Halim Ali should explain the outcome of EPF Board consideration of DAP
proposal two years ago for a new EPF policy on accountability and
by Lim Kit Siang
Wednesday): News reports that the
Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is about to declare the lowest dividend in 40
years of below 5% for 2002 has raised anew public concerns about the
efficiency, competence, accountability, transparency and integrity of EPF
stewardship of RM140 billion of savings of 10.3 million EPF contributors.
Two years ago, a high-level DAP delegation met the EPF Chairman, Tan Sri
Abdul Halim Ali, and other top EPF officers where we expressed the concerns
of the EPF contributors about (i) the lowest dividend in 25 years when EPF
declared 6% as dividend for 2000; (ii) need for greater accountability and
transparency by EPF; (iii) a mechanism for the then 9.7 million EPF members
to interact with the EPF Board and Management on their concerns and views on
EPF investments and policies; and (iv) EPF's participation in the RM1.88
billion Time dotCom initial public offering (IPO) fiasco.
At the meeting on March 21, 2001, Halim undertook to bring to the EPF Board
for consideration the DAP proposal for a new EPF policy on accountability
and transparency in order to restore public confidence in the EPF.
Two years have passed, and the EPF dividend had kept nose-diving, to 5% for
2001 and now expected to be between 4.5% and 4.8% for 2002.
But there has been deafening silence from Halim and the EPF on the outcome
of the DAP's proposal for a new EPF policy on accountability and
transparency to restore public confidence, as making public its share
dealings in the stock market and beneficiaries of its loans.
Halim should declare publicly whether he had kept his promise to DAP leaders
two years ago to bring up the DAP proposal on EPF accountability and
transparency for consideration by the EPF Board and its decision.
If it is true that EPF would be declaring the lowest dividend in 40 years of
below 5% for 2002, then the Cabinet should address five issues:
a full and satisfactory explanation for the EPF declaring the
lowest dividend in 40 ears of below 5% for 2002, to convince the 10.3
million EPF contributors that this was not because of imprudent equity
investments, bad loan decisions or bail-out operations gone wrong;
amendment of the 1991 EPF Act to allow for direct
representation of EPF contributors on the EPF Board and EPF Investment
a new EPF policy on accountability and transparency, as making
public its shares dealings in the stock market and beneficiaries of its
a mechanism for interaction between the 10 million EPF
contributors and the EPF Board and Management; and
"green light" for establishment of an EPF Contributors'
At present, although there are workers' representatives on the
EPF Board, they are not represented on the EPF Investment Panel.
Furthermore, the six trade union representatives on the EPF Board are mostly
kept in the dark about the share dealings of the EPF Investment Panel.
EPF has a history since the eighties of using EPF monies to
jack up the stock market, resulting frequently with the fingers of the
millions of EPF contributors being burnt and up to now, there is still no
accountability whether as to the huge sums lost or disciplinary actions
against those behind such irresponsible decisions.
The time has come for the Cabinet to send out a strong message
that there should be greater accountability, transparency and good
governance in the EPF by giving the "green light" for the establishment of
an EPF Contributors' Association to protect the rights and interests of the
10 million EPF contributors, with powers to hold the EPF Board and EPF
Investment Panel to account through periodic meetings for the propriety,
probity and profitability of all EPF decisions.
Lim Kit Siang, DAP National