KUCHING: A golden handshake may be a more practical solution to the monthly pension scheme presently in place.

This is a view of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah who echoed a suggestion by an academic to replace the scheme with a golden handshake to ease the nation’s financial burden of RM28 billion every year.

Universiti Putra Malaysia’s Abu Sofian Yaacob floated the suggestion yesterday when commenting on Public Service Department director-general Datuk Seri Borhan Dolah’s call to review the pension scheme.

Fatimah Abdullah

“It is a practical solution in view of the present financial predicament,” Fatimah told New Sarawak Tribune yesterday.

“At the same time, we must put in place a support system to help senior citizens live a decent life without pension.

She opined that the elders must be protected under an insurance scheme for health purposes and make savings for retirement a way of life.

The minister also pointed to one of her ministry’s initiative which is the implementation of the Golden Card.

“The special Golden Card carries various benefits for senior citizens afforded by the government and its agencies,” she said.