Wednesday, December 6

Socso paid RM87 mln to S’wakians last year


SOCSO BENEFITS: John (third right) presents the RM1,500 to Hassan. Farinah is at right.

KUCHING: Social Security Organisation (Socso) in Sarawak doled out over RM87 million in benefit payments from January to November last year.

In 2010, RM87.11 million in benefits were paid out, while in 2009 the figure was RM75.55 million.

Socso state director John Riba Marin, who disclosed the figures yesterday, said employees must be aware of their social welfare benefits and rights.

He pointed out that every employee was entitled to various Socso welfare claims even if their employers had yet to register them with the authority.

“For as long as you are working for someone, meaning you are an employee, you can claim some benefits from Sosco should anything happen while on duty.

“But of course we encourage employers to register their employees with us. Failing this infringes the Employees Social Security Act 1969,” he told the press before handing over RM1,500 to Hassan@Kawli Bujang.

Hassan is the brother of the late Hamid Bujang, who was killed on Feb 14 following a work-related accident which saw his head crushed by a machine he was operating. John said even though Hamid did not work for some time just before the accident happened, he was still entitled to the social welfare benefit.

“In this case, Socso took the initiative to reach out to the victim’s family. We look after the welfare of employees and their loved ones.”

John said Hamid’s heirs, three children aged between eight and two, would receive 90 per cent of his last paid salary on a monthly basis.

Meanwhile, Socso state senior assistant director of enforcement branch Farinah Jafar said many Sarawakians were still ignorant of Socso’s welfare benefits.

She stressed that employers were obliged to report any work-related accidents but if they did not comply with the law, the victim’s family ought to lodge a complaint with Socso.

“We will then look into the complaint received. More often than not, people in rural areas do not realise the role and functions of Socso.”

She was quick to add that the authority had been carrying out awareness campaigns statewide.

Hassan later told the press that part of the RM1,500 would be used to pay for his brother’s funeral expenses while the balance would go to the three children, who are being cared for by their mother.

Hamid divorced his wife in February last year.

He lived in the company’s hostel and returned home to Kampung Tanah Puteh, Serian every month.

Hassan added that his younger brother had told co-workers he dreamt of being burnt in a fire before the accident took place.

“I was informed that nothing unusual happened but Hamid’s co-workers talked about the dream. And Hamid also phoned his ex-wife the night before the accident.”