KUALA LUMPUR: The present minimum wage of between RM920 for Sabah and Sarawak and RM1,000 for Peninsula Malaysia will be increased to a new rate which will be announced later this year, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced.
He said that the new rate will be announced by the Government when Barisan Nasional retains power at the general election.
"I will increase the minimum wage from RM1,000 and RM920 currently to a new rate which we will announce this year.
"If you want the rate to be higher … then you have to vote and give victory to Barisan Nasional," Najib said in his address at the Labour Day celebration at Putra World Trade Centre on Tuesday (May 1).
Barisan in its manifesto had pledged to raise the minimum wage to RM1,500 in the span of five years.
The announcement was one of five that Najib, who is Barisan chairman, made in his speech.
He also announced that if Barisan is retained, the Government will increase its allocation to the Social Security Organisation (Socso) by RM60mil to RM182mil.
With the additional RM60mil, the interim aid payment for laid off workers under the Socso's Employment Insurance Scheme can be raised to RM1,000 in the first month, RM800 in the second month, and RM600 for the third month.
The present rate is RM600 for between one to three months.
The Prime Minister said that Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Berhad would implement the Human Capital Strategic Initiative with an allocation of RM200mil, aimed at creating skilled workers.
Najib announced that a special grant of RM3mil would also be given to MTUC.
The grant would be distributed by MTUC to private sector unions, and the amount could be increased in future, said Najib.
He said that the Government would also introduce a special initiative to husbands working in the private sector.
Najib said they would be given mandatory paternity leave of at least three days.
Amendments to the related laws will be tabled in Parliament latest by early next year to enforce the mandatory paternity leave, he said.
In his speech, Najib also took a swipe at the Opposition.
He said some of the Opposition candidates committed technical errors which led to the disqualification of candidates during nomination day.
"If they can't even get simple things right such as filling out forms, how can they govern the country?" Najib asked.