Government

The merry month of May

A floor wage for workers, windfall for 17,000 Sabah civil
service staff and retirement at 60


Musa Aman

May is looking good for about three million workers nationwide and slightly more than 17,000 Sabah civil service staff as they celebrated Labour Day. Workers in Sabah and Sarawak will now earn a minimum wage of 800 ringgit ($264); 900 ringgit for those on the peninsula. And Sabah government employees will get a windfall from arrears of their salary increment that dates back to January.

It was a delicate balancing act for Prime Minister Najib Razak who introduced the minimum wage on the eve of Labour Day. The lowest-paid, according to Najib who is also finance minister, is guaranteed of an income “that lifts them out of poverty and helps meet the rising cost of living.” His government is sure that the floor wage does not eat too deeply into the pockets of employers.

However economists note that many employers are already paying their workers above the minimum. But it cheers up those who have been earning less than it and assures new workers of a comfortable income.

Civil servantsIt could be a boon to Najib who is expected to call snap polls later this month or next. Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou won handsome elections after they raised the minimum pay of their citizens.

A pay rise of between 7% and 13% for Sabah civil servants under a new Malaysian remuneration scheme will cost the Sabah government about 61.4m ringgit a year, according to Chief Minister Musa Aman.

He said after a cabinet meeting in Kota Kinabalu on May 2 that civil servants could expect to be paid their new salaries plus arrears at month end.

His government has also extended the retirement age from 58 to 60 as of January. – Insight Sabah

Pictures by Ille Tugimin

Posted on May 3, 2012

Malay 中文 Kadazan
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  • Mr

    By Ismail N on 09-05-2012 09:07 pm

    Wouldn't it be nice if the Government could also provide free weekend training to workers so that they may upgrade their skills as well, at least their English/BM writing skills.

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