Tok Pa: RM3,000 ‘higher’ – but not high – income

By Yow Hong Chieh, The Malaysian Insider

Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed acknowledged today there was confusion over his calling a RM3,000 monthly wage as high income, saying it was actually the Malaysian Investment Development Authority’s (Mida) definition of “higher” income.

The International Trade and Industry Minister said he had merely been pointing out that RM7 billion in investments last year had created relatively higher paying manufacturing jobs, when commenting on the topic earlier this week.

“There’s been some confusion,” he told reporters after the Ministry of International Trade and Industry’s (MITI) dialogue session with business councils here.

“I’m not talking about high-income economy. I’m talking about Mida having the ability to attract higher paying jobs.”

Mustapa said some 70 per cent of jobs created last year through investments procured by Mida were “quality jobs” — according to the investment development body — that paid salaries of RM3,000 per month.

He said this was “evidence” that Malaysia had managed to move up the value chain by attracting quality investments, as manufacturing jobs previously paid RM1,000 to RM2,000 per month.

Mustapa also stressed that Mida’s definition also took into consideration other variables, such as whether the work was value-adding, knowledge- and skills-intensive or required high technology.

High income would be between RM8,000 and RM10,000, he added.