Sabah has one of the highest number of low-paid employees in Malaysia!
Employee salaries in Malaysia are lower than in other developing countries, and with Sabah’s poverty record, it would not be surprising to find it topping the chart of having the most number of low-paid employees. Given the adverse effect of the Covid-19 pandemic towards the economy, the reality in Malaysia today sees a majority of employees, especially private sector employees, are stressed by the high cost of living, low wages and low benefits.
Seeing first hand how the pandemic has affected the people of Sabah, the ADUN for Kapayan, Jannie Lasimbang has called upon the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) State Government to exert stringent controls over the rising prices of basic necessities. In a statement released yesterday (7 April 2021), Jannie stressed,
“With the current economic situation, I urge the GRS government will do stringent controls of the price of basic necessities.”
Furthermore, the DAP assemblywoman also iterated that the current minimum wage is not sufficient to counteract the rising cost of living. While the salaries offered by employers within the private sector are adequate, Jannie clarified that the high cost of living has resulted in insufficient monthly take-home salary.
The minimum salary of RM1,200 mandated by the government is far from sufficient, especially in terms of giving a ‘safety net’ when met with an emergency such as having a family member falling sick, meeting with an accident or having hame facilities breaking down.
Moreover, Jannie also laments how fresh graduates are faced with unemployment due to employers wanting one with experience, even for minimum wage positions. She commented,
”What saddens me most is when fresh graduates or those who wants to start their journey as a young adult are not paid the minimum salary rate because some employers want employees with experience.”
Hence, the Kapayan ADUN urged GRS to continue the previous Warisan state government’s initiatives of actively organising re-skilling programmes and job-seeking events. As such will ensure that youths in the state are given the exposure and opportunities that they need.
Jannie hopes that the state government will address the long standing issue of incompatibility between workers’ wages and the cost of living. After all, a country’s wealth are its people. – The Rocket.