MIRI: Self-employed individuals should contribute to the Self-Employment Social Security Scheme (SKSPS), under the Social Security Organisation (Socso) to provide themselves some financial protection.
Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin, who gave this advice, noted that the scheme had been extended to 19 informal sectors including small traders, farmers, fishermen, and art activists in January last year.
“To date, only 405 self-employed individuals in Miri city have contributed to the SKSPS scheme.
“This figure demonstrates that many individuals are still unaware that there is protection entitled and available to those seeking their own source of income, whether full-time or part-time.
“I strongly support the expansion of this scheme to other sectors as it can protect those who are self-employed in the city,” he said when officiating at Socso’s golden jubilee celebration here on Friday (Oct 1).
Lee said that since the Covid-19 outbreak, over 1,622 workers have been laid off or retrenched in Miri City. Hence Socso had encouraged employers to use this opportunity to hire job seekers from outside the city, particularly those who have lost their source of income as a result of the pandemic.
“We are concerned about the challenges faced by job seekers whose income is affected until they are forced to engage in any economic activity in order to survive.
“Jobs in the gig economy or non-standard employment with uncertain pay, long working hours, and no EPF savings for retirement are examples of this.
“I am concerned that if this issue is not addressed holistically, it could affect the socio-economic stability of the country.
“I believe that Socso’s new role in spearheading retention and recruitment programmes, as well as the various existing Socso schemes and benefits, will greatly benefit not only employers, individual employees, and their families, but also the national economy, in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said the Senadin assemblyman.