Highlights:

  1. FMM urges government to share minimum wage increase with employers
  2. Over 100 industry bodies urge government to extend deadline for foreign workers
  3. Deloitte earmarks an additional US$321m investment in the Asia Pacific market
  4. Koreas to build new economic map after denuclearisation

FMM urges government to share minimum wage increase with employers

The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) has urged the government to share the increase in minimum wage with the employers. It suggested that the current minimum wage rate should not increase immediately to RM1,500 but spread over a five-year period with the first increase in 2019. “However, the intention to standardise the minimum wage rates in Sabah and Sarawak with the peninsula should be reviewed as the two states would not be able to sustain the significant increase,” it said in a statement today. Concurrently, the allowable monthly housing deduction for foreign worker should be increased from RM50 to RM150, it added. The FMM has also proposed the government to implement a multi-tiered (market-based) levy mechanism including ploughing back levy collected to support the industry’s automation and adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies, but in the meantime, the levy burden should revert back to foreign workers.

Over 100 industry bodies urge government to extend deadline for foreign workers

Over 100 industry associations and chambers have appealed to the government to extend the legalisation deadline for foreign workers and suspend the on-going raids. The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) said that 109 trade bodies had jointly submitted the appeal to the Ministers of Home Affairs and Human Resources over the foreign workers rehiring programme and minimum wages issue. In its three points request, it called for an extension of legalisation period for six months based on the 6P Amnesty programme conditions, suspension of on-going raids until the legalisation process is completed and any proposed increase in minimum wage rate to take effect only in 2019. The FMM said there was a lot of disruptions following the termination of the rehiring programme on June 30, 2018 and the immediate launch of Ops Mega 3.0. The nationwide crackdown to detain illegal foreign workers had affected genuine employers whose applications to legalise workers had been delayed, mainly by third party agents. These employers, it said, were badly affected and their business operations disrupted. They requested applications be handled directly by and submitted to Immigration counters nationwide, or online if a system is available.

Deloitte earmarks an additional US$321m investment in the Asia Pacific market

Deloitte has announced that its geographies in Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and Southeast Asia are coming together to create Deloitte Asia Pacific. This move will allow for greater investment and focus on Deloitte clients in the region. Together, the five geographies are expected to generate a combined investment of US$321m over the next three years. The investment will enhance Deloitte’s ability to serve global, national and private market clients by enhancing service capabilities and increasing talent resources. The new structure will come into effect on 1 September 2018, and the five geographies collectively will have almost 44,500 professionals, with the potential to create a US$10b business by 2022. Announcing Deloitte Asia Pacific, Cindy Hook, Deloitte Asia Pacific Chief Executive Officer, said, “This is an exciting move for Deloitte in the Asia Pacific region – the fastest growing region in the Deloitte network. The increased investment will also support our growing teams of professionals, equipping them with the resources to deliver first-class service to clients, while also providing immense career development opportunities to help us to attract, develop and retain the very best talent the region has to offer. Our aspiration over the next few years is for Deloitte Asia Pacific to become the undisputed leader in professional services in the region.”

Koreas to build new economic map after denuclearisation

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has urged North Korea and the United States to move forward on a pact to end Pyongyang’s nuclear programme, as a lack of firm steps by the North raised questions about its commitment to its pledge. He said South Korea is willing to build an economic community with North Korea once the effort to root out Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions is completed. “If North Korea carves out specific implementation measures for denuclearisation and if South Korea and US respond quickly with corresponding comprehensive measures, the process will move faster,” he said. “The Korean government will work to establish a peace regime as early as possible so that economic cooperation can begin.” At a summit in Singapore last month, US President Donald Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un pledged to work towards complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and ease tension between their countries.