Malaysia to look at lessening manufacturers’ burden

KUALA LUMPUR: The government will assess the severity of manufacturers’ burden following the implementation of the minimum wage law, said Deputy Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin.

Effective January 1, employers must pay a minimum wage of RM900 a month in Peninsular Malaysia and RM800 a month in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan.

Hamzah noted that having a national minimum wage in Malaysia is a new development and as such, there are bound to be some teething issues.

“Timber and furniture exporters are not opposing the minimum wage law. The dissatisfaction is more of the way the salary is being packaged,” he said.

Timber manufacturers and exporters had proposed that the government annual levy of RM1,250 be borne by the foreign worker.

“Secondly, the subsidies (including transportation and accommodation) should be deducted from the RM900 minimum wage.

“We will forward their appeals to the Human Resources Ministry,” he told reporters after chairing a dialogue session with furniture and timber panelling exporters here yesterday.

Also present were officials from the Home Affairs Ministry and Ministry of International Trade and Industry.

While the government wants to encourage mechanisation and automation wherever possible, he said it endeavours to ease the manufacturers’ burden.

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