PETALING JAYA, Sept 5 ― The Cabinet has agreed to raise the minimum wage nationwide to RM1,050 a month or RM5.05 per hour effective January 1, next year, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.
It said this was decided at the Cabinet meeting today after considering the recommendations of the National Wage Consultative Council (MPGN) following its review of the 2016 Minimum Wage Order.
“The government for the first time has agreed to implement a standardised minimum wage throughout the country, including Sabah and Sarawak, which is RM1,050 a month/RM5.05 per hour effective January 1, 2019,” the statement read.
“The government has also decided that no forms of subsidy will be given to any employer because of the country’s financial constraints. This increment is in line with the country’s current economic situation.”
It added that the government was cautious about raising the minimum wage drastically as this could cause problems for industries and affect their competitiveness.
“Therefore, it is proper that the minimum wage is raised in stages in the years to come so that the industries, especially the smaller employers, will not be forced to end their businesses because of the high operation cost that could also result in the retrenchment of workers,” the statement said.
Businesses were also urged not to raise the prices of their goods and services after the minimum wage is raised.
Similarly, the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry has been tasked with monitoring the situation.
Standardising the minimum wage nationwide is one of 10 Pakatan Harapan election pledges it promised to fulfil in 100 days, but it had also said it will raise the amount to RM1,500 a month.
The current minimum wage is RM1,000 in Peninsular Malaysia and RM920 in Sarawak and Sabah.