Be enterprising as you spin. See how you rubbish and spinning. Too much one ton mee?

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

People have ways not to depend on kia-siap bosses – be own bosses.
People want to become own boss, you also get jealous.
People want to earn more than Rm18000 you get uneasy! Why?
B’cos your spin dedak cannot get you by. Spin some more for what?

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

If pay is low, become own boss is better than hehe or shriek!
The chances are you will not end up on the chopping block even after 20 yrs of service which may not be appreciated by the company in the name of cutting costs. The problem is not productivity (otherwise they won’t employ you in the first place) but cut costs, no matter what. And worst if you started with a very low salary & work like an ox to finally reach the chopping block.
The same with SingLand after you reach seniority level. Too bad.

Cygnus Knight
Guest
Cygnus Knight

Be thankful with RM1100 when many graduates are still unemployed.

More Bumi grads unemployed, than those who just skip university.
https://www.malaymail.com/s/1690728/more-bumi-grads-unemployed-than-those-who-just-skip-university

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

20 years on, you may be singing the same advice – “Be thankful” While the head honchos of corporations laugh at such ingenuity of ignorance!

Wei
Guest
Wei

Think this is one fantastically fabulous idea, how else can you leapfrog to high income nation status in a blink of an eye? never mind that businesses collapse, export losing competitiveness, FDI move elsewhere….were we not taking pride in strengthening America economy last time? now we can take pride in strengthening vietnam, myanmar, laos, cambodia’s economy. Anil is great…

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Pls go ask your unskilled or semi-skilled relatives to humbly accept what is given them the low salaries for the next 10 decades. Can or not?

Wei
Guest
Wei

move up the value chain lar…so simple can not understand?…nobody owe you a minimum wages…hehe

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Move up the value chain but still at low salaries & then get chop! What a hehehehe life! You love it for your relatives & your children!

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

You exist in this blog in a blink of an eye, what do you expect others to believe you in a blink of an eye? Or adopt X-File Mulder’s “I Want To Believe” hahahahaha.