HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Malaysia –– one of the prominent job destinations for Nepali overseas job aspirants –– has hiked the salary of workers to Malaysian Ringgit (MR) 900 (Rs 24,981) from MR 546 (Rs 15, 154).
The increased salary for workers engaged in manufacturing, construction and service sectors is now around $300.
Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak announced the minimum wage decision late Monday, official news agency Bernama reported. However, the government set minimum wage MR 800 is only applicable for those in the states of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo. About 3.2 million workers are expected to benefit from the country’s newly announced first minimum wage policy, part of the government’s plan to transform Malaysia to a high-income nation.
Malaysia has an aim to increase its per capita income to $15,000 in 2020. It has increased its per capita income to $9,700, up from $6,700 two years back.
“The lowest-paid workers will now be guaranteed
an income that lifts them out of poverty and helps
ensure that they can meet the rising cost of living,” said Razak while announcing the revised wage. According to the rate, a worker will earn MR 4.33 (Rs 120) per hour.
The revision on minimum wage has also encouraged Nepali outsourcing agencies and workers. “The new salary scale will encourage Nepali youth to go to Malaysia,” said second vice president of Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies Kumud Khanal. “Migrant workers in Malaysia can earn above Rs 30,000 hereafter,” he said.
Outsourcing agencies have been affected by the shortage of workers as earnings in major destinations are below $200 (Rs 16,400). The Nepali government had introduced a provision on Sunday whereby the salary for Saudi bound workers has to be Rs 22,000. “Now Malaysia has become the destination with the highest salary among major job destinations,” he said.
More than 90 per cent Nepali migrant workers join jobs in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Malaysia. About 1.2 million Nepalis are believed to be working in the destinations legally including 300,000 in Malaysia.
According to Khanal, the low salary in Sabah and Sarawak will not affect Nepali workers because the states are major job places. Malaysian trade unions had demanded a minimum wage of above MR 1,100 (Rs 30,536) during negotiations which started late last year.