RISE IN MINIMUM WAGE AMONG HIGH­LIGHTS

In­crease con­trib­utes to re­duc­tion in in­come in­equal­ity

New Straits Times - - News -

LAILI IS­MAIL

KUALA LUMPUR news@nst.com.my

THE in­crease in minimum wage is among the high­lights of last year’s Hu­man Cap­i­tal De­vel­op­ment (HCD) Strate­gic Re­form Ini­tia­tive (SRI).

The re­port stated that the in­crease in minimum wage had con­trib­uted to a re­duc­tion in in­come in­equal­ity in the coun­try.

Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) pres­i­dent Ab­dul Halim Man­sor said the en­force­ment of the Minimum Wage Or­der 2012 and the abil­ity of a tri­par­tite coun­cil to re­view le­gal floor wage ev­ery two years au­gured well for the coun­try’s equal de­vel­op­ment.

“The Na­tional Wages Con­sul­ta­tive Coun­cil (NWCC), com­pris­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives of em­ploy­ees, em­ploy­ers, gov­ern­ment and other ex­perts, has been given the right to dis­cuss and de­ter­mine minimum wages, which re­flect our eco­nomic con­di­tions in dif­fer­ent ar­eas in the coun­try.

“The minimum wage would not only pro­vide more op­por­tu­ni­ties in non-ur­ban or less de­vel­oped ar­eas, but, as a re­sult, in­come equal­ity will also pro­vide higher pur­chas­ing power for lower-in­come earn­ers.

“This means de­vel­op­ment is not only con­cen­trated in ur­ban ar­eas, and peo­ple will also not be forced to move to the cities to earn a liv­ing as the stan­dard of liv­ing in less de­vel­oped ar­eas will im­prove,” he told the New Straits Times yes­ter­day.

The re­port stated that ac­cord­ing to the Sta­tis­tics De­part­ment, the me­dian monthly in­come for the be­low 40 per cent of in­come earn­ers recorded a com­pounded an­nual growth (CAGR) of 13 per cent be­tween 2009 and 2014, ris­ing from RM1,440 to RM2,629.

“CAGR for the B40 me­dian and mean in­come also rose more than that of the mid­dle 40 per cent (M40) and top 20 per cent (T20) of in­come earn­ers,” it said.

HCD SRI had fo­cused on boost­ing the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of the lo­cal work­force, ad­vo­cat­ing di­ver­sity of work­ers and in­creas­ing the earn­ing po­ten­tial of lower-in­come earn­ers.

Hu­man Re­source Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem said SRI had also paved the way for small- and medium-sized busi­nesses, which formed the back­bone of the econ­omy, to boost their busi­ness per­for­mance through the es­tab­lish­ment of the Na­tional Hu­man Re­source Cen­tre.

Ab­dul Halim Man­sor

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