The government's decision to raise the minimum wage for workers in the country in the 2016 Budget is to reduce dependence on foreign workers.

MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said it would enable more people to have the opportunity to be employed in various occupations from the aspect of industries and technologies.

"We have strive to reduce the number of foreign workers and hope that the increase in minimum wage will see local workers taking on these jobs and not depend on them," Liow, who is also Transport Minister, told reporters after officiating the Telok Kemang MCA office here today.

Also present were Telok Kemang Barisan Nasional chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad and Negeri Sembilan MCA chairman Datuk Seri Dr. Lim Chin Fui.

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He was asked to comment on the request from the Federation of Manufacturers Malaysia (FMM), which wanted the increase in minimum wage rates fixed for July 1 next year to be postponed until the economic situation stabilised.

In the 2016 Budget, the government stipulated that the minimum wage for workers in the private sector be increased from RM900 to RM1,000 per month in the peninsula and from RM800 to RM920 for those in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan.

The minimum wage is not applicable to domestic workers.

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He said the government had given sufficient period to factory operators to reduce the number of foreign workers but their number had increased instead.