Govt ready for high participation in wage policy programme

KUALA LUMPUR: The government is preparing for the possibility of oversubscription of the Progressive Wage Policy voluntary programme scheduled to start next year, says Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli (pic).

Rafizi said the ministry will undergo a dry-run with the first 1,000 companies from June to September next year, to sort out any teething or operational issues to ensure the employers fulfil the terms set.

“We will open registrations in April and we have spoken to the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF), industry players and others.

“I am confident that employers will participate but what I worry about is the oversubscription of the programme.

“The issue now is employers finding talents to match their needs,” he said at a press conference yesterday.

Rafizi said his ministry has allocated RM30mil for the programme and it would only be for entry-level graduates and semi-skilled Malaysians, and companies that were disadvantaged based on the current labour markets.

Rafizi added that the employers welcomed the voluntary part as they were worried about another mandatory policy being imposed such as the minimum wage as it would eventually take away the competitive salaries offered by the companies.

He also dismissed claims that the decision to adopt a voluntary option was made based on lobbying by certain groups.

“There were companies which are already grappling with the minimum wage and it had pushed up their operating costs.

“By removing the mandatory part, it was a strategic decision based and that 97% of businesses in Malaysia are micro, small and medium-sized enterprises or SMEs,” he said.

Rafizi revealed that the burden is on the government to ensure that the pilot project when implemented will make an impact.

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