Malaysian PM vows minimum wage hike ahead of general election hinh anh 1Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Kuala Lumpur (VNA) - Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has pledged to raise the minimum wage this year if he wins the general election on May 9, adding to a range of promises to voters as he faces a resurgent opposition.

PM Najib told a Labour Day rally on May 1 that he would raise the minimum wage from the current 1,000 ringgit (255 USD) per month in peninsular Malaysia and 920 ringgit in the eastern states of Sabah and Sarawak, if his coalition wins the polls.

The Malaysian PM also announced 200 million ringgit for a skilled workers programme, an additional 60 million ringgit allocation for an insurance plan for retrenched workers and better maternity benefits for private sector workers.

He said this was all part of his administration's efforts to better the lot of the country's workers over his nine years in charge.

On April 6, PM Najib declared the dissolution of the parliament to pave the way for the general election.

The upcoming general election is arguably the toughest faced by Najib's undefeated coalition which has ruled the country since 1957.

Besides challenges from 92-year-old ex-Prime Minister Mohamad Mahathir, who now leads an opposition alliance united in the goal of unseating the PM and his Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, Najib is also grappling with a multi-billion dollar scandal at state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and anger over rising living costs.-VNA