KOTA KINABALU: DAP Sabah is disappointed with Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai for his inability to assist the businesses affected by the implementation of minimum wage.
“It is regretted that Yee was unable to do anything to help the businesses, instead of merely saying that the consumers should boycott businesses that use the implementation of minimum wage as an excuse to raise the price of goods,” said DAP Sabah Publicity Secretary Chan Foong Hin.
He said that as pointed out by many international reports and studies, the implementation of minimum wage should comply with holistic approach or package.
He said, he totally agreed the implementation of minimum wage as a good policy in the first place.
However, the government had failed to carry out any assistance or scheme to help the businesses who are really in difficulty.
“If this circumstance continued without any help by the government, the inflation is unavoidable because the businesses needed to balance their cost by raising the price of goods. What the government had done to prevent this happen? None,” he said.
He added, in the view of the implementation of minimum wage should be holistic, it was necessary to abolish the cabotage policy, monopolies, and breakthrough the cronyism that was creating limitation to the economy.
“With that, the price will go down. That is as the ‘package’ to implement the minimum wages,” said Chan.
Chan made a clarification that the nature of minimum wages would not cause the collapse of economy nor hardship to the people, but if the government failed to implement it well, it might just happened.
According to the Trade and Development Report 2012 by United Nations, the establishment of minimum wages was reasonable and acceptable in most developed or developing countries, in order to protect any workers from exploitation and also it would uplift the whole economy of the country by adding a bottom wages line for the bottom working class.
The condition to the establishment of minimum wages was the government has to take care of the business class and unskilled workers, ensuring that no one is left behind after the introduction of minimum wages.
On this note, Chan asked whether the Barisan Nasional (BN) Government had protected all interest groups or introduced any ‘package’ implied in order to assist those who were really in difficulty, especially the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) and unskilled workers as well when implementing the minimum wage policy.
“It is sad that the government has no idea how to implement this policy and Yee can only request the businesses not to raise the price of goods, but he can’t do anything as the government to restructure the policy. It is ridiculous for a government to say this,” Chan said.
He told Yee when Pakatan Rakyat is in government there will be necessary allocation for SME funds, unskilled workers training centre to be set up, and Facilitation fund for enterprise and so on to protect the interest of the people.
“Most importantly, the PR Sabah state government will set aside funding to assist them to reach the minimum wage target gradually. It is unfortunate that the BN has failed to make it,” he said. – The Rocket