PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) has called for a single definition of the term “wages”.
MEF executive director Shamsuddin Bardan said there was no common definition, even within the human resources ministry.
“The term ‘wages’ has different definitions under the Employment Act, the Minimum Wages Order 2022, the Human Resources Development Fund and the Employees Insurance Scheme.
“We aren’t even able to streamline the definition,” he said as a panellist during a hotelier conference.
Shamsuddin said under the Employment Act, wages are inclusive of the service charges, while the Minimum Wages Order 2022 states the term only constitutes basic wages.
He said the absence of a uniform definition was causing inconsistencies when it came to salaries.
“That is why it’s important for us to have a common definition. Even EPF says service charges are not wages, so that leads to lower contributions,” he said.
Shamsuddin also suggested that the government fund workers’ skills certification, adding that he had previously proposed the matter to former human resources minister M Kula Segaran.
“We should allocate RM3 billion to certify our employees because they have all the skills, but nobody bothers to do it.
“Once we’re able to do that, then we can tell the whole world that Malaysia has skilled and certified talent,” he said.
Meanwhile, Association of Hotel Employers president Christopher Raj wanted to know why this common international practice was not in place here.
“If you go to Australia, even if you’re a security guard, you’re not allowed to work without a certificate. If you don’t have a carpenter’s licence, you’re not allowed to be part of any construction project,” he said.