Malaysia government encourages private sector to raise salaries

Malaysia’s private sector, despite experiencing strong profits, is urged to mirror the government's action and uplift employee salaries.
By: | October 18, 2023

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has made a plea to private organisations that have enjoyed significant profits to emulate the government’s commitment to improving employee salary structures, as laid out in the 2024 budget proposal.

Speaking at his monthly meeting with employees of the Prime Minister’s Department, Anwar, who also holds the position of Finance Minister, acknowledged the feedback raised by employees in the private sector that their salaries had not increased despite strong earnings from their employers. 

“I hope that this signal given by the government to recognise civil servants is also taken up by the private sector, especially those who report good profits,” said Anwar. “Provide a reasonable wage increase in the current circumstances.”

Anwar’s call for equitable salary adjustments echoed the government’s decision to review the Public Service Remuneration System (SSPA) and extend an RM2,000 (US$422.61) incentive for certain ranks of civil servants and below, reported Free Malaysia Today. He admitted that the incentive announced surprised even high-ranking civil servants, including Zuki Ali, Chief Secretary to the Government of Malaysia. 

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“No one considered this possible given the current financial constraints of the government, and even the finance ministry did not propose such an amount,” he said, noting that there has not been a review like this in the last decade.

Anwar hoped the review would be carried out thoroughly, with input from all relevant departments and sectors. He aimed to conclude the review by mid-2024, allowing for “significant announcements in the 2025 budget.”