May Day Message(e/c)

Penang State Government 2017 May Day Message By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng In Komtar, George Town On 1.5.2017.

For this year’s Labour Day, the Penang state government would like to reiterate our commitment towards a pro-poor, pro-jobs and pro-growth development policy for the people of Penang. We acknowledged the negative impact of the 1MDB financial scandal and the USD 1 billion donation scandals, leading to the drop in the value of the ringgit and the imposition of GST. GST must be abolished to curb rising inflation and higher costs of living.

Penang is a good example of a healthy financial administration with annual budget surpluses and low debt, without relying on the GST. To alleviate the financial burden of the people, a 6% discount of the assessment rates is given to all property owners for 2017. Those living in low-cost, low-medium cost and kampung houses, will be given full exemption of assessment rates for 2017.

Whilst we focus on ensuring growth and prosperity through good and clean governance, building infrastructure and human talent, the poor shall not be forgotten. We devote 12 percent of our budget annually in cash aid paying out RM412 million in cash to 1.6 million Penangites since 2008. We even guarantee a minimum monthly household income of RM790 by topping up the income of those who earn less than RM790.

In other words, if your monthly household income is RM600 per month, the state will pay RM190 every month. Perhaps, this is why Penang’s Gini coefficient of income inequality has been reduced from 0.42 in 2009 to 0.364 in 2014, an improvement of 13 percent over five years, as compared to the national average of 0.401.

Although national unemployment rate is 3.5%, and with the industry warning of further deterioration in 2017, Penang’s unemployment rate is only 1.6% at 2016. This is consistent with our record since 2008. Between 2008-2015, 20% more jobs were created compared to the same period from 2000-2007. Which is why, I have always invited young Malaysians from all over the country to come and work in Penang if you cannot get a job elsewhere. This is because we prioritise Malaysians for our jobs above all else.

For example, in 2012, Majlis Perbandaran Seberang Perai (MPSP) took over cleaning contracts from private contractors from 2013. These private contractors hired mostly migrant workers, with some companies having only about 5% local staff. Consequently, between 2012-2014, MPSP replaced the private contractors by hiring 2,500 Malaysians to do the job. They are paid about RM1,913 a month, which is above the minimum monthly wage of RM1,000.

The female labour participation rate of women must be increased to 60%, with Penang at 58% compared to the Malaysia’s 54%. To encourage more women in Penang to work, the state government is taking this first initiative to propose a 3 days annual paid parental leave to both mothers and fathers to look after their ill children under 12 years of age or take them to seek medical treatment. Also, the 3 days paid annual parental leave will encourage mothers to work or stay on paying jobs after marriage.

Happy Labour Day.

—-Mandarin Version—

槟州首席部长林冠英于2017年5月1日在乔治市光大发表槟州政府五一劳动节献词:

趁今年劳动节的到来,槟州政府欲在此重申对所有槟城人的承诺:我们的发展政策,会是一个重贫穷、重工作以及重成长的方针。我们了解,1MDB的金融丑闻及10亿美元的捐款丑闻迄今已经带来了负面的影响 ,致使马币狂泻也开启了消费税的实施。为解决通货膨胀及生活费节节升高的困境,废除消费税已是刻不容缓。

槟城健全的财务管理是一个楷模,在不依赖消费税的情况之下,每年都有财政盈余,而且债务低一身轻。为减轻人民的负担,我们在2017年给所有的业主的门牌税折扣6%。那些居住在廉价屋、中廉价屋以及甘榜屋者,则获得全免,完全不必缴付门牌税。

我们全心全意透过善治以及廉政的方式来促进成长与繁荣,同时广建基础设施以及提拔人才之际,我们亦没有忘记贫穷的一群。自2008年起,我们年年在财政预算案中拨出12%的预算,至今一共拨出了4亿1200万令吉的现金援助予160万名槟城人。另,若有家庭收入少于790令吉者,我们则会津贴他们,确保这些人的家庭收入达致790令吉。

换句话来说,如果你的家庭收入是每月600令吉,州政府将会每月津贴你190令吉。或许,这就是槟州的收入差距基尼系数能够从2009年的0.42掉至2014年的0.364的原因,在5年内进步了许多,比起全国的0.401,赢了整整13个百分比。

全国的失业率为3.5%,业界警告,2017年国内的失业率可能还会再攀升,即便如此,槟城2016年的失业率仅是1.6%,而且自2008年来一直维持在这数字上下。2008年至2015年期间,创造出的就业机会比2000年至2007年的多出20%。这也是为何我一直邀请国内在其他地方找不到工作的年青人过来槟城上班。在槟城,我们一直都以马来西亚人为优先。

举例来说,威省市政局在2012年结束了和私人承包商的清洁合约,并在2013年开始,由自己接手处理。事缘这些私人承包商多数聘请外国客工工作,有些公司甚至只有5%的本地员工。在威省市政局接手清洁工作后,2012年至2014年期间,共聘请了2500名本地人工作。他们的月入为1913令吉,比起每月最低薪资的1000令吉还要来得高。

未来,我们亦期许女性劳动力的参与率可以提高至60%,目前,全国的女性劳动力参与率为54%,槟城则是58%。为鼓励更多女性投入职场,槟州政府在较早前建议让父母享有3天的带薪育儿假,以便当12岁以下的孩童生病时,家长可以照顾或带他们去看病。这将鼓励妈妈们在结婚生子后,继续投入职场,贡献劳力。

最后,祝大家劳动节快乐。

林冠英

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