EPF's Zero Tolerance On Fraudulent Activities Sees 6 Members Convicted By Courts
Tireless efforts by the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to curb fraudulent activities among its members have led to the conviction of six members during the third quarter of 2009 for their involvement in fraudulent housing withdrawals.
All six members were convicted and fined by the courts with five of them facing possible jail terms of up to five months should they fail to pay the fines.
“Fraudulent activities go against the very core of EPF’s objective that is to safeguard members’ savings for their retirement needs. As such, the EPF has zero-tolerance on any fraudulent attempts and will not hesitate to take legal actions against dishonest members,” said Nik Affendi Jaafar, EPF General Manager for Public Relations.
As at 30 September 2009, a total of 107 members were charged in courts for offence under Section 59 of the EPF Act 1991.
Under the Act, members who have been found guilty of fraudulent withdrawal, or attempted fraudulent withdrawal, are liable to a maximum jail sentence of three years or a RM10,000 fine, or both. Once convicted, members who return the amount withdrawn within six months from the conviction date may only be allowed to apply for the same withdrawal after two years from the date the amount is returned. Those who fail to return the amount or return the amount after six months from the conviction date will forever lose their right to make that particular withdrawal.
The EPF also warns members to be extra careful with syndicates that might approach them with proposals that are tempting and difficult to resist.
Commenting on this, Nik Affendi said, “Members are advised to report to the EPF or police immediately if approached by any third parties who offer to withdraw the EPF savings on their behalf even if they claim it is via a purportedly legal channel.
“Members who wish to make withdrawal applications are urged to deal directly with the EPF. Our officers are ever ready to assist members and our services are free of charge.”
Earlier this year, the EPF has further heightened its prevention and detection of fraudulent activities when it launched its Anti-Fraud and Whistleblowing Policies.
“The EPF’s combat against fraudulent activities is a continuous process and we will remain vigilant so as to ensure that members’ retirement savings will remain intact and protected at all times,” said Nik Affendi.
About the Employees Provident Fund (EPF)
The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is Malaysia’s premier retirement savings fund to help its members achieve adequate savings for a comfortable retirement. This is in line with EPF’s vision to help members achieve a better future and the mission to safeguard members’ savings and deliver excellent services. The EPF has evolved significantly from transaction-centric to a professional fund management organisation with a strong focus on retirement security. The EPF is guided by a robust and professional governance framework when making investment decisions. It continues to play a catalytic role in the nation’s economic growth and seeks to cultivate a savings and investment culture among its members to improve the country’s financial literacy level.