Lenka’s “The Show” ends with “I want my money back”. Yes EPF, I want the money you have invested in Valuecap - back!
A few hours after it was reported in MI on 28 July 2009 that “EPF to loan RM5b to Prokhas”, the social security institution formed according to the Laws of Malaysia, Employees Provident Fund Act 1991 (Act 452), “which provides retirement benefits for members through management of their savings in an efficient and reliable manner”, denies talks with Prokhas.
Though MoF was claimed to have provided a whopping RM10.0 B to Prokhas for the said guarantee packages, one would wonder why they need another RM5.0 Billion LOAN? But then why EPF Loan when Prokhas is to provide guarantees? Smell something fishy? I am disturbed after reading Mr. Simon Templar’s opinion here and here.
Our businessmen would cheer up as these guarantee packages could assist them securing financing during this cruel credit crunch – well, bankers are fair-weathered friends after all. However, to almost 12 Million EPF contributors, I am sure we feel cheated. Too many a time, our hard-earned money is used to ‘medicate’ self-centric ailing companies, while normal people are left unassisted but to seek Ah-Longs.
With ever-rising cost of living and inflation rate, thanks to people-unfriendly economic policies, and our old-age savings are constantly invested in this ‘adik beradik investment’, do you think we could survive later in life? There is no way we could, looking at dismal EPF dividend rates
It is alarming to notice lately that our GLCs are not doing well , the entrusted local institutions are not liquid enough to continue supporting the SME businesses as International banks are allowed to provide micro-credit financing, and there seems a trend in this Ibu Pertiwi to set up new entity to ‘exert desktop control’ on existing agencies dealing with SME. So, now you know why the Government has to go to our ‘piggy banks’ like EPF, KWAP, etc. for financial assistance.
While doing this post, I came across Uncle Kit’s speech on 2008 Budget in Parliament back in September 2007, “DAP proposed “FairWage” as an integral component of a new national policy in promoting social justice. FairWage has a 3-prong strategy for implementation: -
1. To increase that take-home pay, workers will contribute a lower rate to the EPF. For with pay below RM900 per month, employee contribution to the fund will be waived while for those with income of not more than RM1,400 per month, the employee’s contribution to EPF shall be reduced from the current 11% to 5%.
2. To make them more employable, employers will reduce their rate of contribution to the EPF. For workers above the age of 35 to 55, earning between RM900 to RM1,400 per month, the employer contribution shall remain at the current 12%. For those earning less than RM900 per month in the same age group, the employer contribution shall decline to 10%.
3. To compensate for the above, the Government will give workers FairWage income supplements to achieve a higher level of income. For workers aged 45 and above, receiving monthly income below RM900 per month, they will receive an annual income supplement of RM2,400. For those workers above the age of 35 earning less than RM1,400 per month will receive RM1,600 per annum. Of the supplement, a quarter shall be in cash form, while the balance will be channeled into the EPF accounts. By channeling a larger portion into the EPF, it will help the workers save for their future needs. An additional 10% on top of the income supplement shall be applied to those who live in the Klang Valley, Johor Bahru as well as on the Penang Island to cope with the higher cost of living.
I think this is a feasible idea and I sincerely hope the Government of the day would take it up, although it came from the Opposition as Gandhi-Ji says “We must always seek to ally ourselves with that part of the enemy that knows what is right”.
This is part of social justice for your people and please do it as soon as possible since “the longer you delay, the more your sin gets strength and rooting” and Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra quotes “delay always breeds danger and to protract a great design is often to ruin it”.