Multinational companies blamed for exploiting low-wage workers

MYDIN Mohamed Holdings Bhd managing director Datuk Ameer Ali Mydin blamed the government for making the same mistakes over the years, causing a disparity in the purchasing power of the workers amid the rise in the cost of living.He claimed that the government’s compliance with the demands of multinational companies (MNCs) to become a low-cost production country is unreasonable and only hurts the people.He said that succumbing to the insistence of MNCs that want to reduce their expenses causes the people themselves to bear the brunt.“I’ll be honest, the bad guys are actually MNCs because they want us to become a low-cost production country. It goes beyond logic.“I think if we raise (salary) RM100 or RM200 a year, we can catch up, but the government should not do it suddenly,” he said in the Dialog Poket Rakyat program yesterday.While the wage rate of workers in Malaysia has increased by 1.3% from 35.8 percent in 2018 to 37.1% in 2020, the contribution percentage is still below the government’s target of 40% of the gross domestic product (GDP), the local statistics department reported.Department of Statistics Malaysia chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin suggested following Singapore’s example of increasing the minimum wage by announcing plans ahead of time, so employers can prepare and avoid disruption.Ameer suggested raising wages by RM100 or RM200 a year to catch up with the rising cost of living, but not suddenly.He argued that multinational companies are the “bad guys” as they want Malaysia to become a low-cost production country, which goes beyond logic.In another related matter, the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) shot down proposals to make it compulsory to pay allowances to students who undergo industrial training in the private sector.The MEF added that it will discourage employers from offering places for internships.

MEF president Datuk Syed Hussain Syed Husman said instead of compelling employers to pay internship allowance, the government should consider giving more incentives to the employers to take in more interns and make it mandatory for all undergraduates to undergo internship. — Feb 18, 2023

Subscribe and get top news delivered to your Inbox everyday for FREE