KUALA LUMPUR: The government is currently engaging with employers on the RM1,500 minimum wage to ensure that it will be implemented holistically.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the human resources ministry is also holding discussions with unions, including Cuepacs to discuss the matter.
“We are engaging with employers because there are companies that can afford to comply with the minimum wage requirement but there are also those that are too small and can’t.
“We are afraid that if they can’t afford it, they will retrench workers and this will add to the unemployment figures.
“We are not protecting employers, our interest is employees. If employees’ minimum wage can be raised to RM1,500, that would be the best,” he told reporters after launching the JaminKerja Keluarga Malaysia carnival yesterday.
He said the ministry will present the findings of the engagement sessions to the Cabinet before the new minimum wage is approved.
The prime minister said the government was concerned about the present cost of living but, at the same time, it does not want small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and micro SMEs to face difficulties where the new minimum wage is concerned.
“Our aim is to help employees, but eventually they may be laid off because employers cannot afford to pay their salaries. So, we will look at it overall –the interests of employees and the views of employers.”
Human resource minister M Saravanan recently told the media that a new minimum wage of RM1,500 will be implemented by the year end. The current minimum wage is RM1,200.