Consult Sabah, Sarawak over proposed pension scheme, Yong tells Putrajaya

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah and Sarawak should be involved in the discussion of the Federal Government’s proposal to introduce a new pension scheme, says Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee.

The Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) deputy chairman said this was enshrined in the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) document whereby the interest of the two Bornean states must be preserved, similar to terms of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

He pointed out that he was neither in favour of nor against the proposal.

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“However, before its implementation, we must look at it comprehensively and the discussions must involve the Sabah government (besides Sarawak),” he said on Sunday (Jan 28).

“This is (because) there are retirees in Sabah under the state civil service but the pension is handled by the Federal Government.

“This pension is not vital for retirees but their next-of-kin,” the former chief minister added after launching the Wanita GRS Zone 5B tour, involving the Libaran, Beluran and Kinabatangan constituencies, in Libaran on the east coast.

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Also present were co-GRS deputy chairman Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, and GRS Wanita deputy chief Datuk Redonah Bahanda, among others.

On Saturday (Jan 27), Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim explained that the new pension scheme that was recently announced was only a proposal and no decision had been made on the matter yet.

Anwar said the proposal would be brought to Parliament as it required amendments to the Constitution, in response to various concerns voiced over the proposed scheme.

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Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had previously announced the government’s intention to introduce a new civil service hiring policy incorporating a new pension scheme.

With this proposal, traditional pensions would be phased out in favour of increased contributions to retirement schemes like the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and the Social Security Organisation for new hires.