The panellists, Prof Emeritus Dr Barjoyai Bardai (second left), Datuk Shamsudin Bardan; (second right), Datuk Dr Raduan Che Ros and moderator, Prof Dr Durrishah Idrus. minimum wage foreign workers
The panellists, Prof Emeritus Dr Barjoyai Bardai (second left), Datuk Shamsudin Bardan; (second right), Datuk Dr Raduan Che Ros and moderator, Prof Dr Durrishah Idrus.Ahli panel dalam program bual bicara Minda TV dari kiri Prof Emeritus Dr Barjoyai Bardai, (dua dari kiri) Datuk Shamsudin Bardan; (dua dari kanak) Datuk Dr Raduan Che Ros dan moderator Prof Dr Durrishah Idrus.

By Mohd Zaini Samsu Hadi

KAJANG – The demands and recommendation to increase minimum wage to RM1,500 by the employees received different reaction from the economists and academicians.

While some supported that it should be implemented immediately after the delay, some thought that it should be studied further by considering the position of the employers.

Executive Director of the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF), Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said that the minimum wage increment only benefits the foreign workers in the country.

According to him, the foreign workers who get the lucrative salary can bring their money home and stimulate the economy of their country.

He said, the opinion that the Malaysians would benefit from the minimum wage increment is not accurate as it mostly involved the entry level and lower ranking workers, including the foreign workers.

“We can look at the studies conducted in 2018 on the effect of minimum wage increment at that time. From that research, approximately 1.8 million benefited from the minimum wage increment in that year. There were about 2 million foreign workers in Malaysia at that time.

“We feel that those who benefited back then were the foreign workers and not Malaysians.

“These foreign workers have sent RM3.4 billion back to their home countries each year. Imagine if the money was used to develop our economy. It could stimulate our national economy,” he said during an interview organised by the National Council of Professors (MPN) on Minimum Wage in Malaysia.

Economist from UNIRAZAK, Prof Emeritus Dr. Barjoyai Bardai said that it should be further studied prior to making any decision.

He said, it would be better to postpone the increment as the productivity rate has reduced up to 5.5 percent last year following several incidences such as the flood, Covid-19 infection and others.

“Postpone it, do not implement now, do not do it hastily. It would not change as much as we hope for,” he said.

Meanwhile, the President of MPN, Prof Datuk Dr Raduan Che Ros, who was also the panellist of the programme said that the issue should be viewed realistically.

Although some think that the RM1,500 minimum wage is high, many people should realise that the RM1,200 minimum wage announced in 2020 was still low.

“I believe that the National Wage Consultative Council (MPGN) has took into factor of the pandemic.

“It may not be increased every year but it should be revised once in two years, by considering the cost-of-living,” he added.

Meanwhile, he also urged the government to be more realistic by looking at the appropriateness to increase minimum wages for certain sectors. -MalaysiaGazette

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