The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) 5.8 % Dividend Or RM21.61 Billion Payout For 2010 As Compared To 2009’s 5.65% Is Inadequate And Not Commensurate With The 40% Increase In EPF’s Gross Investment Income.
DAP expresses disappointment at the declaration by EPF of a mere 5.8% dividend or RM 21.61 billion payout for 2010 as inadequate and not commensurate with the 40% increase in EPF gross investment income of RM24.06 billion as compared to 2009's RM17.22 billion. As compared to 2009’s 5.65% dividend, this increase of only 0.15% to 5.8% dividend does not reflect the economic recovery of Malaysia in 2010 with an expected growth rate of 7.2%
Despite Malaysia suffering a recession in 2009 with negative growth rate of -1.7%, EPF could still pay 5.65%. It does not make sense that with an expected growth rate of 7.2% there is only a marginal increase in dividend rate to 5.8%.
EPF chairman Tan Sri Samsudin Osman said the higher dividend came partly from the good performance of the stock market last year. If so, then there should be a higher dividend as the stock market rose by 19.3% from 1,272.78 points at end of 2009 to 1,518.91 points at end of 2010. In contrast to the 19.3% rise in the performance of stock market, the 2010 dividend rate only rose by 2.7% from 5.65% to 5.8%.
The EPF dividend is one of the few direct benefits programs that can benefit Malaysians especially the 11 million working Malaysians. Looking at Singaporeans who were given cash directly from between $100-$800 cash under the 2011 Singapore budget costing S$3.2 billion to lower and middle-income families.
DAP hopes that EPF can explain why the dividend rate rose by only 2.7% in 2010 as compared to 2009 when the stock market expanded by 19.3% and the economy rebounded from -1.7% growth rate in 2009 to 7.2% in 2010.
LIM GUAN ENG