PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said the minimum wage issue will be discussed by the Cabinet next month in order to have the matter “resolved once and for all”.
In a speech at the Labour Day celebration at Putrajaya International Convention Centre, he also lamented the obstacles Putrajaya has been facing in trying to implement the RM1,500 minimum wage across the board.
“The implementation of the minimum wage is extremely difficult and has been somewhat erratic.
“So, that is why at the Cabinet meeting next month, we hope to resolve this issue once and for all,” he said.
Meanwhile, human resources minister V Sivakumar told reporters after the event that the government will identify a new method to set the minimum wage.
On March 19, 2022, then prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the minimum wage would be increased from RM1,200 to RM1,500 beginning from May 1, 2022. A temporary exemption until the end of last year was given to employers with less than five employees.
However, this category of employers was then allowed to delay the implementation a further six months to July 1.
In August last year, it was reported that companies supplying cleaners and security guards to schools and other government facilities were refusing to pay their workers the new minimum wage of RM1,500.
Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) secretary-general Kamarul Baharin Mansor had urged Putrajaya to take action against such employers for refusing to comply with the new minimum wage.
However, in response to such complaints, then human resources minister M Saravanan had said cleaners and security guards at government facilities would not be paid the new minimum wage as their contracts had yet to be renewed.
Saravanan said the workers were bound by the terms in their existing contracts, which were based on the previous minimum wage of RM1,200.