Director-General of Trade
Union erred for calling MTUC's bid to picket on 21 May 2003 illegal
by Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew
Director-General of Trade Union Zulkifli Abdullah has argued that the MTUC's
bid to picket in front of EPF offices tomorrow is illegal. He also
threatened to take action against any participating union.
We want to remind Zulkifli
Abdullah that he, as a civil servant, should stay away from playing politics
on this matter. He should know pretty well that every Malaysian, whether he
or she is a unionist or not, has the right to voice his or her grievances
against the EPF. The unionists in fact have a moral obligation to act in the
interests of the workers.
The 4.25% dividend that was
declared for the year 2002 was the lowest in 40 years. It was really too low
and will certainly jeopardise the future of many workers, especially those
coming from the lower income sectors. The leaders of MTUC and its affiliates
have the right to picket in protest against the low dividend announced by
DAP also supports the move by
the MTUC to raise the guaranteed minimum dividend to 5 % from the current
2.5%. If Amanah Saham Nasional investors have the privilege of guaranteed
dividend/ bonus of 10%, we do not see why 10.3 million members cannot be
accorded the guaranteed minimum dividend of 5%. This is necessary to ensure
that people will have sufficient to retire on.
The dividends that were
declared for 2002 by ASN, ASB and LTAT were all way above the 4.25% mark.
All these investment bodies enjoy "golden shares" from the Ministry of
Finance and the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Why can't the Government
accord the same treatment for EPF?
!0.3 million EPF members
deserve much better annual dividend. We urge all members of EPF to
participate in the pickets initiated by MTUC at 4 pm tomorrow. It is our
right to safeguard our own future.
* Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew, DAP
national publicity secretary