KUALA TERENGGANU: Trade organisations in Terengganu have asked to be exempted from the planned minimum wage ruling.
They argue that the cost of living in the state is comparatively lower than in the more advanced states like the Federal Territory and Johor and so, the RM900 minimum wage would not be justified here.
The organisations, which represent over 3,000 employers, include the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, the Indian Chamber of Commerce, the Islamic Trade Union, the Terengganu Tourism Association and the Terengganu Wood Industries Association.
The others who have joined the call are the Terengganu Budget Hotels Association, Terengganu Batik Manufacturers and the Terengganu chapter of the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA).
They have jointly signed a memorandum asking the Human Resources Ministry to exempt them from the policy.
Speaking at a press conference here yesterday on behalf of the organisations, Terengganu Chinese Chamber of Commerce president Datuk Low Kian Chuan urged the Government to review the policy and study its effects on small traders and companies.
“It is not fair to implement the policy in Terengganu, given the low cost of living here.
“Small businesses will not be able to cope,” he said.
Citing the example of nasi ayam sellers, Low said they would not be able to cope with the minimum wage and, rather than increase prices, they would lay off workers.
He added that in China, only selected regions had implemented such a policy while in European countries, minimum wage was unheard of.
“We are not against the policy but the ministry must consider all aspects before implementing it,” added Low.