Sabah MICCI: No RM1,500 Salary For SPM School Leavers Unless They've Worked For 5 Years

According to its chairman, school leavers prefer working right away as the minimum wage was sufficient for them.

Datuk Wong Khen Thau, chairman of the Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MICCI) Sabah, thinks SPM school leavers should not receive minimum wage salary of RM1,500 unless they have worked in the same industry for five years

Datuk Wong Khen Thau

Image via Malay Mail

Citing "studies", Wong said that 50% of Sabahan school leavers choose to enter the workforce right away as the current minimum wage of RM920 is sufficient for them. They also constitute the biggest group of minimum wage recipients in the state.

Malay Mail reported earlier today, 31 July, that the MICCI chairman also alleged that raising the minimum wage to RM1,500 will lead to an under-skilled workforce in Sabah.

Wong is also urging the government to consider raising the minimum wage to RM1,100 instead of the proposed RM1,500

The MICCI chairman said that the RM1,500 minimum wage proposal is too much for Sabah-based companies.

"I think businesses would suffer and even go bankrupt," Wong was quoted as saying by The Star, before adding that Sabahans will be affected by businesses that resort to increasing the prices of goods.

He also alleged that living expenses will become more expensive following the added cost of business, causing Sabah to be less competitive.

Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan also voiced similar concerns to Wong's

According to Shamsuddin, plantations dominate the economies of Sabah and Sarawak.

Image via Free Malaysia Today

On 26 July, Free Malaysia Today reported Shamsuddin as saying that East Malaysia's employers are incapable of absorbing the cost of increased minimum wage in the short term due to the dominance of plantations in Sabah and Sarawak's economies.

"Of course if they (employers) are forced to do it (adhere to the new minimum wage), there may be adverse consequences to the implementation itself," the MEF executive director added.

Previously, Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran announced that the RM1,500 minimum wage will be implemented within the next two months:

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