Pension abolishment: ‘Not all of them are rich’

28 Sep 2023 10:30am
Photo for illustrative purposes. Inset: fFom the left, Marthada, Noor Nirwandy, Idham
Photo for illustrative purposes. Inset: fFom the left, Marthada, Noor Nirwandy, Idham

SHAH ALAM - The abolition of MPs and assemblymen’s pensions will cause the youth generation from Generation Z (Gen Z) not to be interested in becoming elected representatives.

Universiti Utara Malaysia political analyst Professor Dr Ahmad Marthada Mohamed said the suggestion to abolish the pension for the group should not be implemented.

He said most MPs and assemblymen were not from rich families but had to fight for the sake of the people in their respective areas.

“The pension is given as a means of appreciating their services to protect the nation’s interests responsibly.

“Abolishing the pension could stunt the willingness of Gen Z to contest as representatives in the future.

“I think the pension is important as they provide their full-time services. If removed, it will be difficult to attract the youth,” he told Sinar on Wednesday.

He said this when commenting about the majority of the public and several political leaders including former health minister Khairy Jamaluddin agreed with the suggestion to abolish the representatives’ pensions.

Marthada added that the public must understand the procedures and the governance regarding the post considered the civil servant pension starting at 55.

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“The public must understand that those previously working with the government who needed to step down, if they are still young, must wait until they are 55 to receive (pensions).

“However, my views are that the matter can be refined or a further study can be done as abolishing the representatives’ pension was not a simple matter,” he said.

Political and Safety

Meanwhile, Universiti Teknologi Mara Information Warfare Centre Study political and security Analyst Dr Noor Nirwandy Mat Noordin viewed pensions as a recognition to MPs and assemblymen who served the public and the nation.

“The public chose them through a recognised democratic system. Therefore, a recognised system like a pension or commensurate remuneration should be given to elected representatives as they are entitled to it.

“Do not simply suggest abolishing the pension and agree to it as it shows a lack of maturity.

“We should build an organised strategy instead of taking drastic measures,” he said.

EPF as the best option to replace pensions.

Meanwhile, a financial expert viewed the Employees’ Provident Funds (EPF) as the best alternative to replacing the civil servant pension to reduce government burdens.

UiTM Melaka Branch Management and Business Faculty Economics and Finance Department senior lecturer Dr Mohamad Idham Md Razak said it was a good mechanism to balance the nation’s fiscal.

“I think the pension system implemented in the nation is a good method to aid individuals or civil servants if individuals or former civil servants were alive.

“They do not need to think about the problems of receiving income during old age.

“However, EPF represented a better initiative to the pension because the government does not need to bear the high costs for the retirement scheme for a long duration,” he told Sinar.

Idham added through the EPF that the monetary payment of retirement would be paid in its entirety with a portion taken throughout the individual’s service compared to the pension scheme, the measure would reduce the government’s financial burden.

“It is a good mechanism, but it must receive feedback from the civil servants before implementing. It could be implemented to MPs firstly,” he said.

He suggested the appointment of new civil servants to use the EPF scheme to change the minds and dependency of the public on government pensions.

“With EPF it indirectly gave a sense of commitment to those serving for the government,” he said.

Currently, the government spent roughly RM40 billion on civil servant pensions including for MPs.