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Half of EPF members opt to decrease contribution rate to 8%

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Half of Malaysia’s Employees’ Provident Fund’s (EPF) members have opted to decrease their contribution rate to 8% from 11%, according to Second Finance Minister Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani.

Following his working visit to the EPF headquarters yesterday, Ghani said that this reduction translated into about RM4bil in the hands of employees circulating in the market to stimulate the economy, reported The Star Online.

“The option for the (3%) cut was aimed at increasing public spending,” he told reporters.

The Star Online reported that EPF members were given the choice to retain the 11% contribution by completing a “Notice to Contribute More Than Statutory Rate” which could be printed from the EPF website since Feb 2.

“The completed notice needs to be submitted to employers before being sent to the nearest EPF branch,” The Star Online wrote.

“The remaining 50% of EPF members have opted to retain the 11% contribution. It is their choice,” Ghani said.

Avoid playing Pokémon Go at work: Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem

In other news, Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem has reminded workers not to allow Pokémon Go to distract them from work and reduce productivity.

According to The Sun Daily, he said employees should focus on work during office hours and avoid other activities.

“It will definitely affect productivity. Even though we don’t have any laws against it, I would urge employees to be more productive. Don’t spend time (during working hours) playing the game,” Riot said.

He suggested for companies to formulate internal rules regarding similar issues and stressed that a proper job description regarding an employee’s tasks and scope of work would be best, reported The Sun Daily.

On the same matter, Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya has advised the public to be careful when playing Pokémon Go due to the potential psychological and social impacts it has, reported The Sun Daily.

“There was a death case reported in the United States by playing the game. We are worried as the repercussions can extent to social deprivation of a person,” he told reporters after launching the 3rd annual healthcare management excellence ceremony yesterday.

He explained that Pokémon Go isolates players who become unaware of the surrounding environment limiting his useful skills and communication with friends.

Government works to upskill and retrain workers

At the same event, Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem told a press conference on 9 August after officiating the 2nd Malaysia Productivity-Linked Wage Conference (My-PLiC) that the government has programmes to retrain and “up-skill” skilled workers who could not get higher pay due to the lack of qualification.

According to reports from The Sun Daily, he explained that the Human Resources Development Fund will help these workers acquire the necessary certificates for better pay, which in turn will help Malaysia achieve its goal of becoming a high-income nation by 2020.

In order to qualify as a high-income nation, 40% of Malaysia’s workforce has to be considered skilled workers. However, Riot said that currently, only 28% of the workforce are considered skilled workers.

“He said the government is targeting to achieve 35% by the end of the 11th Malaysia Plan, which is year 2020, and eventually work towards the ideal percentage,” The Sun Daily wrote.

At the event, he also stressed on the importance of giving employees fair remuneration, especially if the company in question is making good profits.

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