Pakatan’s floor wage may cause RM7.2b outflow

Chua Tee Yong says the floor wage would benefit some three million foreign workers here, who send the money back to their countries of origin.

Leven Woon, FMT

MCA Young Professional Bureau chairman Chua Tee Yong has joined the fray over Pakatan Rakyat’s RM1,100 floor wage proposal, claiming that it would cause RM7.2 billion capital outflow every year.

Commenting on Pakatan’s shadow budget 2013 in a statement today, Chua said the move to increase minimum wage from the current RM900 to RM1,100 would further add to the national debt burden.

He pointed out that there are three million foreign workers in Malaysia, and a RM200 increase in salary would cost the market an extra RM600 million per month.

“In one year, RM7.2 billion will be spent on these foreign workers.

“The RM7.2 billion will be an outflow, as the money will be transferred out from the country to the respective countries of where the foreign workers reside,” he said.

Chua, who is also Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister, said the rakyat would eventually bear the consequences of this outflow.

“The business owners will definitely pass all the incurred cost from the increase in the minimum wage to the rakyat and the rakyat will be the one to suffer from it.

“The so-called facilitation fund from Pakatan [to help the employers], is only sufficient to last for less than two months. After that, the people will have to bear all the sufferings,” he said.

He noted that RM7.2 billion is equivalent to twice of the Barisan Nasional government’s Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysia (BR1M) programmes, which only cost RM3 billion under the Budget 2013.

Meanwhile, Chua also pointed out Pakatan’s failure to include a mechanism to reduce oil price and highway tolls in its shadow budget.

“How would they be able to reduce the petrol price? Where’s the calculation?” he asked.

Earlier this week, Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin also criticised Pakatan’s proposed minimum wage of RM1,100, saying it would bankrupt the small and medium industries (SMIs) and destroy the economy.

However, Pakatan MPs insisted that this was not true as their floor wage comes hand-in-hand with financial assistance to the employers and a policy to stop dependence on foreign, unskilled labour.