Malaysiakini Yoursay

Yoursay: No fixing poverty without an increase in minimum wage

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YOURSAY | ‘New Malaysia is in denial mode.’

An idea whose time has come: Raising Malaysia's poverty line

Gaji Buta: With a minimum wage of just over RM1,000, how can the government declare a poverty line income of RM2,550 that World Bank economist Kenneth Simler speaks of?

Ironically, many of the same people now whacking Putrajaya for manipulating the poverty line income (PLI) will object to any increase in the minimum wage.

Appum: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department P Waythamoothy says Pakatan Harapan needs more time, but time is of the essence.

Does it cost so much in value and time to think of the poor, to make plans and policies to address their needs? Nothing that has come from Harapan so far hints at any structural change. Let us hear and see a real blueprint addressing needs-based poverty eradication.

Mind you, the poor do not only exist in the rural areas, there are urban poor as well. And the suggested PLI of RM2,550 for a family of four makes a lot of difference depending on where you live. Hence, a general figure like this is not a practical measure.

The Harapan government is busy readjusting the old system, sometimes employing old methods to deal with issues like Muslim preacher Dr Zakir Naik.

It has not introduced any new format or bold policies to move this nation forward, and by this we mean a severe paradigm shift.

If new policies are framed and planned for the good of all Malaysians without special consideration for any group, surely they will get the support of all, except the racial and religious extremists.

But we have to move in that direction boldly if Malaysia is to progress and catch up with others in all fields.

Here we only talk of poverty, only one issue among many others that need attention and realignment in implementation according to Harapan’s needs-based way. What are we waiting for?

Just A Malaysian: Poverty is the greatest social injustice. The most fundamental human right is to live as a decent human being.

Politicians, who spend so much time fighting for racial superiority and self-enrichment, have forgotten that the greatest sin is to neglect the poor and downtrodden. They can scream racial slogans and act holier than thou and yet do nothing for the poor.

Anonymous_3f4b: New Malaysia is in denial mode. Harapan ministers and their cronies are having a good life earning obscene salaries and allowances at the expense of the rakyat.

All is well and rosy for them, while the bulk of the people slog day and night for meagre salaries and wages, burdened by unreasonable taxes.

And the tenants of Putrajaya still think the going is good and the people are happy with the ridiculous monthly income of RM980 for a family of four.

The Analyser: It’s a unique characteristic of Malaysian selfishness that they simply cannot embrace the concept of sharing.

Blame that on oil wealth, which has changed governance for the people into governance for parliamentarians.

MTUC proposes RM500 allowance, higher retirement age

Gerard Lourdesamy: Has our productivity improved to justify the RM500 cost of living aid (Cola) suggested by the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC)?

Perhaps the minimum wage could be increased incrementally based on consumer prices and the cost of living index.

As to increasing the retirement age to 65, that is a fair proposal, provided we widen the tax base.

Roger 5201: MTUC secretary-general J Solomon, while calling for a RM500 monthly Cola for all workers, is politically correct and even noble somewhat – in light of the recent revelation that our PLI needs some upgrading – this is still a business call and must commensurate with the productivity of our workforce.

A good place to start might be to replace Jawi with Java programming, and make a pass in English compulsory in our schools.

Oooh: Address the fundamental issue of cheap migrant labour, and the rest will take care of itself. Increase the minimum wage to liveable income. Businesses will adjust with automation to survive. The weak and corrupt will always complain.

As long as we have cheap migrant labour, none of our salaries will increase. MTUC seems to look only at immediate gratification. 

Go study how developed countries do it. They all have the same proven model. Stop thinking like cheapskates.

Guuunner: No Cola, please. It is addictive and the thirst for more is never-ending. Today it can be RM500, another 10 years somebody will ask for RM5,000.

As much as we want to help the poor and needy, we don’t want to turn the country into a socialist or communist economy.

Go back to the basic fundamentals of working harder and smarter, make institutional reform the number one agenda to rid it of systemic corruption, mismanagement, and inefficiencies.

Set and execute the right policies for the long term good of the country, and no more race-based policies please.

Freethinker: Everyone wants higher wages, but no one is willing to do more for it. To make things worse, some organisations need to take in more people just to increase the vote bank.

I want to have higher wages and a four-day work week. But Malaysian are not like other countries. We are too far behind to catch up.

Certain groups think that just because of their beliefs and skin colour, they deserve special rights without having to fight for the same rice bowl like everyone else.

Full respect to those who work hard to earn a living and despise those who look for government handouts.

The above is a selection of comments posted by Malaysiakini subscribers. Only paying subscribers can post comments. Over the past one year, Malaysiakinians have posted over 100,000 comments. Join the Malaysiakini community and help set the news agenda. Subscribe now.

These comments are compiled to reflect the views of Malaysiakini subscribers on matters of public interest. Malaysiakini does not intend to represent these views as fact.

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