Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran said he cannot change the minimum monthly wage of RM1,100 unilaterally as the amount is decided with the National Wages Consultative Council.
“(The amount) is not decided by the minister. (The council) has to look at it (but) a lot of people still do not understand. I do not have the right or power to determine or fix the minimum wage.
“The council has various stakeholders, including employers and employees who will deliberate the matter with government officers and have townhall sessions around the country, which they have done every two years.
"Once it is done, they will make recommendations to the ministry and the minister will present it to the cabinet, which will then announce the final figure,” Kulasegaran was reported as saying by the Malay Mail today.
He also said the Pakatan Harapan government remains committed to its election pledge to raise the minimum monthly wage to RM1,500.
The wage level will rise despite calls for the government to reduce it, he added.
Some media outlets had previously reported Kulasegaran as saying, in response to complaints from employers, that the government would review the minimum wage according to job sectors.
Meanwhile, the minister insisted employers cannot go below the minimum wage.
"That is the law. Those found not paying RM1,100 will be hauled up by the ministry and taken to court," he said.
The minimum wage of RM1,100 also does not mean that employers could not or should not pay workers more, he added.
“It does not prohibit collective agreements from being done to make it higher. Just make sure it does not go lower. That must be understood as that is the protection given by the government of the day,” Kulasegaran said.