MTUC wants option shares offer

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 27 Apr 2003

PETALING JAYA: The MTUC wants the Government to offer option shares to EPF as one way to ensure that its contributors are not continually short-changed, congress president Zainal Rampak said. 

“We were told that the Government only offered option shares to investment agencies which are wholly bumiputra, but we would like to point out that two of the agencies enjoying the privilege – the Malaysian Armed Forces Pension Fund (LTAT) and Lembaga Tabung Haji – are not wholly bumiputra,'' he said. 

Not all LTAT and Tabung Haji members were bumiputras, he told reporters after outlining MTUC's plans for Workers Day celebrations on May 1. 

Zainal said EPF members deserved to be given dividends of more than 5% and that “the MTUC is not asking but demanding for the option shares.” 

The EPF earned the MTUC's wrath after it declared a dividend of 4.25% for last year compared to 5% for 2001. The last time the fund declared a dividend of less than 5% was in 1962, when it paid out 4%. 

Zainal said the MTUC would also ask that government agencies embarking on privatisation exercises borrowed money from the EPF for their expansion programmes as opposed to taking loans from off-shore financiers. 

“Why give out money by way of interest to outsiders instead of giving it to the nation's workforce through loans taken from the EPF?” asked Zainal. 

He added that the MTUC also wanted an EPF representative to be on the board of directors of every company that the fund was bailing out financially. 

On the impending picket outside all EPF offices on May 21, Zainal said MTUC officials would embark on a nationwide road show prior to the event to brief its members on the congress' stance.  

“The MTUC will prepare a memorandum for EPF's management after obtaining feedback from members at these road shows,'' said Zainal, adding that the MTUC would not compromise or settle for anything less than 5%. 

On the MTUC's Workers Day celebrations, Zainal said this year’s theme – “Global Unity For Workers' Well-Being”. 

The celebrations will take off today with preliminary football, netball and tug-of-war matches at the Kilat Club field at Jalan Pantai. 

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