Challenge to Abdullah to commission an
independent inquiry to ascertain whether the 4.25 per cent EPF dividend for
last year was "the best EPF can offer under the circumstances"
by Lim Kit Siang
"Be thankful for little mercies" response of Acting Prime Minister, Datuk
Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (The Star) for the lowest Employees Provident
Fund (EPF) dividend of 4.25 per cent declared for last year is most
deplorable, unacceptable and unworthy of the next Prime Minister of
Malaysia, cutting off Abdullah from the hopes, fears and concerns of 10.3
million EPF contributors, representing a substantial majority of working
Abdullah reiterated that the 4.25 per cent was "the best that the EPF can
offer under the circumstances". DAP challenges Abdullah to commission an
independent inquiry to ascertain whether the 4.25 per cent EPF dividend last
year was "the best EPF can offer under the circumstances".
Alternatively, Abdullah should direct the EPF to open all its books, records
and accounts to a panel representing the 10.3 million EPF contributors to
inquire as to whether the 4.25 EPF dividend last year was "the best under
Abdullah said yesterday that the EPF had initially decided on a 4 per cent
dividend for last year, but later increased it to 4.25 per cent considering
This has given credence to the statement by the MTUC President, Datuk Zainal
Rampak on Saturday that as EPF Board member, he had been told that the EPF
dividend for this year would be even lower and below 4 per cent, and that he
was worried that before long, the EPF dividend would be plunging to the
statutory minimum of 2.5 per cent.
DAP cannot accept the 4.25 EPF dividend for last year and less than 4 per
cent dividend for this year, as EPF is capable of paying higher dividends
despite the difficult investment environment and a low interest rate regime.
The problem of the low dividend stems from EPF mismanagement, particularly
in shares investments, resulting in the EPF suffering some RM10 billion of
"paper losses" which have now to be paid with the hard-earned cash of the
life-savings of the 10.3 million EPF contributors.
If EPF did not have to write off RM2.14 billion last year for "paper losses"
for equity, the EPF dividend for last year should be at least 5.43 per cent
and not 4.25 per cent.
The 10.3 million EPF contributors are entitled to know how the outstanding
multi-billion ringgit "paper losses" from equity would depress the EPF
dividends this year and the next few years, and why EPF made the imprudent
decisions to invest in such shares.
Lim Kit Siang, DAP National