New minimum wage ruling hard on Sarawak businesses
The Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sarawak (ACCCIS) expressed its grave concern on the new standardized minimum wage in their Management Committee Meeting held on 19th November 2018.
ACCCIS is of the view that the impending implementation of the new standardized minimum wage of RM1,100 nation-wide effective from Jan 1, 2019 will not augur well for the businesses in East Malaysia, especially Sarawak-based companies in view of the present sluggish economy.
ACCCIS fully supports PH government’s effort to alleviate the standard of living as well as increase the spending power of the people.
However, the implementation of new standardized minimum wage of RM1,100 nation-wide would be tough for the SMEs and the businesses in Sarawak as the costs of operation are comparatively higher compared to their counterparts in Peninsular Malaysia after taking into account the transportation costs in particular. Compared to our counterparts in Peninsular, Sarawak still laggs behind in terms of road and air connectivity as well as other supporting facilities which are instrumental for economic growth. Therefore, it is crucial for the government to take into consideration such differences and gaps before leveling or standardizing the minimum wage nation-wide.
In all fairness, the minimum wage should be regionalized and sectorial, having regards to the different costs of living in urban areas and rural areas and different levels of expectations from the employees in different sectors of employment.