KUALA LUMPUR: The minimum wage should be based on various aspects, including the job sector, academic qualifications, experience and skills of workers to give justice to all sides, according to leaders of two main trade unions.
National Association of Skilled Workers secretary-general Mohammad Rizan Hassan said giving consideration to academic qualifications alone is unfair because it can be manipulated by employers by offering low wages to workers with low qualifications, but have extensive experience and skills.
He said it is also not healthy for the job market as it gives a “signal” that Malaysia is lagging behind when it comes to hiring skilled workers.
“In Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, workers with level three or four skills in the field of automation and have a professional certificate as a technician are considered experts and are given double or triple the salary earned by a Malaysian at only RM2,700 to RM3,000 per month.
“In Thailand and Vietnam, Malaysian skilled graduates are offered jobs with high salaries, but this is not good because it will cause a continuous brain drain,” he told Bernama.
Mohammad Rizan said this in response to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s statement on Monday over minimum wage.
The issue of minimum wage will be discussed in the Cabinet next month to get a once and for all solution, said Anwar in his speech in conjunction with Labour Day on Monday.
The minimum wage order came into effect on May 1, 2022, with a monthly minimum wage of RM1,500 for all sectors, regardless of region, for employers with five or more workers.
For employers with fewer than five employees, the implementation of the minimum wage has been postponed from Jan 1 to July 1 this year.
Mohamad Rizan said the setting of the minimum wage cannot be based on one standard wage rate only.