YOURSAY ‘Underpaying workers is a modern-day form of slavery; the rich only gets richer at the expense of the poor.'
MTUC blasts MCA as 'the spokesperson of the wealthy'
Anonymous #81405125: The Human Resources Ministry should set the minimum wage policy, while also increasing the local workers' pay to be higher than that of the foreign workers, or else the employers will likely abuse the local workers.
With RM900, the foreign workers are provided with housing, water, electricity, medical expenses, and when they send the money home, the currency converts to 10 to 15 times higher, so they are happy with it.
Whereas the locals with RM900, what can they do with it? They have to pay for housing, water, electricity, food, children, etc. So I imagine that the locals' pay should be at least RM1,500 to start with.
Labis Guy: This issue was discussed at the cabinet meetings, and I am sure, with the participation of MCA ministers.
Why didn't they stop it at that stage, instead of making noise now? Surely they couldn't have been sleeping during the discussions.
Justiceandpeace: The problem with making long-term game-changing decisions based on short-term political reasons is that the decision, though good in the long run, is not implemented wisely. In this case, a proper transition period over two to three years should be done.
There is no point in making a sudden shift which our shaky economy surely will not be able to take. It may end up with a significant number of small- and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) having to lay off workers, and worse, even shut down.
Implement minimum wages over a reasonable transition period and get the best person available to do it.
Telestai!: RM1,000 a month is peanuts, really. In Australia, a cleaner at any shopping mall food court makes A$2,500 a month. Even on a dollar to a ringgit, Malaysia falls far behind. Just for comparison, a Big Mac McDonald's meal is RM11 in Malaysia, but only A$8 in Australia.
With such a high cost of living, how does MCA chief Dr Chua Soi Lek expect workers to survive? Underpaying workers is a modern-day form of slavery; the rich only gets richer at the expense of the poor.
Anonymous #19098644: Didn't the MCA vote for the labour law amendments? It did.
Would it make more sense for employers to pay more for Malaysians who do not incur hostel charges, worker levies and meals? It would. So why don't they want to do that?
If you pay the foreigners, won't the salaries result in an outflow to their country of origin? It will. When you pay Malaysians, don't they spend the monies in Malaysia and stimulate economic growth? They do.
So why is the MCA so keen on supporting foreign workers at the expense of taxpaying Malaysian voters? Why should hard-working tax-paying Malaysians vote for them? Absolutely no reason.
Anonymous#007: Why does the government require employers of foreign workers to pay a levy? The very idea of the levy is to encourage Malaysian businesses to hire Malaysians, and to ensure that Malaysian workers get a better deal than that of the foreign workers.
Most of these foreign workers may not be paying any taxes, but are enjoying the infrastructure paid for by Malaysian taxpayers, so the levy should make up for this.
Coupled with a minimum wage regulation, these should ensure that more Malaysians are hired and that the salaries of Malaysians will rise.
Commonsense: I am not a fan of Chua, but I think he got it right this time. He is not against the minimum wage but merely asking the government to be fair to the local workers.
Since the foreign workers are getting the same minimum wage as the locals, it is only fair that they pay for their own levy, accommodation and other related expenses as the locals.
The extra wages based on the minimum wage bill payable to the foreign workers will cost the employers additional RM12 billion a year and bulk of this will be repatriated to the workers' home countries.
Malaysia economy will be badly affected due to this annual forex (foreign exchange) outflow. The additional wage bill will also reduce the companies' profit and hence the corporate tax payable.
Banzai: Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC), you have got it all wrong.
Are you damn sure that all SMEs (small and medium enterprises) are making a big profit? Some SMEs live from hand-to-mouth and are depending on the payments from their customers to pay their employees' salary.
Unions know how to demand for more pay, but they forget about the issue of productivity of the employees. The fact most companies employ foreign workers is because they are prepared to do overtime. Ask local employees to do it and some of them will refuse.
MTUC should be addressing this problem rather than asking for more. In fact, the ones who stand to gain in the minimum wage policy will be the foreign workers, who make up nearly 50 percent of the workforce.
MTUC, the government and Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) should iron out these problems first rather than forcing it through to the poor SMEs. What about the idea of a productivity-based wage?
Anonymous_3fe1: These employers, who are the most vocal opponents of the minimum wage, can still proudly claim that they are only paying RM500 wages to even local employees.
The minimum wage order gave them the chance to apply for deferment but they refuse to produce audited accounts to back up the claims that they will go bankrupt, saying that it is a trade secret.
Quite frankly, if they cannot afford to pay a minimum wage that is just at the poverty line they have no business to be in business. One of the main objectives of the minimum wage is to reduce our reliance and addiction to foreign workers.
By demanding that they bear food and levy will only serve to encourage these unscrupulous employers to continue employing more foreign workers at huge social and security cost to the country.
Enlightened: Reject MCA and stop the exploitation of Malaysian workers. Send foreigners back, if you don't want to cover their lodgings. Those who cannot comply with the minimum wage policy are not fit to be doing business.
The Malaysian: Minimum wage is long overdue. Every human being deserves a dignified existence. Minimum wage is desirable, regardless of a worker's nationality.
If business owners require foreign workers, then their "living away from home expenses", which equates to human welfare values, have to be taken care of.
Mushiro: The BN government took three years to announce a policy benefitting the poor, and now Chua wants the government to backtrack. And this is supposed to be a 'people first' government?
Ancora: Chua Soi Lek, go ask your MCA think-tank chairperson Fong Chan Onn about the National Wages Consultative Council Act 2011.
Don't mislead the public by saying that MCA was not consulted on the matter.
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