Bernama, October 28, 2019
A minimum wage of RM1,200 per month for a single adult living in the Klang Valley, is still below the estimated living wage, says economist Yeah Kim Leng.
The academic at Sunway University’s Business School told Bernama, it was likely that such individuals would need to have a supplementary income source to make ends meet, either by doing two jobs or deriving income from a side business.
A living wage is defined as the minimum income necessary for a worker to meet his basic needs including food, housing and other essential needs, while a minimum wage is an amount set by the authorities with the aim of protecting workers against unduly low pay.
In this connection, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, when tabling the 2020 Budget on Oct 11, recommended that the minimum wage be increased to RM1,200 a month in major cities, effective next year.
Quoting a Bank Negara Malaysia study in 2018, Yeah said that the living wage for a single adult in Kuala Lumpur stood at RM2,700 per month, RM4,500 per month for a couple without children, and RM6,500 per month for a couple with two children.
He also noted that the monthly income of RM5,344 for B40 households (bottom 40 per cent of income earners) in Kuala Lumpur in 2016, as reported by the Department of Statistics, would make it challenging for such families to afford a home, car and other consumer durables.