MALACCA: Part of the husband’s Employee Provident Fund (EPF) savings should be turned into harta sepencarian (joint property of the couple), said Women and Family Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.
In the proposal submitted to the Cabinet, Shahrizat said a committee would be set up to study the matter soon.
The proposal would help the family institution, especially poor women who did not have jobs, when they lost their husbands, Shahrizat told reporters after opening the Program Bicara Minda sponsored by the Malacca Women Development Council at Sri Negri yesterday.
“Imagine a housewife married for 20 years who is suddenly divorced and her husband remarries.
“After a month, the former husband dies and the first wife does not receive anything because of the divorce although they had lived together for 20 years,” she said.
Second Finance Minister Datuk Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis, Ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim and Datuk Abdul Hamid Zainal Abidin would sit in the committee.
Shahrizat said the committee would study the existing laws to ensure unemployed single women were protected and people did not abuse the EPF savings.
“There have been cases where the husband names a person outside the family as the beneficiary of his EPF savings upon his death.
“Due to this, EPF always issues reminders to update their beneficiaries,” she said.
Shahrizat also requested the EPF board to increase the death benefits from the current RM2,000 to RM5,000 because many women faced financial burden once their husbands died.
“With the increase, at least the financial hardship can be reduced for a month or two until the wife gets a job,” she added. – Bernama