LAST_UPDATESat, 21 Jul 2018 4pm

Special Conference On EPF For Housewives In August - DPM Dr Wan Azizah

Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

KUANTAN -- A special conference to fine-tune the issues on the proposed implementation of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contribution for housewives will be held in the second week of August, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

She said several relevant government agencies and departments would join the special conference to carefully examine the technical aspects that prevented the implementation of the proposal.

“The EPF, the Social Security Organisation (Socso) and the relevant departments will discuss and find the best way to implement it as there are some technical issues such as Section 51 of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) Act and the Employment Act 1955 that prevented the implementation.

‘In addition, we will also look into ways around the EPF Act that does not allow contributions from its members to be touched and we will ask the Ministry of Finance’s view as its implementation also involves government funding,” said Dr Wan Azizah, who is also Minister of Women and Family Development. 

Dr Wan Azizah said this at a media conference in conjunction with her visit to the Sultanah Hajjah Kalsom Children’s Home, here today, which was also her first working visit to Pahang after the 14th General Election.

The event was also attended by the Pahang Culture, Unity, Social Welfare, Women and Family Development Committee chairman Datuk Seri Shahaniza Shamsuddin and Social Welfare Department director-general Fazari Salleh.

The Section 51 of the EPF Act stated that no amount may be assignable, transferable, liable to be attached, sequestered, levied upon, for, or in respect of, any debt or claim whatsoever.

Even the Official Assignee was not entitled to or have any claim on any such sum or amount.

Meanwhile, Wan Azizah expressed concern over the problem of mental illness in the country that did not received due attention despite its seriousness.

"This problem needs to be highlighted and given serious attention, not just when there is a tragedy including the loss of life such as children, that we should act.

“We need to address the problem from the grassroots level and relevant ministries including the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry, Education Ministry as well as Housing and local Government Ministry should work together as the environmental factor also contributes to this problem,” she said.

Dr Wan Azizah said this when asked to comment on the recent case involving a mother who slashed her 19-month-old son to death in Felda Jengka 13, Maran, believed to have been caused by depression.

The latest National Health and Morbidity survey reported that every three people in 10 adults over 16 (years of age) were suffering from various mental health issues and the illness is expected to be the second largest health problem in the country after heart disease.

Meanwhile, in her speech, Dr Wan Azizah said according to statistics from the Social Welfare Department, the number of child abuse cases in the country was reported to have increased almost every year.

In 2015 alone, there were 4,453 cases reported, and the numbers have increased by 529 cases to 4,982 cases in 2016 and last year, there were 5,422 cases reported.

“Any form of child abuse should be viewed as a violation of the rights of a child and become the responsibility of everyone in the society to prevent it from continuing, to ensure the child’s interests and safety at all times,” she said.