Mahathir as Finance Minister should explain why he had re-appointed EPF Board and EPF Investment Panel members who had failed to pass  the EPF Code on  Corporate Governance requiring 50 per cent attendance of meetings last year

Media Statement
y Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling JayaThursday): Last Wednesday, the second Finance Minister, Datuk Jamaludin Jarjis announced the new two-year appointments for the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) Board and the EPF Investment Panel effective from June 1. 

DAP calls on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, in his capacity as Finance Minister, to explain why he had re-appointed EPF Board and EPF Investment Panel members who had failed to pass the EPF Code on Corporate Governance requiring 50 per cent attendance of meetings last year. 

For the first time in the 51-year history of EPF, its  2002 Annual Report carried a “Statement on Corporate Governance”, where it declared that the Finance Minister appoints only those who have “proven track record of integrity, ability and reliability to undertake the obligations with utmost diligence” to the EPF Board and the EPF Investment Panel. 

It said: 

“Appointments are for a period of two years, after which the Minister of Finance will review the attributes and core competencies of the Board and Panel members and evaluate their performance individually and as a whole.  The membership term of the existing members of the Board and Panel will expire on 31 May 2003”.

The EPF “Statement on Corporate Governance” started with the following declaration and commitment:

“The EPF Board recognizes that it is its fiduciary duty to ensure the affairs of the organization are conducted with utmost integrity, transparency and professionalism with the highest standards maintained throughout its operations as a fundamental part of discharging its responsibilities to protect its members’ funds. 

“Hence, the Board strives to adopt the substance in respect of the corporate governance prescriptions set out in the Malaysian Code on Corporate Governance (“the Code”) rather than the form.

“Although the Code is directed towards those corporations subjected to KLSE Rules and Regulations, the EPF Board believes that the adoption of the Code will help boost stakeholders’ confidence in the organization, whilst being ever mindful of the fact that the EPF spearheaded the formation and currently stewarding the Minority Shareholders Watchdog Body.

“The main objective of the Body is championing the rights of shareholders by promoting best practices amongst listed entities in the KLSE.  This will eventually enhance shareholders’ value. Thus, it is only befitting that the EPF itself adheres to best practices enshrined in the Code.” 

It is most unfortunate and regrettable that the EPF’s journey to live up to the principles of the  Code on Corporate Governance had started very badly on a completely wrong footing –  with the failure of EPF Board and Investment Panel members to pass the Code requiring 50 per cent attendance of meetings last year but who are still re-appointed despite the Finance Minister’s stringent review and evaluation of their “performance” and their track record of “reliability to undertake the obligations with utmost diligence”. 

The EPF 2002 Annual Report gives  the following “Details of Board and Investment Panel members’ attendance at meetings” last year: 

Attendance of Board Members between 1/1/2002 to 31/12/2002 (total number of meetings held was 6) 


1. Tan Sri Abdul Halim b Ali -                                            6 

Government’s Representatives 

1. Datuk Siti Hadzar bt Mohd Ismail -                                3

       Ahmad bin Hashim (alternate)  -                                  2

2. Datuk Dr. Syed Muhamad b. Syed Abdul Kadir -         2

       Shaharudin b. Shafie (alternate)                         -        4

3. Tan Sri Jamaluddin b. Haji Ahmad Damanhuri -           2

       Dato’ Ismail b. Adam (alternate)                         -        4

4. Datuk Haji Sukarti b. Wakiman                              -        5

       Haji Masood b. Haji Salleh (alternate)    -                    0

5. Datuk Amar Hj. Abdul Aziz bin Hj. Husain             -        4

       Haji Mohd Morshidi b. Abdul Ghani (alternate)  -       1

Employers’ Representatives 

1. Md Jafar b. Abdul Carrim                                    -           4

2. Mohamad b. Audong                                            -           5

3. Jen. (B) Tan Sri Zain bin Hashim                        -           5

4. Datuk Haji Ahmad Ali b. Lope Abdul Aziz         -           5

5. Haji Jayadi b. Nawawi                                          -           5 

Employees’ Representatives 

1. Senator Zainal Rampak                                       -           2

2. Dato’ N. Siva Subramaniam                               -           5

3. Mohamed Shafie BP Mammal                            -           5

4. Andrew Lo Kian Nyan                                          -           6

5. Rebecca Chin Yung Chiew                                  -           5 

Professional Representatives 

1. Datuk Dr. Mokhzani b. Abdul Rahman               -           3

2. Cheah Tek Kuang                                                 -           3

3. Professor Dr. Mansor b. Md Isa                           -           2

     (from 15 May 2002 to14 February 2003/sabbatical leave) 


Datuk Azlan Zainol (Chief Executive Officer)         -           6 

Attendance of Investment Panel Members between 1.1.2002 to 31/12/2002 ( the total number of meetings held was 15) 

1. Tan Sri Abdul Halim b Ali                                     -           15

2. Dato’ Mohd Razif b. Abd. Kadir                          -           12

3. Datuk Siti Hadzar bt. Mohd Ismail                      -           12

4. Raja Datuk Arshad b. Raja Tun Uda                  -           12

5. Datuk Amirsham b. Abd Aziz                              -             6

6. Raja Dato’ Seri Aman bin Raja Haji Ahmad     -           11

7. Datuk Azlan Zainol                                                -           14


From the above attendance records, the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC)President Senator Datuk Zainal Rampak was the only EPF Board member to fail to pass the Corporate Governance Code of 50 per cent attendance of EPF Board meetings,  attending only  two out of six meetings held last year while the Executive President and Chief Executive of Malayan Banking, Datuk   Amirsham A. Aziz was the only EPF Investment Panel member to fail the Code requiring 50% attendance, attending only six out of 15 meetings held last year. 

Zainal’s attendance of the two important  EPF Board  Committees - Audit Committee and Finance/Development Committee of which he was both  a member, was also dismal and disgraceful – attending not a single one of the three Audit Committee meetings held last year while only attending two of the six Finance/Development Committee meetings. 

The re-appointment of Zainal as EPF Board member and Amirsham as EPF Investment Panel member makes nonsense of the EPF Code of Corporate Governance and the claim that the Finance Minister “appoints only those who have proven record of integrity, ability and reliability to undertake the obligations with utmost diligence”. 

I had yesterday called for the resignation of Zainal from the EPF Board to give way to a more effective and responsible worker representative to protect the rights and interests of the RM200 billion life-savings of the 10.3 million EPF contributors and to ensure that they get the best possible EPF dividends. 

Amirsham should also resign from the EPF Investment Panel as he had done a grave disservice to the 10.3 million EPF contributors with his low 40 per cent attendance of its meeting last year – unless he could give an iron-clad guarantee of 100% attendance record in his  new term of appointment to  make up for his poor attendance and performance last year.                                        


* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman