SMEs in Malaysia expected to feel impact of proposed minimum wage
NCCIM president Datuk Low Kian Chuan said many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will be affected by the “steep hike” in minimum wage to RM1,500 (US$354).
In a statement, he said, “The Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob) and Human Resource Minister (Datuk Seri M Saravanan) have repeatedly promised to have engagement sessions with the business associations but, to our disappointment, this announcement was made without any prior engagement and consultation with us.
“In past practices, there had been sufficient engagement and timeline for the implementation of minimum wage.”
Low, who is also the president of the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM), said the timing was not right to implement a new minimum wage.
“Our deep concern is that a steep increase in minimum wage comes at a time when businesses are facing substantial increases in business costs, hike in electricity surcharge and also experiencing the worker shortages. Imposing additional labour cost on businesses could force the impacted business owners to raise prices of goods and services which can lead to consumer inflation and reduce employment to preserve their business margin.
“The knock-on effect of the proposed minimum wage on other categories of workers will add to higher employment and operating costs,” he said.
He added that most businesses are not financially stable yet to implement the proposed minimum wage as they are still recovering from the pandemic, according to New Straits Times.