Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has announced that Malaysia will implement the RM1,500 minimum wage policy starting 1 May 2022.
During the winding-up speech at the UMNO General Assembly yesterday (19 March), he said the government is aware of the increase in cost of living and its effects, especially on the B40 community.
“I listened to the debates raised by delegates and the voice of the people.”
“Therefore, I would like to announce that the minimum wage of RM1,500 a month will begin on 1 May nationwide,” he said.
However, he said discussions will be held with the Human Resources Ministry and Entrepreneur Development and Cooperative Ministry to look into delaying the implementation of the policy for small and micro businesses with low income or revenue.
Previously, the Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M.Saravanan had told the Dewan Rakyat that the RM1,500 minimum wage would be implemented in due time and the government was committed to enforcing it by the end of this year.
Before this, there had been many debates on whether the government should implement the minimum wage of RM1,500, with most business owners rejecting this proposal and worker unions calling for the authorities to implement it right away.
However, this minimum wage still appear to be insufficient for one to live decently in the capital of Malaysia, especially when the prices of necessities are shooting up these days.
According to a report by The Malaysian Reserve, the cost of living for a single person in Kuala Lumpur (KL) is estimated at about RM3,262.
It also reported that many people have been struggling to cope with the living costs, which do not appear to be in tandem with the income of many Malaysians.
“Let’s say a one-person household earns RM1,200 per month and lives in KL, but the minimum amount of income to acquire basic necessities at a minimal level is RM2,216.
“How would this individual live comfortably given the huge gap? So, there is a crucial need to relook at our minimum wages in consideration of whether they make sense for people to live proper lives with such wages,” EMIR Research Sdn Bhd analyst Sofea Azahar said.