Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Where common sense was not used.

First case:-

Many years ago when there were no wireless internet and no mobile phones like today the only way to surf the internet was through the fixed line telephone. For that we had to use a special modem and dial the number 1515 I think. The trouble was when we were 'online' nobody could use the phone to talk. No calls could go out or come in.

So Telekom Malaysia (TM), being the only fixed line operator in the country, offered  a special discount to those who had been their subscribers for more than ten years and wished to fix a second line. Since my family members and friends had been complaining that my telephone was always engaged I went to the TM office to apply for a second line.

Unfortunately the lady there said, after checking their records, that there was no proof I had been their subscriber for more than ten years. She even asked me to show proof in the form of ten year old bills and so on. I had thrown away all my previous bills, but I still had a copy of the original agreement and I was in no mood to go home and search for it.

Then something came to my mind. I told her to study my phone number which ended as 0002. So I said my number was the second number installed by one particular TM branch in Seremban. Then I asked how long the branch had been in operation? Surely it was more than ten years. She did not answer but approved my application straight away.

Second case:-

I only received my pensions six months after retiring for reasons beyond my control. For the first reason there was a revision to my service right before I retired and this was to my advantage. For the second reason the pensions department was in the process of putting my previous service with the federal government into consideration for my pensions calculations. This was to my advantage too.

But after both hiccups were settled there was another one. The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) had not cleared me. So I took the KTM Komuter to go to the EPF office in Jalan Raja Laut, Kuala Lumpur. At the counter the clerk told me the EPF have a standing order of settling cases like mine within two months  and in my particular my case and they still had another one and a half months. 

I told him I was already six months without any income and I was surviving on my savings. Actually I lied because I was reemployed right after retirement. But my main worry was having booked a new house to buy and the developer was harassing me almost every week.
So he told me to sit and wait. Within half an hour he gave me a copy of my clearance letter and said the original was being sent to the pensions department.

I had no complains in this case, but by looking at my Mykad number would not anybody in the EPF notice that my pensions were six months overdue. Why prolong it for another two months when they could settle it in thirty minutes?

Third case:-

I was employed by the Statistics Department to do the 2010 National Population and Housing Census. Government employees were given allowances while non government employees were given full pay with EPF deductions. I belonged to the second group since I was no more a government servant. But they put me in the government servants category for the first month. This was later rectified after I made a complain and I received some arrears.

The funny thing here was that the Statistics Department people should be experts on numbers. Could not they calculate by just looking at my Mykad that I was more than sixty years old then? Can anybody over sixty be a government servant?

Fourth case:-

This was recent. A man spent thirty years working in an army camp in Seremban, seven years as a soldier and twenty-three years as a civilian worker. A few months ago he had an aye operation. When he made claims to the JPA Pencen (which was responsible for medical claims of federal government pensioners) he was turned down, saying he is a state government pensioner.

When he went to the Negeri Sembilan State Secretariat they told him that he is a federal government pensioner and they could not do anything to favour him. So this man came to me as the secretary of an Non Government Organization (NGO) representing all government pensioners in the state.

On Monday morning 8th September 2014 I wrote an email to the Director General JPA Pencen detailing this case. Around five p.m. on the same day I received an email reply from the officer who signed the letter that said this man is not a federal government pensioner. She apologised and requested me to inform the man to submit his claims again, to them. Whether she received a ticking from her boss, I never know.        

Don't she realise that all army camps are under the Ministry of Defence, a federal body? So their staff are federal officers and when they retire they become federal government pensioners. 

Clearly common sense was lacking in all four cases.

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