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Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Malaysian business associations protest against minimum wage for foreigners

PUTRAJAYA: Some 100 people, claiming to represent business associations, held a brief protest against the implementation of minimum wage for foreign workers in front of the Human Resources Ministry.

A member of the steering committee reads out the group’s demands to the protesting crowd. — Picture by Zurairi AR

The group, called the Minimum Wages Implementation Steering Committee, demanded that the Government stick to the current wage level set by the embassies of the various countries whose citizens work here, and not hike it up to RM900 as is being done for local workers.

Committee member Goh Chin Siew said they want the ministry to re-examine the minimum wage requirements so that they reflect the standard of living in different areas across the country, and for the Finance and International Trade and Industry ministries to weigh in on the impact of minimum wage on Malaysians.

“Malaysians will face hyperinflation due to minimum wage, and we will also see a lot of money flowing out of the country when foreign workers remit earnings home,” he said before the group handed a memorandum on the issue to the ministry.

The group said they were only against implementation of minimum wage for foreign workers and not against minimum wage for Malaysians.

During the protest, the group chanted various slogans outlining their support for minimum wage for locals but not foreign workers.

They also held up placards in English, Malay and Chinese, asking why the Government had not “listened to our voices” and demanding that Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam resign for allegedly failing to resolve the minimum wage issue.

Among the organisations that the group claimed to have secured as members are the Malacca Chinese Assembly Hall, Malay-sian Furniture Industry Council, KL-Kepong Business Recreation Club and Electrical Electronics Association Malaysia.

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