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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Be careful with our money, EPF told


The management board of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has recently approved the transfer of about RM1.5 billion from EPF to finance the special funding scheme for the sales of houses in public housing programmes in Kuala Lumpur.

According to Umno supreme council member who is also the federal territories and urban well-being minister Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin, the funds taken out from EPF will be given to the Federal Territories Foundation to help some 20,000 eligible tenants and interested buyers living in the People Housing Programme (PPR) and the KL City Hall public housing units.

This is not the first time EPF has allowed these hard earned savings which belongs to our people to be channeled into different organizations and companies. And such transfers were worrying us right now since we all only got to know this via the newspaper reports today. Last year, we were informed that EPF had waived billions of Ringgit loaned to various GLCs and government agencies after an undisclosed exchange agreement was made.

First of all, why does the federal government, particularly the finance ministry approved the use of the monies, our people's hard earned savings for retirement, for the use of programmes and funding of some projects out there?

The government should also realize that EPF could be well at the losing end if the buyers were to default in their loans. So, what are the contingency plans to overcome such would be situations?

We know that the minister assure that the loan is secure but we do not know how really secure are all these transfers and transactions, unless the minister could prove otherwise. Is this federal territories and urban well-being minister the actual authorized person to affirm that the loan is secured and can he really guarantee that nothing will go wrong?

We really do not understand why can't the federal government provide the loans to all those buyers directly from their treasury instead? It is also understood that EPF will transfer the RM1.5 billion to the Federal Territories Foundation who in turn will channel the same amount of fund in stages to the Syarikat Perumahan Wilayah Persekutuan Bhd who will only commence operation on 1 March 2012.

If this deal is as profitable as claimed by the minister, can the government provide or publish its financial transactions and activities annually to the public or have it tabled in the parliament for regular scrutiny in order to prove its efficiency and worth of investment? And since the Syarikat Perumahan Wilayah Persekutuan Bhd is a public company, then it must also be done in accordance to the Companies Act, the law that governs public limited companies.

The federal government should not invest nor gamble our money in such insecure areas. By the way, has the treasury being emptied? If not, why take the EPF monies?

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