KUALA LUMPUR – The country’s current monthly minimum wage of RM1,200 (US$283) can be revised upwards as the government has the capacity to accommodate the increment, suggests former Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar., reported Bernama.
Abdul Wahid, who is currently the chairman of Bursa Malaysia Bhd, said this can be done gradually over a period of time to give businesses enough time to plan accordingly.
This would also encourage them to enhance automation and improve their processes, subsequently creating more high-value jobs for local workers, he said.
“It is important for all employers to ensure that their employees are sufficiently remunerated and are provided with good facilities, as well as a safe and conducive working environment.
“I think there is actually room for wages to be increased over time, but what is important for the government (is) to set a long-term or medium-term target,” he told a virtual press conference on the sidelines of the virtual 2021 APAC Summit here on September 23.
He added that his suggestion was also in line with the social element as encapsulated in the environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) practices.
The minimum wage was last revised on Feb 1, 2020, with a RM100 hike.
In the meantime, Abdul Wahid said he hoped that businesses would take the initiative to offer fair remuneration for their workers instead of waiting for the government to announce a new policy on the minimum wage.