Call in trade unions and workers countrywide to protest against EPF management of workers’ EPF funds without meaningful accountability

By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Malacca On Thursday, 3.7.1986:

Call in trade unions and workers countrywide to protest against EPF management of workers’ EPF funds without meaningful accountability

I commend PUIC for planning picketing outside EPF headquarters in Petaling Jaya on Monday, July 7, to protest against the investment policies and decisions. This is necessary to demand greater and more meaningful accountability of the EPF Board and the Government in the management of the $2.5 billion funds of the five million EPF contributers.

The explanation by the new EPF Chairman, Tan Sri Bain Azraai, on Monday did not dispel doubts and queries about the propriety and wisdom if various decisions with regard to EPF funds speculating in stocks and shares. And what is shocking, it is now clear chat such dabbling in stocks and shares with EPF funds were made without the knowledge, consent or authority of the EPF Board which, under the EPF Act 1951,was the highest decisions-making body over EPF funds.

In its eagerness to use EPF funds to prop up the stock market, the Government by-passed the EPF Board, which had workers’ representatives, and directed the EPF Investment Panel to use EPF funds for a purpose which was unlawful, as completely outside the EPF Act 1951.The EPF funds were never meant to be used to operate as a broker or building agent fir share transactions for other companies-not even a 12 government company, HAKUWASA.

The Deputy MCA President, Datuk Dr.Ling Liong Sik, said there in nothing ‘sinister’ in the purchase of share by the EPF and that the people have been given an honest reply by Tan Sri Bain Azraai.

The reaction of MCA leaders to Barisan Nasional scandals are stereotype, for even to Dr.Ling and the MCA leaders, there is nothing ‘sinister’ in the 12.5 billion EPF scandal, the Panel Scandal which caused the stock exchange of two countries to close down for three day, the $200million EPF scandal, the UMBC Scandal. In the case of the EPF scandal, Datuk Dr.Ling was at one time Deputy Finance Minister, and he was even more reason to defend and help cover up the EPF improprieties.

It is clear that various illegalities had been committed in the improper use of EPF funds for stick market speculation, such as the EPF loss of 10 million to Hakuwasa, the use of EPF funds to speculate in shares without authority of the EPF Board, the unlawful take-over of the power of the EPF Board by the Ministry of Finance in the management of EPF funds, etc.

Trade unions and workers throughout the country must protest against improper EPF management of their contributions, either by picketting, marches, signature petitions, meetings, or any other form.

DAP lawyers are meanwhile working on the EPF case to take the EPF and the Ministry of Finance to court for unlawful use the EPF funds. This will also be a test case as to whether the workers can hold the EPF Board to meaningful accountability, for we will also in the legal case, demand that the EPF disclose a full list of its share purchase, the price bought and sold, and the reason for each purchase.