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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 15, 2016:

Malaysians will only enjoy a salary hike of RM25 come 2027 if the country agrees to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) next month.

Bantah TPPA deputy chairman Azlan Awang explained that the amount was based on Cost Benefit Analysis done by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on salaries if the government decides to sign the TPPA.

He said the rakyat would not only experience the minimal increase, but there will also be a reduction in average household income of RM117 from 2018 to 2027.

“It is shocking that an agreement that was touted ‘a 21st century high quality agreement of gold standard’ would make an impact on almost all existing policies and only increase monthly salaries by RM25 in 2027,” he said in a statement today.

Azlan added that when the TPPA comes into effect, it will not allow us to increase minimum salary that is currently set at RM1,000 although it is important to increase minimum wage among those who are low-income earners.

He said provisions in investment chapters, such as fair and equitable treatment (FET) clauses as well as expropriation, meant that Malaysia could not change any economical parameters that would reduce current and future investment returns.

“Actually, in current times, minimum wage in Malaysia of RM5 per hour is lower than Jakarta (RM5.40) and Manila (RM5.52) that launched their minimum wage early this year,” he said.

He added that the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) had previously made the “glorious” statement that TPPA would benefit and encourage the expansion of the textile industry that basically had low wages, was worth little, had low technology and was dependent on foreign workers.

That statement, he said, contradicted the early aspirations of the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) and the 11th Malaysia Plan of creating more sectors with higher value and higher salaries.

“If the government signs the TPPA, Malaysia will not forge ahead, but take a step back and the agreement will not bring any benefit to the rakyat in general, proving to have a trickle down effect that was said to be a myth,” he explained.

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