Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran said that the Pakatan Harapan government is committed to its 14th general election promise of raising the minimum wage to RM1,500 per month for the private sector, within five years of its administration.
However, he added that the government also needs to assess the overall economic and financial situation in the country, apart from improving the country's investment climate.
“Please give the government some time to sort things out. Minimum wages agenda is certainly an enigma for the nation and has given me sleepless nights over the last few weeks,” Kulasegaran said in a statement.
The government has announced that the new minimum wage will be standardized nationwide at RM1,050 per month or RM5.05 sen per hour, effective January next year.
The minimum wage is at present set at RM1,000 monthly for Peninsular Malaysia and RM920 for Sabah, Sarawak, and Labuan.
“The decision to only increase RM50 for workers in the Peninsula was indeed a painful one, which was not meant to belittle the contribution of workers, especially [of] the B40 group,” Kulasegaran said.
“This is not the end of the journey of minimum wages for Malaysia.
“We have been in power for the past four months only and we are determined to achieve the promises made in our manifesto, including the minimum wages agenda, by the end of our term,” he added.