By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Dec 13: Minister of Human Resources M Kulasegaran today handed over social security benefits to the children of the late O Kui Lim, one of the three who perished in the CityOne Megamall explosion on Dec 4.
The cheques were handed over to the children’s mother, Lo Kok Ping, at the late O’s home in Stampin here.
The late O and Lo were divorced, and they have six children, but four are aged below 21 and are still schooling. Hence, they were eligible to receive the benefits. All six children are now under the care of Lo.
The four are Wendy O Jia Sin, 20, Sharon O Jia En, 18, Addy O Jia Min, 16, and Janice O Jia Ning, 12.
Kulasegaran said the benefit payments from the Social Security Organisation (Socso) included funeral expenses of RM2,000 and monthly pensions, the quantum of which depended on the income of the deceased.
“We are sorry for what had happened to their father (late O Kui Lim), but this is the minimum that we can do to show concern to the family. That’s why we are here,” he told reporters covering his visit.
More importantly, he pointed out, was the fact that many working Malaysians are not covered by Socso, and one of the factors is that their employers did not register the workers and contribute to Socso.
“The government wants to, if possible, extend Socso coverage to all working persons in the country.
“We also have plans to extend Socso coverage to an estimated 1.4 million housewives, and we are working into that both in terms of legislation and to see the risk elements amount to take,” he added.
To ensure better protection for workers and in line with the conventions under the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Kulasegaran emphasised that social security benefits were now also extended to foreign workers.
“In addition, more than one million Malaysians are working overseas. We also want them to be covered by Socso,” he stressed.
He also reiterated concerns that only 7,000 of nearly 100,000 taxi drivers and e-hailing drivers contribute to Socso.
“Many of them are taking great risks on the road all day long, with some spanning 18 hours a day. We want to encourage taxi drivers and e-hailing drivers to voluntarily register and contribute to Socso,” he said.
Under the scheme, drivers need only contribute between RM154 and RM550 per year to Socso.
Meanwhile, state Socso deputy director Dundang Undong said that the late O’s case was registered under Dependent’s Benefit of Work Disaster Scheme in which the four children will receive a monthly pension payment until the children reach 21 years or they graduate with a first degree or get married.
“The monthly pension payment will be paid through their mother, Lo Kok Ping, who is the guardian of the children,” he added. — DayakDaily