WAGES are rising in tandem with the country’s consumer price index (CPI), which is a broad measure of inflation and our productivity.
Both criteria are used to determine wages here, says Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan, executive director of the Malaysian Employers Federation.
While Malaysians lament how their salaries aren’t enough to cope with soaring costs of products and services, their grouses aren’t reflected in the low CPI numbers, he says.
“Measured against the CPI, our average salary growth isn’t lagging. In the region, our salaries are second only to Singapore. Of course, you must consider the currency exchange. Singaporeans earn an average of S$3,000 (RM9,000) while Malaysians take home RM2,800 monthly.
“But bear in mind that the productivity of Singaporeans is 3.8 times higher than ours. Their per unit cost of production per employee is lower than us. In the United States, the productivity level is seven times higher than ours. So when you say we aren’t earning enough, you have to consider our productivity level too,” he states, pointing to how in some of our neighbouring countries, the average salary is less than US$100 (RM400).
However, he acknowledges that houses are beyond the reach of most – and fresh graduates in particular – and adds that even when both husband and wife work, they still may not have enough for the down payment and are forced to rent.
It’s tough, he admits, even for those who have already been working for a decade, to own a house now without financial support from parents.
news source: thestar.com.my