The number of group organizations joining the Kuala Lumpur Chinese Assembly Hall (KLCAH) has reached 107, of which more than half, 56, are national-level group organizations, and 51 are from the Klang Valley region, this demonstrates that KLCAH now has more influence and representativeness nationwide and has gained recognition from various sectors and fields, said KLCAH President Datuk Seri Dr KK Chai.
He said that the increasing number of national-level group organizations joining KLCAH is a proud achievement and also increases KLCAH’s responsibility because they now represent the nation as a whole, not just the Klang Valley region.
“In addition to exceeding a hundred group members, we also have nearly a thousand individual members. This achievement is attributed to the collective efforts of all the committees and members of KLCAH.”
He made the announcement during the recent event organized by KLCAH. The event also welcomed 18 new group organizations joining KLCAH and issued membership certificates to them.
Dr KK Chai emphasized that the role of KLCAH is very distinct and representative. Over the past few years, including during the COVID-19 pandemic, KLCAH has not only focused on the national situation and epidemic progress but also cared about the society, and provided assistance to communities in need through the Women’s Division, Youth Division, and five committees, demonstrating a strong “power of warmth” with visible contributions recognized by all sectors.
He said that KLCAH has also actively visited various government ministries on multiple occasions, conveying the results of various public surveys, big data analysis, and the voice of the people to the highest decision-making units of the government.
“During times of political turmoil and the critical period of the pandemic, the Kuala Lumpur Chinese Assembly Hall has also played the role of a civil organization, petitioning and speaking up for the people, maintaining a firm stance, only to safeguard the rights and interests of the people and the country, and defend the country’s democracy, harmony, and diversity.”
On the EPF issue, The Kuala Lumpur Chinese Assembly Hall (KLCAH) pointed out that the United Nations Interregional Labor Organization Malaysia Liaison Committee (UNI-MLC) has urged the government to increase the employer’s contribution rate for the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) from 13% to 20% was not relevant, and this proposal is not feasible in the short term as it would have a disastrous impact on businesses and the national economy.
Businesses and employers are like a ship, and employees are the crew. When everyone is on the same ship, it is necessary to ensure that the ship can continue to sail so that the crew can survive. If only the welfare of the crew is considered without considering the survival of the entire ship, the ship will sink, resulting in a lose-lose situation, according to KLCAH.
“Business owners or employers have already been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and have not fully recovered. All businesses have not yet reached half of their pre-pandemic level. Demanding higher EPF contributions from employers at this time is unreasonable.”
KLCAH said in a statement, last year, employers faced a 25% increase in labor costs due to the minimum wage being raised from RM1,200 to RM1,500. The latest implemented of Employment (Amendment) Act 2022, which reduced the employee weekly working hours from 48 to 45 and increased maternity leave from 60 to 98 days, combined with overtime work, EPF contributions, social insurance, and many hidden costs, have already imposed a heavy burden on businesses and employers.
“The skyrocketing cost of human resources, coupled with the recent adjustment of the calculation method for commercial electricity tariffs by the government, has increased operating costs. According to data released by the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM), if the employer’s EPF contribution rate is increased to 20%, employers are estimated to bear RM2.1 billion in employment costs per month (RM24.8 billion annually).”
“The government should consider that if businesses lose profitability or close down, the government will lose tax revenue. If industries face losses or closures, employees will face the risk of layoffs and unemployment rates will immediately rise. Once the production costs of products or services increase, the prices of all products or services will inevitably skyrocket, and the burden will fall on the people again.”
Increasing costs for businesses and employers will scare away foreign investments because their investment costs will rise, KLCAH said.
“This will cause Malaysia to lose competitiveness among other countries in the region. For example, in Indonesia, the employer’s contribution to social security and provident funds is 3.7%, in Thailand it is 2.5%, and in the Philippines, it is 1%. Even the current 13% contribution rate in Malaysia is higher than these countries. Foreign investors will undoubtedly choose more favorable countries for investment, which will have a significant impact on Malaysia.”
Beside that, KLCAH also criticized PAS President Tan Sri Hadi Awang for his repeated defamatory remarks against non-Malays, following his previous accusations in August last year. KLCAH strongly condemned Hadi Awang’s actions, stating that his series of remarks targeting non-Muslims and non-Malays are destructive to the nation.
“We urge Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to take severe action against those who make such statements and prevent the spread of racist extremist rhetoric that undermines the efforts of the unity government.”
KLCAH also addressed the announcement of the British rock band Coldplay’s upcoming concert in Malaysia in November, which was welcomed by Anwar on Twitter. However, members of the PAS sang a different tune and opposed it with various misconceptions. Such actions will drag Malaysia’s international image down, making foreigners perceive Malaysia as a closed country, impacting the tourism industry and foreign investments.
“Our country welcomes all international artists to perform in Malaysia, and they can promote Malaysia. As 2025 is designated as Malaysia Tourism Year, our goal is to earn RM100 billion in revenue.”
On the unusual surge in pork prices issue, KLCAH suggested that the government should intervene, and consider to provide subsidies to stabilize the market price.
KLCAH pointed out that the price of pork may soar to RM2,000 per 100 kilograms around the Chinese Dumpling Festival. The government must intervene immediately to stabilize the price, including setting a ceiling price and providing subsidies if necessary, to ensure that pork remains affordable.
“About a year and a half ago, in January 2022, the price of pork was RM700 per 100 kilograms. But now it has increased to RM1,710, with an increase of RM1,000. As a result, the prices of cooked dishes containing pork have also soared. For example, bak kut teh used to sell RM11, but now it’s RM23.”