THE new RM1,200 minimum wage will not be implemented on Jan 1,2020, unlike what was announced earlier by the Human Resources Ministry, according to the SME Association of Malaysia, reported Sin Chew Daily.

Its president Datuk Michael Kang told the newspaper that during a closed-door meeting with the ministry on Tuesday, the proposed law is said to have yet been gazetted.

He said the ministry’s deputy secretary-general Datuk Muhd Khair Razman Mohamed Annuar had assured them it would gather more information before submitting a detailed report to the Cabinet.

“Even though Razman said it (the proposed wage hike) was a Cabinet decision, it has yet to be gazetted. As such, the policy will not start on Jan 1, ” he said.

Kang said: “The policy is set to be postponed until at least Jan 8 when the Cabinet meets again.”

He warned that an abrupt increase in the minimum wage would have a huge impact across industries.

He stressed that the RM100 increase from the present RM1,100 minimum wage would not only be a boon to foreign workers but drive local workers to ask for higher wages.

“If the Pakatan Harapan government wants to fulfill its election promise to increase the minimum wage to RM1,500 during its first term, it should absorb 50% of the increase in cost incurred by businesses, ” said Kang.

“If this is not possible, the government should postpone the implementation.”

The ministry had announced that the monthly minimum wage would be raised to RM1,200 on Jan 1 in major towns under 57 city and municipal councils.

This follows the tabling of Budget 2020 and a decision made by the Cabinet on Dec 6.