- No-show on minimum wage bill
- Push decent wages, not minimum wages
- DAP: Where is Bill on minimum wage?
Posted: 14 Jun 2011 12:23 AM PDT
Source :- Free Malaysia Today
Kay Wee Tan | June 13, 2011
The minimum wage bill was introduced more than a year ago but Parliament continues delaying debating the bill.
Earlier, Human Resources Minister Dr S Subramaniam had said the bill will be tabled today but again it was a no-show.
Klang MP Charles Satiago said, "The minimum wage bill has been proposed for almost one year. But the government continues delaying debate on the bill. And this is worrying."
The government fiexed the poverty line at RM720 but 34% of Malaysian workers are earning less than RM700.
"Besides the workers, the rising numbers of single mothers too will be affected and they will soon be living in poverty." said Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor (PSWS) president Irene Xavier.
Former president of Malaysia Trades Union Congress Syed Shahir Syed Mohamud said that the number of urban people living below the poverty line is also increasing.
"There is no point in being proud about our economy and GDP while citizens are living below the poverty line."
Posted: 14 Jun 2011 12:21 AM PDT
Push decent wages, not minimum wages
Members of a roundtable on minimum wage today proposed that the government set up a Decent Living Wages Council to replace its planned National Minimum Wage Council.
Klang MP Charles Santiago, who helped put together the roundtable, said it is important to move away from the minimum wage description as it could be used as an excuse to set unreasonably low wage levels.
He explained that if the council stays focussed on minimum wage, there is nothing to stop the government from imposing wage levels that are on par with the average national poverty level.
Charles took the example of security guards, whose basic salaries range from RM700 for those in urban areas to RM500 for guards working in rural areas.
He said if the focus stays on the minimum wage, it would defeat the purpose of having such a council as they could simply decide to take the current maximum wage level as the standard minimum wage.
“…This is nonsensical, because they already receive that salary. That’s why we propose for the council to instead focus on decent living wages,” he said at a press conference in the Parliament lobby.
The roundtable recently proposed a “reasonable“ minimum wage of between RM1,500 to RM2,000 to assist the estimated 1.35 million Malaysians who earn a monthly salary of under RM1,000.
Government not serious
Charles also hit out at the government for not including its minimum wage council proposal in this Parliamentary meeting, despite Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Idris Jala’s announcement that the council would be set up by the end of this year.
Charles said setting up such a council will “take a long time”, but pointed out that the bill is not listed on the Order Paper for this 10-day Parliamentary meeting.
“If the government is serious, the bill should have come to Parliament today so we can debate it in this meeting. This is very regrettable because the Human Resources Minister (Dr S Subramaniam) said the bill will be tabled this month.
“The public and civil societies have no idea about the contents of the bill. It is clear the government is not taking parliament seriously on minimum wage,” he said, adding that he hopes the bill will be tabled as soon as possible.
Posted: 14 Jun 2011 12:16 AM PDT
Source :- The Malaysian Insider
By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
June 13, 2011
KUALA LUMPUR, June 13 — The DAP wants the government explain why Parliament has not tabled a Bill on a minimum wage for this session, charging that it had reneged on its promise that the Bill would be presented for debate this month.
The party's Charles Santiago said today the Bill should have been presented during the current parliamentary session, but the Order Paper showed otherwise.
According to Santiago (picture), Pemandu chief Datuk Seri Idris Jala had last week said the government would enact a minimum wage policy by the end of this year.
"If that is the case, then the Bill should have come to Parliament today so that debates can take place. The government has also said that the Bill will come this month to be debated.
"This shows that the government is not serious on a minimum wage. We need to debate the Bill, need time for civil society groups to offer their suggestions," he told reporters today.
The Klang MP said the government-proposed National Wage Consultative Council should be renamed "Decent Living Wage Council."
Santiago said a "decent" minimum wage for workers in the country should be between RM1,500 and RM2,500, and that this would help reduce the debt of workers as well as tackle subsidy cuts.
Primer Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak aims to increase Malaysia's gross national income to RM1.7 trillion by 2020 from RM660 billion for 2010.
His administration has targeted this year to implement a minimum wage policy, but has faced resistance from employers who worry it will hamper business.
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