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MITI Just Pointed That Malaysian Workers ARE Productive

MITI Just Pointed That Malaysian Workers ARE Productive

Kirat Kaur

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Earlier this week, the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) caused quite a stir when it claimed that many businesses will go under if the living wage in urban cities is set at RM2,700 per month.

MEF executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan told Sinar Harian that wage increments must be in line with employees’ productivity and level of professionalism.

While his statement raised the hackles of Malaysians online and worker’s union groups including the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC), it turns out that the International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) just proved that Malaysian workers are indeed underpaid.

In a tweet on 1st July, MITI released data from the 27th National Productivity Report 2020 by Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) that showed the national labour productivity actually grew by 2.2% in 2019.

Based on the productivity report, the average Malaysian employee creates RM40.60 of value for every hour worked, which adds up to RM6,496 for a month of work (8 hours/day, 5 days/week).

The report even specifically states that Malaysia’s labour productivity has maintained a steady growth over recent years.

Malaysia’s labour productivity performance (GDP per employment) from 2015 to 2019.
(Credit: 27th National Productivity Report 2020)

Even the Statistics Department (DOSM) noted in their Malaysian Economic Statistics Review Vol. 1/2020 Report that the value added per hour worked is RM40.

Many online were quick to note the vast difference in this value compared to the national minimum wage of RM1,200.

A 2016 report by Bank Negara Malaysia revealed that the minimum living wage for a single adult in an urban area is RM2,700, over twice the current minimum wage.


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