Minimum wage workers in urban areas and cities are entitled to a salary increase starting 1st January 2020 as the government will implement new rates beginning in 2020. The government said the minimum wage will increase from RM1,100 to RM1,200 in 57 locations. However, the minimum wage remains at RM1,100 a month for the rest of the country.
The minimum wage was announced to help workers who live in urban centres cope with higher living costs
The Ministry of Human Resource said, this follows the tabling of Budget 2020 and the decision of the Cabinet on the implementation of the RM1,200 minimum wage per month in major towns.
Details on the minimum wage according to hours and days as well as workers paid according to piece rate, trip, commission, tonne and task would be provided under the new minimum wage.
Among the cities listed are:
Johor Bahru, Iskandar Puteri, Alor Setar, Melaka, Penang, Seberang Perai, Ipoh, Shah Alam, Petaling Jaya, Kuala Terengganu, North Kuching, South Kuching, Miri, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, while the major towns are Batu Pahat, Kluang, Kulai, Muar, Segamat, Pasir Gudang, Kulim, Sungai Petani, Langkawi, Kubang Pasu and Kota Bharu.
Also listed are Alor Gajah, Jasin, Hang Tuah Jaya, Seremban, Nilai, Port Dickson, Jempol, Kuantan, Temerloh, Bentong, Manjung, Kuala Kangsar, Taiping, Teluk Intan, Kangar, Ampang Jaya, Kajang, Klang, Selayang, Subang Jaya, Sepang, Kemaman, Dungun, Padawan, Sibu, Kota Samarahan, Bintulu, Sandakan, Tawau, Labuan and Putrajaya.
However, the present minimum wage of RM1,100 will remain for workers who are not working in urban areas, either in small towns or rural areas.
But is the increase too low?
However, economists have argued that RM1,200 minimum wage is still considered too low compared to the estimated living wage, especially for those living in urban areas such as the Klang Valley.
It’s based on a study conducted by BNM which states that living wages should be at the rate of RM2,700 per month for single adults, RM4,500 per month for a couple without children, and RM6,500 per month for a couple with two children.
It was part of the party’s manifesto during the 14th General Election
The ministry said the rate would continue to be reviewed to ensure it is in line with current needs and with the objective of achieving a minimum wage of RM1,500 a month in the first five years of Pakatan Harapan’s administration.