Corruption and Crime, Minimum Wage Policy, Hikes In Petrol Price, Power Tariffs And Highway Tolls Will Not Only Lead to Inflation But Also Negatively Impact Salary Increment And Bonuses For 14.2 Million Malaysian Workers In 2014.(en/cn)

Press Statement By DAP Secretary-General And MP For Bagan Lim Guan Eng In Kuala Lumpur On 30.12.2013.

The 6 factors of corruption and crime, minimum wage policy, hikes in petrol price, power tariffs and highway tolls are will not only lead to inflation but also negatively impact salary increment and bonuses for 14.2 million Malaysian workers in 2014. The Department of Statistics has indicated a softening of the Malaysian economy with seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October 2013 increasing to 3.5% from 3.1% in September 2013.

With ensuing inflation from price hikes, the smaller salary increments and bonuses will only make livelihood of ordinary Malaysians worse off. According to the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) survey with 257 companies involving more than 13,000 employees, executives can expect a 5.63% average increase in salaries and 5.65% for non-executives in 2014. The average salary increase for non-executives last year was at 6.78 %, slightly higher than that of the executives at 6.31%.

Corruption has caused a damaging effect on the Malaysian economy. Malaysia ranked fourth in the world with RM173.84 billion (US$54.18 billion) of illicit funds outflow or dirty money siphoned out of Malaysia in 2011, but is the world champion in terms of per capita due to Malaysia’s smaller population. According to Washington-based financial watchdog Global Financial Integrity (GFI) Report, the illicit funds outflow from 2002-11 is RM1.2 trillion or USD 370.38 billion lost from dirty money. Or nearly RM 4,300 lost per Malaysian over the last 10 years.

For Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Paul Low to dismiss the illicit outflow of “dirty money” as only an annual loss of RM1 billion from corruption and RM34 billion from crime shows his complete loss of credibility in fighting corruption after becoming a Minister. Even RM 1 billion lost annually from corruption is a huge amount.

Imposing the minimum wage for 2014 with those in the peninsula set at a monthly RM900 while for Sabah and Sarawak it is RM800 would not be a problem if applied only to local Malaysians. PR’s minimum wage policy is RM1,100 monthly is even acceptable to businesses, including Small and Medium Entreprises(SMEs) provided that it does not cover foreign workers.

For this reason, there should be a review of extending the minimum wage to all workers, by giving a grace period of at least 5 years to SMEs employers to adjust before including foreign workers. SMEs have even complained of being forced to give even higher pay to their local Malaysian workers who are upset that Malaysians are now paid at the same rate as foreigners.

To ensure harmonious industrial relations, some SMEs have resorted to paying higher than the minimum wage to Malaysian workers. However this only adds to the cost of doing business which will be reflected by increased prices of goods, causing consumers to lose out and undermining Malaysia’s competitiveness.

Further Malaysia loses out when foreign workers send most of their money home. Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan told Parliament last month that remittances by legal foreign workers doubled from RM 10 billion in 2009 to almost RM20 billion last year. The top five countries that received remittances from Malaysia in 2012 are Bangladesh (RM3 billion), Indonesia (RM3 billion), Nepal (RM2 billion), India (RM625 million) and the Philippines (RM561 million).

This RM20 billion foreign workers’ remittances are expected to double when the minimum wage is fully applied. Malaysian employers and employees should be looked after first by ensuring that employees enjoy a higher minimum monthly wage of RM 1,100 and giving employers especially SMEs, a grace period of at least 5 years for SMEs to adjust before extending the minimum wage to foreign workers.

As for price hikes of petrol, power tariffs and highway tolls will only contribute to a domino and chain effect on inflation on all goods and services. These price hikes could have been avoided if the Federal government practices an open government that is competent, accountable and transparent by focusing on cutting down costs first before increasing revenue through price hikes.

What ethical authority and justification has the Federal government in raising prices when it refuses to implement open competitive tenders, publicly declare assets and punish those involved in malpractices such as exposed in the annual Auditor-General Reports?

Where is the moral imperative to raise prices when the Federal government has no political will to fight corruption and turns a blind eye to the purchase of luxurious properties by BN cronies and its family members not just in Malaysia but also overseas amounting to hundreds of millions of ringgit, whilst ordinary Malaysians struggle with rising prices and rising household debt of 83.5% of GDP,the second highest in Asia?

Malaysians made the right choice in rejecting BN’s economic mismanagement by giving PR 51% of the popular vote against BN’s 47% during the last general elections. Clearly the BN manifesto of providing economic benefits to the rakyat is simply a lie, including no highway toll increase, that has exposed BN as a party without any credibility and betrayed the trust of even its minority 47% supporters.

LIM GUAN ENG

—-Mandarin Version —–

民主行动党秘书长兼峇眼区国会议员林冠英于2013年12月30日在吉隆坡发表声明:

贪污与罪案、最低薪金政策、油价上涨、电费上涨、大道过路费上涨,不只会造成通膨,也将对马来西亚1420万名马来西亚工人的加薪及花红带来负面冲击。

六大因素包括贪污与罪案、最低薪金政策、油价上涨、电费上涨、大道过路费上涨,不只会造成通膨,也将对马来西亚1420万名马来西亚工人的加薪及花红带来负面冲击。统计局已经显示马来西亚经济放缓,2013年10月失业率从9月的3.1%上升至3.5%.

随着百物涨价,小幅度的加薪及花红只会让普通马来西亚人的生活更糟。根据马来西亚雇主联合会调查显示,涉及1万3000名员工的257家公司,其执行人员在2014年预料加薪幅度为5.63%,非执行从员为5.65%, 去年非执行人员的调薪幅度为6.78%,比执行人员6.31%稍高。

贪污已经导致马来西亚经济受损。在2011年,我国非法外流资金或黑钱达1738亿4000万令吉(541亿8000万美元),位居世界第四,但由于我国人口少,以人均而言我国可说是世界贪污冠军。总部设于华盛顿的全球财务廉洁报告指出,在2002年至2011年之间,有3703亿8000万美元(1.2兆令吉)的黑钱或违法资金。过去10年,每一位马来西亚人几乎损失了4300令吉。

至于首相署部长拿督刘胜权排除非法外流资金为“见不得光的钱”,因为我国每年因贪污损失10亿令吉、因罪案而损失340亿令吉,这已经让他在成为部长后完全失去反贪的公信力。就算因贪污而损失10亿令吉也是很大笔的数目。

2014年马来半岛900令吉及沙巴、砂劳越800令吉的最低薪金制,如果推行在本地人身上不是问题,民联的最低薪金为每个月1100令吉也是商界可以接受的,包括中小型企业,条件是不包括外劳。

因此,我们应该检讨在外劳身上推行最低薪金制的措施,给予5年的宽松期,让中小型企业雇主进行调整,才推行在外劳身上。中小型企业也投诉他们被迫支付更高薪水给本地员工,因为本地员工不满自己的工资与外劳一样。

为了确保劳资关系的和谐,一些中小型企业不得不支付本地员工高于最低薪资。但是,羊毛出在羊身上, 这么做只会加重生意的成本,商品价格上升、消费人买贵货并导致我国失去竞争力。

外劳把他们的钱寄回家,是我国的损失。副财政部长拿督阿末玛芝兰告诉国会,2009年合法外劳的汇款达100亿令吉,去年达200亿令吉,几乎加倍。2012年五大接受马来西亚汇款的国家分别为孟加拉(30亿令吉)、印尼(30亿令吉)、尼泊尔(20亿令吉)、印度(6亿2500万令吉)及菲律宾(5亿6100万令吉)。

上述200亿令吉的外劳汇款估计在最低薪金制推行后会增加。我国雇主及雇员应该被照顾,确保雇员享有1100令吉的最低薪资,并给予中小型企业至少5年的宽限期,才将最低薪金制度扩大到外劳身上。

油价、电费及过路费的上涨会导致连锁反应,造成通货膨胀。如果联邦政府推行开放政策,秉持能干、公信及透明,先“节源”,才起价增加收入,百物上涨可以避免。

当联邦政府不愿意推行公开竞争招标、公布财产及惩罚那些涉及舞弊(如总稽查报告所指)的人士,他们有什么道德基准及理由来涨价?

当联邦政府没有政治意愿来反贪、对国阵朋党及他们的家庭成员购买在国内甚至国外的数千亿令吉豪华产业视而不见,而马来西亚普通老百姓却必须承受百物上涨、家庭债务占国内生产总值83.5%(全亚洲第二高),他们有什么理由涨价?

马来西亚人在大选时做了正确的选择,他们拒绝国阵的理财失败,将51%选票给了民联,让国阵只有47%。很明显地,国阵竞选宣言中,要让人民享受经济利益,这些都是谎言,包括大道不涨价,这也揭露了国阵做为一个政党,已经毫无公信力,它甚至背叛了其47%的少数支持者。

林冠英

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