Chan Kong Choy should disclose the true position of EPF exposure to PN4 companies and the losses incurred
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Friday): Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Chan Kong Choy said in Kota Baru yesterday that the government was prepared to look into the investment policies of the Employees Provident Fund from time to time to boost its earnings and give higher dividend to contributors. He said the government was very open with regard to this aspect.
This is another example of meaningless Barisan Nasional-speak, which promises absolutely nothing. Chan’s statement that the government is prepared to look into the EPF investment policies to ensure better returns says nothing about the government’s intention, only his preparedness to make such a meaningless statement.
Furthermore, Chan did not seem to realize that the implication of his statement was that the government had not been doing its duty to ensure that the EPF did a good and professional job in management and investment of the RM203 billion EPF funds of the 10.3 million EPF contributors.
For a start, if Chan is serious about the government’s responsibility of accountability and transparency to the EPF contributors, then let him disclose the real position of EPF’s exposure to PN4 (problematic) companies and the losses incurred as a result.
On Wednesday, Deputy Finance Minister, Datuk Dr. Shafie Mohd. Salleh told the Dewan Negara that loans taken out by the 95 PN4 companies totaled RM34.4 billion.
It is open secret that EPF had investments in PN4 companies and the 10.3 million EPF contributors are entitled to know the true position of EPF’s exposure, together with a full list of the PN4 companies concerned and the amount of investments in peril.
It is most shocking that the Malaysian Trades Union Congress President, Senator Datuk Zainal Rampak, who was a member of the EPF Board, was not present at the important EPF Board meeting which decided in declaring the lowest dividend in 40 years for last year – 4.25 per cent.
Zainal owes a full and satisfactory explanation not only to the MTUC members but also to the 10.3 million EPF members why he absented himself from the important EPF Board meeting to decide on the EPF dividend for last year, which cannot but affect his credibility in his present opposition to the EPF dividend.
A good venue for Zainal to explain why he did not attend the important EPF Board meeting deciding on the lowest EPF dividend in 40 years would be the public forum “Lowest dividend in 40 years - what is the future of EPF" at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, Kuala Lumpur on Monday, 28th April 2003 at 8 p.m.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman