WHAT CAN BE DONE?
The government is now exploring ways to boost income. The minimum monthly wage was raised to RM1,500 in May last year, and for micro enterprises, it came into force this July.
The government is also exploring a progressive wage model, and plans will be unveiled in future. “If done properly, this could be something (like what) is implemented in Singapore, where the wages are progressively increased,” cited Hafidzi.
But this, along with some other policies, will not bear fruit anytime soon.
“We can’t just say, ‘Let’s increase the wages of construction workers to RM3,000 tomorrow.’ The industry will collapse,” said Lee, who cited other economic restructuring being done to help workers.
“The government, through the energy transition road map, through our national investment policy master plan, is trying to revive the economy, so that we can all move to a higher value-added economy. … But that’ll take some time.”