By THE BORNEOTODAY TEAM
KOTA KINABALU: The pension arrears of some 164 ex-employees of Sabah Ports Authority will be released within one week, Member of Parliament for Sandakan Stephen Wong said Tuesday.
He said the issue of arrears of pension totalling RM5.8 million had dragged on for decades and yet to be resolved till today, despite repeated follow ups with relevant authorities to find a solution to help these helpless pensioners.
“But after a dialogue between Finance Minister II Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani and me in Parliament this (Tuesday) morning, Johari said that the government will release the payment of arrears within seven days,” he said in a statement to BorneoToday.
Johari said that the government will remit the arrears to Sabah Ports Authority (LPPS) and LPPS would then release it directly to the pensioners concerned.
These pensioners, who previously worked at LPPS before 1981 subscribed to a pension program with Great Eastern Insurance, because the Employees Provident Fund did not exist then.
After EPF came into effect, this money was supposed to be channelled into the EPF account so that it could be distributed to the respective pensioners.
“However, it was unfortunate that the authorities concerned had made a mistake and wrongly channelled the money to another fund (KWAP),” said Wong, adding it caused unnecessary complications in the process to claim back this money.”
Wong said he had raised this issue in Parliament back in 2015.
He urged the government to release this money immediately because many pensioners are old now and some had even passed away.
“It is unfair for these pensioners who had been waiting for many years. They need this money eagerly, especially during this hardship times,” Wong added.