Forward    Feedback    


How can the government justify increasing the fines for losing MyKad by 10 times to RM 100 when it refuses to raise the minimum wage to RM 900 as inappropriate and unaffordable?


Press Statement

by Lim Guan Eng



(Petaling Jaya, Saturday): DAP can not comprehend how the government can justify increasing their fines for losing MyKad by 10 times to RM 100 when it refuses to raise the minimum wage to RM 900 as inappropriate and unaffordable. Worse, those who lose their MyKad for the second and third time or more will have to cough up RM200 and RM300 respectively. 

Currently, those who lose their MyKad for the second time have to pay a fine of RM20, RM50 for the third time, and RM100 for the fourth time and more. No one wants to lose their MyKad as they will face the inconvenience of renewing their Mykad. DAP opposes such heavy fines of up to RM300, which is no different from being punished a second time and completely inappropriate to the offence. 

The question is whether the government is behaving responsibly by refusing Malaysian Trade Union Congress’(MTUC) demands for a minimum wage of RM 900 and Cost of Living Allowance(COLA) of RM 300 for private sector workers. Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Bakar had said the government could not agree to a minimum wage across the board for the private sector as it could jeopardise the country’s economy and investment climate, employers’ affordability and employees’ productivity. He even accused the MTUC has a hidden agenda, was influenced by the opposition and that foreign workers would be accorded the same salary scale as locals. 

How can the workers’ just demands for RM 1200 minimum wage be considered against the well-being of workers and their employees when it is to their benefit? If the government is so worried about foreign workers, certain exemptions can be imposed. The government has a duty not only to create wealth but also distribute wealth equitably to all Malaysians to ensure that no one is left out of the mainstream of economic development. 

Unfortunately there is a large group of Malaysians who are marginalized economically. According to the Ninth Malaysian Plan (9MP), there are at least 40% of Malaysian households that do not earn the average household monthly income of RM 3,249, who are victims of BN‘s failure at wealth distribution.  

The United Nations Human Development Report has consistently placed Malaysia as the country with the worst income inequality between the rich and poor in South East Asia. This is acknowledged by the 9MP that the income share of the bottom 40% of households decreased from 14% in 1999 to 13.5% in 2004 while that of the top  20% of households increased from 50.5% to 51.2%. Clearly this bottom 40% of households do not earn the average household monthly income of RM 3,249.               

DAP considers it a failure of BN’s economic policy of equitable wealth distribution that such a significant number of Malaysians do not enjoy their rightful share are left out of the economic mainstream. The Singapore government’s annual budget gives out S$2,000 to poor families and there is no reason why the Malaysian government can not do so.  

So long as the government refuses to use Petronas huge profits, amounting to RM 76.3 billion in pre-tax profits last year to redress this socio-economic injustice and income disparity, there is no reason for them not to approve the minimum wage and COLA.  

DAP can not accept such failure of wealth distribution where only the rich prosper whilst the vast majority are marginalized. RM3,249 is the national average monthly household income. The income disparity is higher in states of Selangor and Federal Territory with average monthly household of RM 5,175 and RM 5,011 respectively in 2004. Does every family in Selangor or Federal Territory earn more than RM 5.000 monthly? The failure of the government to support MTUC claims for a minimum wage only proves that the BN government is no longer on the side of the workers.



* Lim Guan Eng, Secretary-General of DAP

Your e-mail:

Your name: 

Your friend's e-mail: 

Your friend's name: