Amount way below poverty line: Association
In the face of escalating prices of goods, many members of Sabah Government Pensioners Association (PPKS) who receive as little as RM150 pension a month are struggling to stay afloat and have asked the Association to appeal to the Government to revise their pensions. Pointing out that the RM150 pension is well below the poverty line, PPKS President Dr Florentius Epin Banaik said he hoped the Government would seriously take into consideration the changing situation and adjust the pension payments made to many pensioners. Florentius, who was returned unopposed at the annual general meeting of the Association here on Saturday, noted that repeated pledges had been made by the Government in the past to eradicate poverty among Malaysians and provide a minimum pension of RM500 to those who receive very low pensions. But to date, there is still no sign of the pledges being fulfilled, he said. “How could one survive on this meagre RM150 monthly pension even after the latest adjustment was made in 2007 with today’s spirailing cost of living?” he asked. Florentius also urged the Government to look into the plight of those few hundred government employees who have served for between 30 and 40 years, and consider absorbing them into the permanent and pensionable establishment. “Many of those affected have come to PPKS to ask for our assistance. Unfortunately we feel so helpless and sad for being unable to help them,” he lamented. “All we could do now is to appeal to the Government to find ways to assist them via a pension or retirement allowance to end the suffering of these employees who had dedicated the most productive time of their lives of some 30 to 35 years serving the Government and the nation.” The AGM saw all the incumbent committee members returned unopposed while the vice- president, assistant secretary and treasurer posts were earlier also returned unopposed at the close of nominations. The new line-up comprises Dr Florentius Epin Banaik (President), William Tham Peng Loi and Ms Wang. Tsai Siah (Deputy Presidents), Jemon bin Jali, Pang Kon Hin and Philip Wong Kui Fah (Vice Presidents), Dennis H. L. Lim (Secretary), Fredoline Bilison (Assistant Secretary), Michael Ng (Treasurer), Liew Kim Fatt (Assistant Treasurer), Joseph Jominol, Aloysius Labi, David Lo, Catherine Lee Moey, Hj Matarsad bin Ibrahim, Fredoline Moris Sipaji and Charles Andau (committee members).