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Subra: Minimum wage will not result in our economy collapsing

By LOH FOON FONG foonfong@thestar.com.my

KUALA LUMPUR: Implementing a minimum wage policy will not cause the economy of the country to collapse, said Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.

There were over 80 countries in the world that have introduced minimum wage, with countries such as Britain and the United States having it for a long time, and their economies did not collapse, he added.

“To say that our economy will collapse is not founded on correct premise,” he said during a press conference after the Astro Broadcast Traineeship graduation ceremony here yesterday.

Recently, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad raised concerns that minimum wage would have a negative impact on the country.

Dr Subramaniam said the Govern-ment had taken into consideration all concerns and minimum wage would not have an undue impact on the overall economy of the country.

“Our wages are much lower than the countries that we should compete with, such as Singapore, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea.

“We are similar in terms of development but our wages are much lower, which means we still have the capacity to increase our wages and at the same time maintain our economy,” he said.

As such, he said he hoped that employers would even go a step further by providing wages higher than the minimum wage.

He said the ministry was waiting for the Prime Minister's approval before making the announcement on minimum wage.

On the two domestic helpers who were allegedly abused by a high-ranking government official, Dr Subramaniam said he had not received any official report from the Indonesian consulate.

“My officers are in touch with their counterparts in Indonesia to find out what happened, how to handle the situation and, of course, to continue with the spirit of the MoU which we signed earlier,” he said.

An English daily reported on Sunday that the Indonesian Embassy had advised its government to suspend the sending of maids to Malaysia after two domestic helpers working for a senior government official here were allegedly abused recently.

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