Daily Highlights: 4 June 2018

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Highlights:

  1. Minimum wage for private sector to be announced in August
  2. More employers expected to be charged for hiring illegal workers
  3. Selangor civil servants to get one month Hari Raya bonus
  4. Singapore and Slovenia are the world’s best countries for children to grow up in
  5. Airlines profits to slide this year on higher fuel and labour costs

August announcement on minimum wage for private sector
Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegara said the government would announce the new minimum salary for the private sector by August. He said the National Wage Council (MPGN), a tripartite body, would meet on June 13 to deliberate on the review of the Minimum Wages Order 2016. He said the MPGN meeting would take into account recommendations on minimum wage and other relevant matters, to fulfil Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto. “After the meeting, the ministry will prepare a Cabinet Memorandum for the government to make a decision,” he told reporters in Putrajaya. Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto stated that the upper limit for the minimum wage is RM1500. The current minimum wage rate is RM1,000 for Peninsular Malaysia and RM920 for Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan.

On the hiring of illegal workers, the Minister expects more employers to be charged for violating immigration laws to hire illegal foreign workers. He added that officers from his Ministry have already begun cracking down on businesses which employ such workers. “You will soon hear that many employers will be charged for violating laws,” he said, adding that the government has increased enforcement efforts to weed out illegal workers. “The enforcement part of it, to me there are only two priorities in my ministry. Number one, zero corruption, number two enforcement must be meticulous,” he said, also warning errant employers to not forsake the law for profit.

Selangor civil servants get Aidilfitri payment of one month’s salary
Selangor civil servants will be getting an Aidilfitri special payment of a month’s salary. Selangor Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said the payment for the state’s 17,109 civil servants involved a total sum of RM31.2 million. He also said that the 755 civil servants of seven federal agencies in the state would be paid RM1,000 each, also on June 25.

Singapore and Slovenia are the world’s best countries for children to grow up in
A report published by non-governmental organisation Save the Children named Singapore and Slovenia as the joint best country in the world for children to grow up in. The report on 175 countries saw Singapore faring well across the eight indicators – under-five mortality rate, child stunting, out-of-school children and youth, child labour, child marriage, adolescent birth rate, population displaced by conflict, and child homicide rate. Singapore scored 987 points out of a possible 1,000 in the report’s End of Childhood Index, and performed particularly well in areas such as adolescent birth rate, with only 3.8 births per 1,000 girls aged 15-19, as compared the world’s average at 50.4. Three Asian countries made it into the top 20, with South Korea, and Japan ranked eighth and 19th respectively. China was the next highest ranked Asian country at 40th, while Malaysia was the second highest ranked in South-east Asia at 67th. While Singapore emerged as the top nation in the report, Mr Michel Anglade, Save the Children’s Campaigns and Advocacy Director for Asia, told TODAY that it did not incorporate indicators such as academic stress and childhood obesity, which are areas of concerns in Singapore.

Airlines profits to slide this year on higher fuel and labour costs
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expects airlines to achieve a collective net profit of US$33.8 billion in 2018 despite rising fuel and labour costs, as well as the upturn in the interest rate cycle. In a statement today, it said rising costs were the main reasons for the downward revision from the previous net profit forecast of US$38.4 billion in December 2017. In 2017, the airlines earned US$38 billion collectively, but comparisons to this, however, were severely distorted by special accounting items such as one-off tax credits which boosted 2017 profits, it added. “Solid profitability is holding up in 2018, despite rising costs. The industry’s financial foundations are strong with a nine-year run in the black that began in 2010, and the return on invested capital will exceed the cost of capital for a fourth consecutive year,” said IATA Director General and Chief Executive Officer Alexandre de Juniac. He noted that profits were becoming a norm for airlines, enabling them to fund growth, increase employment, strengthen balance sheets and reward investors. North American airlines, with a net profit of $15 billion, will contribute the most to the industry’s earnings, apart from posting the highest margins and return on capital, IATA said. Apart from Africa, all other regions will remain profitable. Carriers in Asia Pacific, the fastest growing region in terms of passengers, will earn $8.2 billion, just behind European airlines’ $8.6 billion.

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