Scheme shouldn’t be hastily axed

KUCHING: The federal government’s move to review the current pension scheme should not be done in haste, says PBB information chief Datuk Idris Buang.

He opined that factors such as social security, retirement life, healthcare, old age poverty and vis-a-vis of the nation’s survival must also be taken into consideration.

Idris, who is Muara Tuang assemblyman, said this in response to Public Service Department director-general Datuk Seri Borhan Dolah’s call to review the pension scheme.

Idris Buang

“A holistic in-depth study has to be done by the government with input from all stakeholders, NGOs and experts in superannuation, actuary and related fields.

“It is not an easy subject, but a fair, reasonable and workable solution has to be found,” he said.

Idris posed the question: “Are there any alternative to the pension scheme anywhere else in the world for Malaysia to follow?”

“The best scheme should mean that workers are assured a stable post-retirement subsistence allowance, healthcare for them and their spouses without exposure to old age poverty and refusal of any hospital admission or treatment.”

He pointed out that when it comes to reviewing the pension scheme, the subject of humanity has the same degree of importance as economics and actuary.

“We don’t want to be accused of being an ungrateful and decadent society, but surely we do not want our elders, who had a life of civil service, crawling the alleys of our pasar malam for leftovers in order to survive?

“We also do not wish any of them to be rejected by the hospitals they used to get medication from?

“What kind of quality of life do we want for our ‘less than 10% of total population’ who make up this 60-year-old and above group?”

Idris also commented on the suggestion by Universiti Putra Malaysia’s Abu Sofian Yaacob for the federal government to replace the pension scheme with a golden handshake.

“I’m no expert but being a citizen and most of all being human, I’m equally concerned with the fate of our government servants.

“I hope that the federal government would not make a hasty decision to replace the present scheme but instead find solutions that take reasonable consideration of all relevant views from every concerned quarter,” he expressed.