A study by Khazanah Research Institute (KRI) in 2015 pointed out that T20 average household incomes rise from abour RM 9,000 to RM 16,000 between 1995 to 2016 while the income for the M40 grew only from around RM 3,000 to RM 6,000 and for B40, it went up from about RM 1,000 to RM 2,000.
This translates to a gap that is almost doubled between the top 20 per cent households (T20) versus the middle and bottom 40 per cent (M40 and B40) households, respectively.
The growing income gap
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad mentioned that a country’s development must not be measured by its Gross Dosmestic Product or the stock market but also the people’s standard of living. He also added that the income disparity in the workforce was widening.
In addition to the widening income gap, Tun M urged all of employers to have a stakeholder mindset. Pay workers or staff better if the company is making more profits.
Workers’ wages has been slow to rise
He also quoted by The Star saying that the pay for the CEOs has been increasing multiple fold, but workers’ wages has been slow to rise if not stagnant. This issue is not right for the country.
According to Tun M if the growing income gap is left unchecked, it could create tension and hostility and eventually lead to confrontation among Malaysia. We cannot have one group succeeding, dominating or monopolising everything while others lag behind – the gap must be narrowed.
If you want more pay, then be more productive
In addition to his speech, Tun M also reminded Malaysians youth to understand that if they want more pay, they have to be more productive. If you are productive, that simply because you have better education and training, thus allow you to get better pay.