KUALA LUMPUR, March 19 — The government has increased the minimum wage to RM1,500 per month and it will be implemented nationwide for certain companies effective May 1, said Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

The prime minister said the new minimum wage would initially apply to big companies and government-linked companies (GLCs).

“For micro companies with few workers and low income, the Human Resources Minister (Datuk Seri M. Saravanan) will discuss with Tan Sri Noh Omar (Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister) to seek a postponement (of enforcement) for these small firms,” said Ismail Sabri, who is an UMNO vice-president.

Ismail announced this when winding up the debate at the UMNO general assembly 2021 here today.

The minimum wage was last revised on Feb 1, 2020, when it was increased by RM100 to RM1,200 during the tabling of the Budget 2020.

At the same session, Ismail Sabri also announced that proposed amendments to the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342) would no longer be tabled in Parliament.

After considering the views of the UMNO supreme council (MT), it had been decided that the compound rates in the act would be maintained, he said.

“(Under) Act 342 on control of infectious diseases, the (proposed) RM10,000 fine for individuals breaching SOP (standard operating procedure) and RM50,000 for companies will not be brought to Parliament and the old act will stay with the fine maintained at RM1,000,” said Ismail Sabri.

The bill to amend Act 342 was tabled for first reading by Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin in December last year to among others increase the compound for violation of SOP from RM1,000 to RM10,000 for individuals and to RM50,000 for companies.

The bill was due to be tabled for second reading at the current Dewan Rakyat meeting, which ends on March 24.

Ismail Sabri also stressed on the protection given to women, including in alimony cases they won in court.

“We have decided that banks would freeze the accounts of former husbands who did not pay alimony. After the ruling has been obtained, the bank will make a direct deduction from the ex-husband’s account. If the rate is RM1,000, for example, the bank will deduct it directly and pay to the former wife,” he said.

He said recently widowed women would be allowed to work from home during edah (waiting period of four months and 10 days) and employers cannot force them to work from office during that period.

The prime minister also reiterated that the government would always stand firm in upholding and defending the country’s sovereignty and Sabah’s position in Malaysia.

“We will file applications in court in Paris, France to set aside whatever claims made by the Sulu Sultan,” he said.

“As a party which fought for independence, UMNO will never pawn the country’s sovereignty to those who are daydreaming,” he said.


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