Malaysian unions urge for better employee welfare amid pandemic

Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs) has called for the revision of minimum wages and the remuneration system.
By: | May 4, 2021

In his Labour Day statement, Cuepacs president Adnan Mat said he appreciated the government’s efforts to revise minimum wages in keeping with the current costs of living and economic conditions, especially during the pandemic. 

He also called on the government to implement a new remuneration system for civil service personnel to replace the current Malaysian Remuneration System, which has been in use since 2002.  

UNI-Malaysia Labour Centre president Datuk Mohamed Shafie Mammal proposed that the government hold dialogue sessions with union leaders to draw up a blueprint for a new economic plan or model. “The plan or economy should provide a more employee-friendly wage framework and new job opportunities following COVID-19 and the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution 4.0”, he said. 

In addition, he said the government should address corruption at all levels in both the public and private sectors. He also urged the government to enforce more effective price control mechanisms to address the impact of the rising cost of living. 

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had said the issue of minimum wages is being reviewed to ensure it remains relevant to the current socio-economic conditions. 

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However, Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) president Datuk Syed Hussain Syed Husman has appealed to the prime minister to postpone the review of minimum wages. He said now is not the right time to add to the cost of doing business as employers have been forced to retrench staff, downsize their businesses and impose pay cuts between 30% and 50% due to the pandemic, according to Bernama.