SHAH ALAM, 13 Jan: The proposed implementation of the cost of living allowance (COLA) of RM300 a month for private sector workers brought up by the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) can be implemented if the Federal Government is serious about reducing the burden of the cost of living.
Its Deputy President, Abdullah Sani, said that the proposal is appropriate to be carried out and all companies are required to implement it.
He said that the matter has been brought to Parliament to be discussed, however the Federal Government is not yet ready to implement it.
“Like any other COLA, if we look at its history in 1974, when the late Tun Abdul Razak made the COLA mandatory, it helped workers in terms of increasing income that is not included in the basic income.
“It is also possible if the Cabinet wants to approve it under the authority of a minister. There are provisions under the Employment Act. But if they want to be more ‘gentlemanly’ so that it can be used as a legal basis, it needs to be brought to Parliament,” he told Selangor Kini.
Previously the President of MTUC, Khalid Atan, said that it is important for the government to introduce regulations regarding the COLA to the private sector because there is almost five million workers in that sector that are currently earning about RM30 per day; just barely passing the poverty line of RM870 per month.
At this moment, the minimum wage of workers in the Peninsular is set at RM900, and RM800 for workers in Sabah and Sarawak.
The Kuala Langat Member of Parliament said that the proposal submitted by MTUC is among the alternative measures to help workers in the private sector earning a low wage in addition to facing the increase in price of goods.