KUALA LUMPUR: The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) has proposed to the government to review the implementation of minimum wage especially in the manufacturing sector as many companies in the industry have expressed difficulty in complying with the policy.
Delegates from the FMM met the International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed in Kuala Lumpur yesterday and discussed issues pertaining to minimum wages and also other issues affecting the manufacturing industry, such as market competitiveness and foreign labour processes.
“If we are competitive, we can increase exports and at the same time Malaysian companies can capture a larger domestic market. We will work with FMM in formulating ideas to increase and enhance competitiveness in domestic market and exports,” he told reporters at the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) Networking session with the private sector in conjunction with Chinese New Year 2014 yesterday.
There are also issues of cost of doing business and regulatory burden and bureaucracy which is also important components in trade and investments and we will be working with FMM in addressing these issues, he said.
“We will continue to enhance the manufacturing sector in Malaysia in terms of job creation in which the manufacturing sector has contributed a lot,” he said.
FMM has requested the government to look into the cost of minimum wages in the next review of the policy and asked the government to have more intensive engagement with the industry.
“Secondly, FMM has also highlighted the processing and admission of foreign workers and the issue of hiring and firing of employees, which is related to labour laws,” Mustapa said.
FMM is one of the reputed business organisation in the country and the ministry has assured in extending its cooperation with the association, which is led by professionals that play individual and equally important role in the industry, he said.
“SME Corp Malaysia has made a survey on minimum wages in the country and moving forward, we will be engaging more intensively with FMM when reviewing the policy as minimum wage is important to the country,” he said.
In the recently revealed Malaysia’s Trade Performance for 2013 report, exports of manufactured goods rose 2.7% to RM482.98 billion, an increase of RM12.72 billion and accounted for 67.1% of total exports during the period.
The report said higher manufacturing activities as well as capital formation through growing investments, accompanied by higher domestic consumption, caused imports to rise by 7% to RM649.19 billion.
Export markets with significant increases for electric and electronic (E&E) products were Singapore, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Thailand, Germany and Vietnam while early signs of economic recovery in the European Union and greater manufacturing activities in Asean, saw increased exports of E&E products to these markets.