A Minimum Monthly Wage Of RM 1,100 Combined With A Grace Period For SMEs For 5 Years Would Serve To Increase Income For Malaysians And Help Economic Growth By Protecting Malaysian SMEs.(en/cn)

Opening Speech By DAP Secretary-General and MP For Bagan Lim Guan Eng During The Johor DAP State Ordinary Convention In Batu Pahat On 12.1.2014.

The price hikes by the BN Federal government this year in sugar, petrol, power tariffs and road tolls has highlighted the sad fact that wages can not keep up with inflation. Real wages of export-oriented industries rose by 1.9% whilst that of domestic-oriented industries rose by 1.4% after 1997.

DAP proposes a minimum monthly wage of RM 1,100 combined with a grace period for SMEs for 5 years would serve to increase income for Malaysians and help economic growth by protecting Malaysian SMEs. I believe thatPR’s minimum wage policy is RM 1,100 monthly is acceptable to Small and Medium Entreprises(SMEs) provided that it does not cover foreign workers. After the 5 years grace period, SMEs have to pay the minimum monthly wage to all foreign and local workers.

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 SMEs, a grace period of at least 5 years for SMEs to adjust before extending this minimum wage to foreign workers.

Unlike BN, the PR state government in Penang is proud that we did not increase business license fees, water rates, quit rent and assessment charges. To distract attention from the price hikes by the BN Federal government in sugar, petrol, power tariffs and road toll, BN stokes the fires of racial and religious hatred. We should not fall into BN’s traps of economic mismanagement that has caused the people to suffer rising costs of living.

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.

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.

The impact of proper accountability can be seen at the local level with the dangerous building in Pontian, as a result of negligent or no monitoring whatsoever by the relevant authorities. How many more such buildings are there in Johor? 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.

For those who claim that investment is declining in Penang, I wish to refer to a to a Parliamentary written reply from the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to DAP Kuching MP Chong Chien Jen in September 2013,

“Bagi tempoh 2010 hingga Ogos 2013, sejumlah 3,023 projek perkilangan dengan pelaburan berjumlah RM174.3 bilion telah diluluskan. Daripada jumlah tersebut, sebanyak RM102.9 bilion (59 peratus) merupakan pelaburan asing, manakala RM71.3 bilion (41 peratus) adalah pelaburan tempatan.

Dalam tempoh yang sama, lima negeri yang mencatat jumlah pelaburan asing tertinggi adalah:
• Pulau Pinang (RM19.7 bilion daripada 186 projek perkilangan).
• Johor (RM16.7 bilion daripada 374 projek perkilangan).
• Sarawak (RM15.6 bilion daripada 54 projek perkilangan).
• Selangor (RM15 bilion daripada 439 projek perkilangan).
• Kedah (RM8 bilion daripada 79 projek perkilangan).

If Penang can be No.1 under PR, Johor can definitely be No.1 under PR.

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2014年1月12日在峇珠巴辖柔佛州党员代表大会上发表演讲

制定每月1100令吉最低薪资,并给予中小型企业5年宽限期,将有助于增加马来西亚的收入,保护马来西亚中小型企业,促进经济成长。

国阵联邦政府今年导致白糖、汽油、电力及过路费涨价,突显了一个令人伤心的事实,那就是薪资涨幅追不上百物上涨。在1997年之后,出口导向工业的薪资涨幅为1.9%,而入口导向工业的薪资涨幅为1.4%。

行动党建议制定每月1100令吉最低薪资,并给予中小型企业5年宽限期,将有助于增加马来西亚的收入,保护马来西亚中小型企业,促进经济成长。我相信民联的最低薪金1100令吉也是中小型企业可能接受的,条件是不包括外劳。五年宽限期后,中小型企业需要支持最低薪金给所有本地员工及外劳。

再说,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。

槟州民联政府信守承诺,在2014年没有提高商业执照费、水费、租金及门牌税。国阵为了转移大家对联邦政府导致的白糖、汽油、电费、过路费起价,还煽风点火,企图制造种族及宗教仇恨。我们不应该掉入国阵的陷阱,正是因为他们经济管理失败,才导致人民承受百物上涨。

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月的失业率从9月的3.1%上升至3.5%。

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。

问责能力的影响力可以从地方事务看出,如:笨珍的危楼事件,这肯定是有关当局疏忽或缺乏监管所导致的。在柔佛州还有多少这样的危楼?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。

至于那些说槟城投资下跌的人士,我谨此找出首相拿督斯里纳吉针对行动党古晋区国会议员张健仁于2013年9月的国会提问答复的记录:

“在2010年到2013年8月期间,我国共批准了3023项工厂投资,投资额达1743亿令吉。其中1029亿令吉(59%)为外来投资,而713亿令吉(41%)为本地投资。

同时期内,获得最多外来投资项目的五个州属分别为:
• 槟城 (186项工厂投资,值197亿令吉)
• 柔佛 (374项工厂投资,值167亿令吉).
• 砂拉越 (54项工厂投资,156亿令吉).
• 雪兰莪 (439项工厂投资,150亿令吉).
• 吉打 (79项工厂投资,80亿令吉).

如果槟城在民联治理下投资额可以居冠,若民联执政柔佛州, 柔佛也能成为第一名。

林冠英

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