A CASE OF EPF Withdrawal For Medical Care

Roszita & Carol

It is with great anger and frustration, I am writing this in the hope that changes be made to ensure that effective and fast procedures are put in place for EPF Withdrawal for Health Care.

The recent incident of the late Ahmad Nazri should be the last.

Can his death be avoided? Had EPF issued the required Guarantee Letter on their visit on 23 December 2009, Nazri will probably still be around.

Today we had lost Ahmad Nazri, aged 49, a husband and a father of 5, tomorrow who will be the next if this matter is not immediately looked into?

Having gone through the most crucial and final journey of Nazri together with his beloved wife Cik Roszita, I strongly feel for their frustration and anger they went through. Today Cik Roszita, a housekeeping staff at Shangri-la Rasa Sayang Resort is now left alone to care and fend for her 5 children. Life will never be the same again for her and her children.

She is adamant in bringing her predicament to press with a selfless mind of helping others not to go through what she had gone through. It is not easy on her but she braved herself to come forward.

The late Ahmad Nazri, a critical heart patient with 3 blockages needed money for his immediate heart procedure and his only source of fund is from the withdrawal of his and his wife’s EPF Account 2. Even with full documents provided to EPF as claimed by Cik Roszita, their application/request on 23 December 2009 for a Guarantee Letter from EPF to Hospital Pulau Pinang couldn’t be issued. A “Surat Penyesahan” which acts only as a statement of fund with a Disclaimer Clause that EPF holds no responsibility of payment whatsoever was issued instead.

When the “Surat Penyesahan” was rejected by Hospital Unit Hasil, both the Late Ahmad Nazri and his wife were in dire need. It was the employer of the late Ahmad Nazri, E&O Properties that came to aid by issuing a Letter of Guarantee to the supplier of the stents. En Nazri was admitted on 27 December 2009 but was not in the condition for the procedure and was discharged.

After going through much publicity, EPF finally issued the Guarantee Letter to the stents supplier on 15 January 2010 as advised by them in a meeting at YB Liew’s office on 18 January 2010. On this date, Ahmad Nazri’s condition had deteriorated into an unstable condition and he was on sedation and life support in the CCU. The late Ahmad Nazri passed away on Tuesday, 19 January 2010 in the Hospital Pulau Pinang CCU without gaining consciousness.

If the process had been nipped at the bud on 23 December 2009, would he still be here with us today? What they cannot accept most was these are their own money. He just wanted to use his own money to save his own life.

The late Ahmad Nazri had said when we first met on 23 December 2009, “Tak ada wang pun mati, ada wang di EPF pun mati. Ini adalah wang sendiri bukan nak minta wang EPF!”

Is this the failure of system, the people or what? Where is the human factor in the government agencies nowadays? Do paper/documents and norm overrides the need to save lives?

Serious attention has to be given to the ‘Surat Penyesahan” which is the ultimate document for acceptance of admission when fund is available in EPF. The letter must be a Guarantee Letter and not merely a Statement of Account. Secondly, documents required for the withdrawal of EPF should not be the ultimate basis for the issuance of the ‘Guarantee Letter’, flexibility must be given to emergency and crucial cases where immediate medical care is needed.

Carol Lim
Chief of Staff to Ahli Parlimen Bukit Bendera (YB Liew Chin Tong)

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