Don’t rush into it, consumer groups tell govt
Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - 15:07
He urged the government not to rush into implementing the policy and to conduct more surveys.
Consumer Association of Subang and Shah Alam, Selangor (CASSA) chief Dr Jacob George (pic) said it was premature to reject or accept the minimum wage Bill, adding it needed at least “another six months of consideration” before it could be implemented.
“The question is, will minimum wage protect the interests of certain groups of people?” he said.
“Take a look at the United Kingdom and other European countries and look at what is happening there now. In a time when the world economy is fragile, to blindly implement minimum wage is a classic ingredient for bankruptcy,” he said.
“Minimum wage might create an underground labour force that will bring about even more social problems.” Jacob said the impact of minimum wage would not be felt only within Malaysia but the Asean region as a whole.
“Foreign workers will send their money back to their homes. The money will leave our country and this could affect our industry,” he said, adding industry players would need no excuse to raise the price of goods.
Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association (Fomca) chief executive officer Datuk Paul Selvaraj said the Bill, if implemented, should be reassessed every two years.
“It should be looked at from time to time because it has a huge impact on the country’s economy,” he told The Malay Mail.
National Consumer Complaints Centre (NCCC) chief executive Muhammad Shaani Abdullah said a more in-depth and wider scope of consultation was needed before the Bill was passed.
“If the Bill encompasses foreign workers, employers will tend to lose out on cheap labour. To be fair, it should benefit everyone.”
He said so far “no figures” had been released to indicate the effectiveness of the scheme.
“Just by setting up a policy and not monitoring it is of no use in the first place,” he said.
MEF: Handle it with care