He said his Ministry will try its best to resolve the problem but will not act as a mediator in the discussion between the two parties.
This is a most ridiculous position for the Human Resources Minister to take. When he meets the MTUC officials tomorrow on its proposed nation-wide picketing on May 12, Fong should uphold the law and make clear that employers will be breaking the law if they deduct employees’ EPF contribution by 2% from April 1 when there is no gazette of the Ministerial order varying the statutory minimum contribution from 11% to 9% with effect from April 1.
Fong should realise that he would become a laughing stock at the 15th ASEAN Labour Ministers’ Meeting in Kuala Lumpur on May 12 if he dare not as Human Resources Minister state the plain truth - that employers will be breaking the law if they proceed to deduct employees’ EPF contribution by two per cent when the statutory minimum contribution of 11% has not been varied by a Ministerial order which is required to be gazetted by Section 74 of the EPF Act 1991.
As the Finance Minister, Tun Daim Zainuddin had not signed and gazetted such a Ministerial order to vary the EPF rate of contributions under the Third Schedule of the EPF Act, employers are still bound by the present EPF Act stipulating that the statutory minimum EPF contribution for workers is 11%.
Even if Daim’s Ministerial order is gazetted on the last day of April tomorrow, it can only affect employees’ EPF contribution from May 1 as there is no provision in the EPF Act 1991 to give the Minister the power to give retrospective effect to variations to the rate of EPF contributions.
All employers in the country should be forewarned that they will be breaking the law and opening themselves up to actions to be taken by workers if they deduct employees’ EPF contribution by 2% from April 1 when there is no gazette of the Ministerial order and this is what Fong should be publicly declaring in his meeting with the MTUC officials tomorrow.