KOTA KINABALU: The government will look into the possibility of setting a more realistic minimum wage according to business sector, says Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran (pic).
He said the current minimum wage of RM920 to RM1,100 was across the board for all sectors, with some businesses finding it too high and having to lay off workers or close some outlets.
Speaking to reporters after meeting with employers from the Sabah chapter of the Malaysian Employers Federation here Monday (Feb 25), he said that based on the feedback, they had found that the increase was a "steep jump" and had led to higher cost of operations.
"We will consider a minimum wage based on sector – for example, set a minimum wage for plantations, hotels and coffeeshops, among others, to be based on a more realistic figure," he said.
However, Kulasegaran said the matter of setting minimum wage by sector would be studied further and brought to Cabinet to decide in due course.
He said his ministry was also studying the various labour-related laws including the Labour Act, Employment Act, Trade Unions Act, Human Resource Development Fund Act, Employment Insurance Act and Minimum Housing Standards Act with an eye to amend and update to meet the current needs of the country's labour force.
"Most of the acts are outdated and need to be amended," he said.
Kulasegaran added that his ministry would be in discussions with the state government, Sabah employers, workers' unions and other stakeholders to update the Sabah Labour Ordinance in accordance with the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
He said that he was aware of calls for setting up a Sabah Labour Action Council to meet the requirements faced in the state as such labour issues were different from those in peninsular Malaysia.
Kulasegaran said he was also ready to discuss with stakeholders the amendments to the Sabah Law Ordinance to update it in line with the Employment Act and other laws that are not extended to Sabah.
The Sabah Law Ordinance is a state law that has been federalised but any amendments to the Ordinance in Parliament needs the consent of the Sabah government.
Did you find this article insightful?