PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) should take measures to close the country's income gap and stop complaining about the government's decision to review the minimum wage to RM1,100, said Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) secretary-general J. Solomon.
He said MEF's claim that the move would impact the cost of doing business was "comical".
"The employers have been pampered over 61 years, enabling unjust enrichment and accumulation of huge wealth among a few and creating huge income and wealth disparity.
"Therefore, it is time employers act more responsibly in supporting the government in its efforts in regularising the equitable development concept," Solomon said in a statement today.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng had, during the Budget 2019 tabling, announced that the minimum wage would be RM1,100 beginning next year, as compared to the previous announcement of RM1,050.
Solomon said the new minimum wage was not restricted to RM1,100, and employers have the prerogative to accord a higher salary where appropriate.
He also took MEF to task over its claim that the matter was not discussed with the National Wage Consultative Council (NWCC) and therefore violated the NWCC Act.
"What right do employers have to sue the government over the budget proposals? If at all, it is the unions which could have done so due to the loss of enhanced wage due to the two-year delay in implementing the review.
"However, the unions are responsible enough not to resort to such low level (action) given the new government's complex status arising out of the previous government's kleptocracy," he said.
On MEF's concern about higher remittances to source countries for foreign workers, Solomon said: "If the employers are seriously concerned about the outflow, they should curtail the intake of foreign workers and accommodate locals."
"The employers need to be responsible to play their role to narrow the ever-increasing income inequality in Malaysia."