The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) has called on the government to delay the review of minimum wages which is due in February 2022. MEF president Datuk Syed Hussain Syed Husman said now is not the right time to add the cost of doing business as employers were being forced to resort to retrenchment and downsizing, as well as impose pay cuts between 30 per cent and 50 per cent due to Covid-19. “MEF is of the position that the status quo should remain for the next two years at least in view of the pandemic. “We appeal to the government not to add to the burden of employers at this juncture with the pandemic still flaring, and give the employers some breathing space to stabilise the business and create employment,” he said.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhiddin Yassin in his Workers’ Day address said that the minimum wage rate is being reviewed to ensure earnings of workers remain relevant with current economic conditions. He added that the government is always concerned about the issue of the minimum wage and would take efforts to better protect workers’ rights. He said the move was part of efforts taken by the government in the past one year under its three-pronged strategy to help workers weather challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. The first strategy is to retain jobs, the second is to protect workers’ rights and the third is to create job opportunities, he added.