Whether or not to implement a policy on minimum wages for workers in Malaysia. As the owner of services-based SMEs, I don't have a problem if the Malaysian government decides to implement a policy on minimum wages. In fact, I support the idea of minimum wages.
But, I am aware that the issue is not a simple one. The Malaysian economy still depends on fairly labour-intensive industries. The primary industries sector of oil palm plantations is particularly labour-intensive. The workers are unskilled.
On the other hand, Malaysia aspires to be a Knowledge-based and Services-based economy. Our macroeconomic indicators point to the growth of Services-based industries. Workers in these sectors are semi-skilled and skilled. Extensive training is required. Even hospitality and tourism industries require some degree of certification now. This is a good thing. It ensures that there are minimum standards of services.
There is indication that the Malaysian government is taking a sensible approach of segmentation of minimum wage policies based on the peculiar labour supply-demand matrices of each economic sector. This is the correct approach. One size can never fit all.
To engender a sensible discussion on this matter (as opposed to brainless hysterics), here's a pro and con view of the matter of whether a formal minimum wage policy should be instituted. It is sourced from here.
The following table summarizes the arguments made by those for and against minimum wage laws:
Supporters of the minimum wage claim it has these effects:
Opponents of the minimum wage claim it has these effects: