Raise the pay, end the discrimination, key demand for May Day rally

Raise the pay, end the discrimination, key demand for May Day rally

KUALA LUMPUR: The May Day rally this year would be held with the theme: Raise the pay, end the discrimination.

This was announced by the May 1 Committee, a coalition of civil society that has been organising May Day rallies for the past 25 years.

What makes this year’s rally more significant is the fact that it marks the 100th year celebration.

The key issue being raised in this year’s rally will be a salary hike.

The committee has a total of 22 demands. The top five demands are as follows:

  • A minimum pay of RM1800 with cost of living allowance, 
  • migrant workers rights, 
  • comfortable housing, 
  • graduates rights for better salary and free education
  • End to Prevention of Crime Act, Prevention of Terrorism Act, Security Offences (Special Measures) Act and the Sedition Act

“Despite having a labour intensive economy, Malaysia paid its labour force 35.2% lesser than the GDP and the national pay scale 52.7%, Bank Negara in its 2018 report stated,” May 1 committee member E Nalini said at the press meet held in Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall.

The rally is scheduled to begin at 10.30am from Maju Junction to Medan Pasar, covering a distance of 2.5 km with national human rights commission, Suhakam and Bar Council monitoring the rally.

Syazwani Mahmud, a committee member who is also with Malaysia Muda highlighted the need to champion social, economic and cultural rights.

“Graduates pay have declined but the cost of living is up. A survey revealed that 77% workers feel their income gap is up.

“If graduates today don’t demand, they will be affected because they are the workers tomorrow,” she said.

Workers activist, S Koyil Vani also echoed similar sentiments.

“How do you expect workers to save? You get RM1100. With EPF deduction you can’t bring back that amount,” she said in reference to the current minimum wage.

She also called for more worker unions to be established so that workers can negotiate for salary.

Another committee member, S Arutchelvan meanwhile told the press that he is expecting a 1,000 crowd to be attending the rally that would take place on a Wednesday.

“The police have been notified 12 days before hand. I would like to advice the participants to bring drinking water because the weather is very hot,” he said.

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