Coalition Of NGOs Planning To March For ‘Living Wage’ On Labour Day

Coalition Of NGOs Planning To March For ‘Living Wage’ On Labour Day

A group of NGOs have made their intentions clear to organise a march on the coming Labour Day with the intention of demanding ‘living wages’ for everyone.

According to a report from New Strait Times, the May1Secretariat group which is composed of multiple NGOs and led by the political party Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM), plans to march from Dataran Maybank to Dataran Merdeka on Labour Day.

May1Secretariat’s spokesperson, Parameiswary Elumalai stated that the main reason for the march is that even though the government has set RM1500 as the minimum wage for Malaysians, it is still very low compared to the cost of living in recent times.

At the 30th Workers’ Day procession media briefing at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall this morning, she stated that the government should set the minimum wage at RM2000, so that workers can afford basic needs, such as food, housing, healthcare, childcare, and education.

Workers Day March is not something new

Although this year there is more media coverage surrounding the event, the Workers Day March itself is not a new event.

It has been held all the way back since 1994, and for this year, the theme ‘Living Wage’ has been chosen for the march.

So far, the coalition that will be marching includes Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM), Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda), and Persatuan Sahabat Malaysia.

Parameiswary also added that even though the government has increased the minimum wage by RM300 in 2022, it is still not enough for a worker to live on.

According to standards released by Bank Negara Malaysia, the living wage for adults is RM2700.

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) project manager,  Azura Nasron also chimed in on the issue, stating that the Malaysia Department of Statistics’ (DOSM) report showed that 35% of formal workers in Malaysia earn less than RM2000 per month.

Minimum wage misused by employers

Previously, Minister of Economy Rafizi Ramli stated that the problem with the current minimum wage is that some employers are misusing the minimum wage act, as many employers are using the minimum wage as a starting pay for skilled workers.

Rafizi stated that an immediate policy is required to combat this phenomenon.

Rafizi is also spearheading the implementation of a progressive wage model, which is yet to see implementation.

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