Malaysian employers have been considered the stingiest in Southeast Asia, when it comes to paying their employees.
It has been reported that Malaysian employers only spend 25% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on wages, which is the lowest as compared to Singapore (40%), Indonesia (84%) and the Philippines (76%).
This also takes into account the population of the above mentioned countries, with Malaysia at 33 million, Indonesia at 273 million, the Philippines at 109 million and Singapore at 5.6 million.
Malaysia Trades Union Congress (MTUC) President, Datuk Abdul Halim Mansor shared with Utusan Malaysia that the low percentage of wage payment does not make sense because the average employer can afford to pay more than the minimum wage of RM1,200.
He added that the government had assisted employers with various forms of assistance to regain lost income during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“They often say now is not the right time to raise the minimum wage to RM1,500 because of economic difficulties and Covid-19. This reason has become the standard, while the government has prioritised various types of assistance worth billions of Ringgit,”
“Employers should mold a society that has purchasing power, not give society the power of debt. When paying low wages, this opens up space of debt, employees are forced to waste time working overtime. Imagine, Malaysian employers only spend 25% of their GDP to pay the salaries of their employees, Malaysia has become the most stingy country in Southeast Asia,” he said.
Well, it looks like it may be time to pack up and find greener pastures outside of Malaysia.