Wednesday, February 16, 2022

MEF'S Grouse Against Higher Minimum Wage For Migrant Workers

 Press Release By Malaysian Trade Union Congress, Penang Division - MEF'S Grouse Against Higher Minimum Wage For Migrant Workers 

The Executive Director of MEF, Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan, is reported to have said that an enhanced minimum wage would only benefit foreign workers. His argument seems to be premised upon the fact that migrant workers remit 'surplus salaries' to their home countries. It, also, seems to be his contention that, such repatriation of surplus salaries, deprives our economy from benefiting from a big portion of the wages earned by the migrant workers.

Essentially, what Shamsuddin Bardan is saying is that all migrant workers ought to spend all their salaries earned here and, in the process, neglect on their financial obligation towards their families in their countries.

Such a proposition, by the MEF, stands testimony to their uncaring disposition to the circumstances under which migrant workers seek employment overseas in a hope to uplift themselves, and their families, from the economic challenges in their home countries. It is needless to state that, no citizen of a nation would elect to leave behind their family and loved ones, their culture, culinary delights, festivities etc except for the sole purpose of eking out a living just so to sustain themselves and their families. And for MEF to have the audacity to imply that such a situation is unacceptable is complete madness! 

Values of humanity, that encompasses one's obligatory duty to the family unit, is ingrained in our society and the same values ought to be upheld in respect of migrant workers. Sadly, the MEF, fixated with viewing migrant workers as a means of production rather than humans struggling to mitigate their financial constrains, must stand accused of contempt in the matter.

In retrospect we would be inclined to tell MEF, and their associates that, if they view migrant workers as siphoning 'surplus salaries' to their home countries, stop clamouring for the services of migrant workers! In passing we wish to state that we find it repulsive, that, MEF has descended to such a cheap and inhumane approach in it's attempt to derail the enhancement of the minimum wage. To MEF we say stop your nonsensical mockery!

K. Veeriah


Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) Penang Division 

016 4184520


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