KUALA LUMPUR: The minimum wage will be raised, along with payment for retrenched workers, if the Barisan Nasional government retains power in the general election.
The present minimum wage of RM920 for Sabah and Sarawak and RM1,000 for Peninsular Malaysia would be increased to a new rate which will be announced later this year, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who is also Barisan Nasional chairman.
Barisan had pledged in its election manifesto to raise the minimum wage to RM1,500 in the next five years.
“I will increase the minimum wage to a new rate which we will announce later this year.
“If you want the rate to be higher, then you have to vote and give victory to Barisan Nasional,” the Prime Minister said during the Labour Day celebration at Putra World Trade Centre yesterday.
Najib also announced an increase in the interim aid payment for retrenched workers under the Social Security Organisation’s (Socso) Employment Insurance System (EIS).
The payment will be increased to RM1,000 in the first month, RM800 in the second month and RM600 for the third month.
At present, the rate is RM600 for between one and three months.
The increase in the EIS aid payment will be funded by an additional RM60mil allocation to Socso.
Another announcement made yesterday was that a RM200mil allocation would be given to the Human Resources Development Fund for the Human Capital Strategic Initiative.
The initiative aims to produce skilled workers ready to face the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
There will also be a special initiative for husbands working in the private sector.
Najib said they would be given a 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.
The MTUC will also be given a special grant of RM3mil to be distributed to selected private sector unions.
Najib pledged to work harder to protect and fight for the interests all workers in the country.
They include 1.6 million civil servants and 14 million private sector workers, who are members of 742 unions nationwide.
He said ties were good between the government, unions and employer associations.
“The good relationship has been recognised by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
“The WEF ranked Malaysia 20th of 137 countries in terms of employer-employee relations in the WEF’s Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018,” said Najib.
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