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New minimum wage in Malaysia to be announced in 2018

A new minimum wage for Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan will be announced next year by Malaysia’s Human Resources Department to close the income gap between the regions, Bernama reports.

Presently, the minimum wage rate for the private sector in Peninsular Malaysia is RM1,000 while in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan it is RM920, said Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Dr Richard Riot Jaem.

Speaking at a press conference held after presenting appointment letters to 25 members of the National Wages Consultative Council, Riot said the National Wages Consultative Council (MGPN) had begun plans to review the Minimum Wages Order 2016, which will allow the government to determine the new minimum wages rate based on the country's current socio-economic development.

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Riot says: "The setting up of a group of wage and minimum wages researchers will have a positive effect which will allow the government to provide adequate social protection to workers throughout the country. The enforcement of the minimum wages is an important aspect which will benefit the employees especially those with low income in the B40 category.

"The review will take into consideration the cost of living as well as the operations cost which have to be borne by the employer who manages to close the gap in income in Malaysia.

"One day, the salary in both categories will be on par. This is still being studied by the Minimum Wages Technical Committee and the MGPN before it is tabled to the Cabinet," he added, in Bernama.

According to Riot, as of June, 98% of employers in 142,151 statutory checks carried out by the Labour Department were compliant with the Minimum Wages Order.

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