Enforcement of RM1,500 minimum wage can help improve workers' well-being

01 Jul 2023 10:28pm
KUALA LUMPUR, July 1 - Beverage franchise employees preparing orders during a survey around the city centre today. - BERNAMA photo (2023) COPYRIGHT RESERVED
KUALA LUMPUR, July 1 - Beverage franchise employees preparing orders during a survey around the city centre today. - BERNAMA photo (2023) COPYRIGHT RESERVED

KUALA LUMPUR - The enforcement of the RM1,500 minimum wage order for employers with fewer than five workers, which starts today, is seen as being able to further improve the well-being of workers and help lessen their financial burden.

In Kuala Lumpur, senior lecturer at the Faculty of Business and Economics, Universiti Malaya (UM) Dr Roza Hazli Zakaria said the increase was also able to boost workers’ productivity.

"They may also become more motivated if their salary increases. This small increase has tremendous value and meaning for those with low incomes.

"The implementation of minimum wage order can also improve workers’ quality of life, enabling them to buy healthier food than they could before,” she told Bernama.

On 27 Dec last year, Human Resources Minister V. Sivakumar announced that the implementation of the Minimum Wage Order (PMG) for employers with less than five workers had been postponed again from Jan 1 to July 1, 2023.

For restaurant worker Nur Syazanna Mohd Fadzil, 29, the RM300 salary increase could indirectly help raise household income in the face of the increasing cost of living in the Klang Valley.

"I will use this additional RM300 to buy my children’s necessities because previously my salary and that of my husband barely covered our basic needs,” said the mother of two daughters aged three and seven.

In Perak, Nor Shakila Fatihah Mohd Amri, 21, who works in a cosmetics shop, said that although the amount may seem small to some people, it is incredibly beneficial to her and low income earners given the rising cost of living.

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"The enforcement of the RM1,500 minimum wage is necessary because my current salary, after deductions for EPF (Employee Provident Fund) and Socso (Social Security Organisation), is less than RM1,170, which will be used to pay for other monthly expenses,” she said.

Car wash owner Khairul Nizam Mat Ludin, 41, said he had been paying all five of his workers the minimum wage of RM1,500 for the past few months because he knew how hard it was for them, especially those with families.

"I decided to pay them RM1,500 instead of RM1,200 as encouraged by the government. I think the amount is fair because of the high cost of living and the fact that employees, especially those with children, have various monthly commitments,” he said.

In Pahang, the owner of a restaurant in Kuantan, Diana Surya Abd Wahab, 42, said she took a win-win approach by paying three of her workers RM60 a day to meet the government's minimum wage requirement of RM1,500.

"My business isn’t doing so well right now, so I have to pay them on a daily basis,” she said.

In Melaka, jewellery shop worker Nur Anis Ilyasa Norri Djaya, 23, from Durian Tunggal, Alor Gajah, said the RM1,500 minimum wage order not only brings relief to workers, but also sets a new salary standard for workers, especially young people who are just starting their careers.

"After deductions for EPF and Socso contributions, I sometimes get less than RM1,000 a month. But now, after EPF and Socso deductions, I make at least RM1,300 per month, and with commission, I can earn between RM1,500 and RM2,000 per month,” she said.

In Penang, Fahmi Idris Mohd Noor, 25, a sundry shop worker, said the increase in salary would definitely help him out financially.

"In the current situation, the increase is certainly pleasing to us low-income earners, and my employer has also informed me about it earlier,” said Fahmi Idris, who hopes to save more from his salary. - BERNAMA

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