The Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers Association (Sheda) is opposing the plan to raise the country's minimum wage. According to Sheda president, Augustine Wong Chung Ho, boosting the minimum wage has resulted in a rise in the cost of items in the past.
Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers Association President, Augustine Wong Chung Ho
"As a result, boosting the minimum wage in the hopes of increasing employees' purchasing power and stimulating the economy may have the opposite impact,"
Wong added that Sheda also opposed the proposal since it may have a negative influence on employment levels as higher minimum wage may only be compensated by increased worker productivity or corporations reducing their workforce.
“Some employers are forced to pay more in wages and consequently, they would end up hiring fewer workers, which would eventually lead to the higher unemployment rate.”
Wong emphasised that policymakers should focus on the underlying economic concerns, such as reducing the costs of conducting business by removing bureaucratic red tape, enhancing efficiency, and encouraging productivity - all of which would maintain Malaysia's global competitiveness.
He believes that raising the minimum wage would merely result in another cycle of rising prices, with minimum wage workers losing their jobs as the cost of living rises.