The price of fuel went up, the price of flour went up and so are many other daily household items. But the Minister of Human Resources Dr Fong Chan Onn called on MTCU to drop its demand as it would lead to the country losing its competitive edge.
Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of HR Abdul Rahman reportedly dismissed the pickets held on Monday by MTUC as not representing the voice of all union members as only 6,417 of the three million members had participated.
The deputy minister also said that enforcing a minimum wage and giving cost of living allowance was impossible and unfair in certain sectors such as the small and medium industries and domestic helpers as this was beyond the means of employers.
Over the years, the government is undeniably too pro-business and pro-investors. Policy makers have neglected the needs and interests of the workers. In many industries, especially hospitality, basic wages are far too low. As a result, many of the workers have to depend on OT to survive.
With rising cost of living, the government had increased the salary and COLA of public sector workers. It has to be consistent in supporting a similar increase in the private sector. A total of 10.8 million workers deserved to be better remunerated.