EPF Mulls Legal Action Against Those Spreading Damaging Statements

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KUALA LUMPUR – The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has reassured its members that it has a strong and robust governance framework in place to prevent fraud involving their funds and is considering legal action against those spreading damaging statements.

The EPF, as at September 2017, had a total of 13.72 million members.

In a statement here today, the fund refuted allegations by "irresponsible parties” on the transfer of large funds and bonds out of the EPF through fraudulent means.

"We refute these allegations and reiterate that the alleged letters and proposals are forged documents. As such, the proposal in question was never presented to the EPF and was never under consideration,” it said.

The EPF said it remained steadfast in fulfilling its mandate to protect and safeguard members’ savings.

“Given the deliberate and repeated attempts to harm the EPF’s reputation and cast doubt on our integrity, the EPF is considering legal action against those irresponsible parties and individuals who have published such damaging statements,” said the fund.

To recap, the Sarawak Report had published an article alleging that a "staggering sum derived from EPF was transferred in January into RHB Bank's dollar account here of a little-known entity named TJJR Diversified (M) Sdn Bhd, a company owned and directed by one woman, supposedly charged with coordinating a major hospital project supported by EPF and the Ministry of Health.

“The EPF reiterates there has been no transfer of any funds nor bonds as alleged. Arising from the recent annual audit conducted by Jabatan Audit Negara (the National Audit Department), we can confirm that the bonds in question remain in the ownership of the EPF, via confirmation received from PayNet in January 2018,” the fund said.

 PayNet is an approved payment system operator regulated by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) as well as being a subsidiary of BNM.

“We further stress that the purported transactions never happened, and both RHB Bank and HSBC Bank have issued statements refuting the allegations,” said EPF.

According to the EPF, its governance framework required all proposals to firstly go through a stringent investment evaluation process that included comprehensive analysis, risk assessment and due diligence by its team of experts.

“After the proposal passes the first stage of assessment, it is subject to rigorous deliberation by the Management Investment Committee (MIC), comprising senior members of the Investment Division as well as members of EPF’s top management.

“The proposal papers, if endorsed by the MIC, are then brought to the Investment Panel for further consideration before final approval. This panel comprises industry professionals, senior members of the EPF management as well as representatives from BNM and the Government,” it said.

-- BERNAMA