KUCHING: The current pension scheme is best left alone and not replaced with a golden handshake.

“Not everyone can manage their money well. Some might not be able to have any savings left after several years of retirement,” said Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s office (Islamic Affairs & DBKU) Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi, yesterday.

Abdul Rahman, a physician himself, reckoned that the situation might get worse if retirees got sick.

Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi

“By receiving their pensions monthly, their needs and welfare will be taken care of and secured,” he said contrary to a view by academician Abu Sofian Yaacob of Universiti Putra Malaysia who suggested that the federal government ought to consider replacing the pension scheme with a golden handshake.

Abu Sofian thought that the move would relieve the federal government of its heavy financial burden to fund the pension scheme which costs RM28 billion annually.

“I disagree with Abu Sofian on the golden handshake to reward a retiring senior civil servant as it won’t be helping the retiree in the long run,” said Dr Abdul Rahman who is also Utilities Assistant Minister (Water Supply).

“Our current pension scheme for our retired government servants has been running well for the last six decades. So why do we need to change to a new system?”

Abdul Rahman viewed that government servants had been contributing significantly to the development process of this nation since our independence.

“Their commitment and dedication deserved to be recognised.

“It would paint a bad image of the government of the day if the pension scheme is scrapped,” he said.