JERIT: Fong should resign and work in factory



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27 June 2007


Resign As Minister and Work in a Factory



The  Human Resource Minister, Datuk Seri Fong Chan Onn and its Deputy, Dato Abdul Rahman Bakar should  resign as a Minister and work as labourer or in a factory. Then, he should decide whether MTUC should drop its demand from minimum wage of RM900 or not.


Today  the Minister of Human Resource said MTUC’s demand for minimum wage  of RM900 for private sector workers is not practical and MTUC should drop its demand(The Star 27 June 2007). He further said wage should be left to markets forces to decide. Meanwhile, his Deputy Minister said MTUC’s action is not professional, unreasonable and it does not have support from workers. They are also worried foreign workers and foreign maids will get the benefit from minimum wage. (Utusan Malaysia)


JERIT feels that both statements from both Ministers are uncalled for. JERIT feels that the Ministers who suppose to represent and champion the rights workers, are lacking ground experiences and do not know how low wage workers are suffering. Last year September, JERIT submitted memorandum and 50,000 signature postcards calling for a minimum wage. MTUC is also has been demanding for minimum wage legislation for years. All this calls are not political gimmick but rather it came from workers themselves who have been struggling when cost of living is increasing. How can the deputy minister say that the Minimum Wage Campaign does not have support from the workers when thousands of workers picketed last Monday(25/6/2007)   demanding minimum wage RM 900 and COLA RM 300


Why the Ministers are are so afraid of investors and employers?  Isn’t the government elected to protect its citizens?   The interest of citizen in the country should come first. Demanding minimum wage of RM900 is nothing compared to millions of profit made by the private sectors.


And what is wrong to provide minimum wage for foreign maids if they deserve it. A foreign made is required to do all sorts of work like baby-sitting, cooking, washing and etc and works 24/7. Everyone one of us will demand for pay hike because the burden of work that keep increasing. So, why foreign maids are different. If you can’t afford them, then don’t hire them. Do the work on your own and tell us whether they deserve it or not.  


According to National Productivity Report 2006, Malaysia has scored 3.7% with the manufacturing sector contributed 4.4% followed by other sector like finance and transport ( 4.1%).  This productivity level is higher than Singapore (1.2%), Japan 2.5%, Sweden (2.8 %), Germany (2.0 per cent), Denmark (1.8 per cent), US (1.5 per cent) and the UK (1.7 per cent). Where this productivity does came from? Workers from those sectors definitely had played crucial part in increasing the productivity.


Thus, why minimum wage legislation is so impossible when:


  1. Malaysian productivity is higher than developed countries
  2. Countries like Vietnam and South Korea even China have minimum wage for its workers
  3. One of the reasons by Government for pay hike to civil servants is higher cost of living (inflation)
  4. Workers basic pay in private sector especially in manufacturing is just around RM350-RM500.


As such, JERIT calls the government to enact the legislation that guarantees minimum wage of RM900 for the workers in private sectors and STOP sacrificing and exploiting the workers to make the employers and investors happy.


Prepared by




Gabungan Pekerja Kilang & Kesatuan



3 Responses to “JERIT: Fong should resign and work in factory”

  1. areng Says:

    turun dulu fong, baru cerita lebih!!!

  2. littledragon Says:

    yayayayaya!!!!!i totally agree with JERIT’s view on this issue..those person so called “dato” or for me “datuk (old man)” wont know the pain that suffered by workers unless they experienced all by themselves!!!!…

  3. Jeremy Janson, GOP Says:

    Two quick questions:

    1. What about the costs not associated with labor but related to doing business in Malaysia? Are they significantly higher enough to account for a wage disparity?

    2. I was actually under the impression that, minimum wage or no minimum wage, your Malaysian factory worker actually does better in traditional measures of prosperity then a Chinese or Vietnamese factory worker. Is this a false impression?

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