Monday, May 18

Tajem and group win pension case against S'wak ~ Malaysiakini

Taken from

Former deputy chief minister of Sarawak, and nine former members of Dewan Undangan Negeri and administration have won their case against the state government, which had failed to pay their enhanced pensions even though they were entitled to such privileges under the law.

They had to sue the government to seek justice. Their case was heard by the High Court of Kuching on March 28, 2008 which ordered the state government to pay in the case of Tajem (pic above) one half of his salary of RM12,500 per month and one half of his salary as a member of Dewan Undangan Negeri of RM3,000 and that amount came to be RM7,750 a month.

The pension should have been calculated based on the June 1, 1992 amendment of the Members of the Administration and Members of Dewan Undangan Negeri (Remuneration, Pensions and Gratuities) Ordinance 1980.

But the government failed to pay his enhanced pensions. Instead the government paid him only a pension of RM3,000 a month.

The state government went to the Court of Appeal. The case was heard on Feb 19, 2009 and the Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the Kuching High Court.

Dissatisfied with the decision of the Court of Appeal, the state government represented by JC Fong, state legal counsel, applied to the Federal Court for leave of appeal. The case was heard last week and the Apex court concurred with the decision of the Court of Appeal.

More legal actions likely

Following the decision, the state government may have to face more legal actions from former members of the Dewan Undangan Negeri, former ministers, assistant ministers, political secretaries and their widows who are in similar positions.

Tajem, who represented the group at the Federal Court hearing had served as deputy chief minister in the cabinets of Abdul Rahman Yakub and later Abdul Taib Mahmud from 1980 to 1987.

Contacted today, he said that the decision of the Federal Court has a snowballing effect.

“In truth, it is a representative action on behalf of the former members of Dewan Undangan Negeri and former members of the Administration.

“The government has failed to honour these people who had served the state and who are entitled to enhanced pensions which came into effect after June 1, 1992.

“All elected representatives, ministers, assistant ministers and political secretaries who have been pensioned must be given enhanced pensions according to the law, which have been denied due to misinterpretation of the law by the state government,” he said.

“There are 10 former members of the state assembly who have instituted court proceedings against the government for the payment of arrears against their pensions,” he said, adding that the government might have to come up with at least RM5 million to pay them.

'Arrears of eight years to be paid'

“Even the arrears of payment of the 10 who have taken suits could easily amount to RM2 million and to be back-dated to six years from the day they filed the suits. And most of these cases have been ongoing for more than two years.

“That means arrears of eight years to be paid,” he added.

Among them, Tajem, who has monthly arrears of RM2,750 is expected to receive more than RM300,000 in arrears plus interests. Former minister Hafsah Harun is next and is followed by former assistant minister Ambrose Gramong. Gramong has monthly arrears of RM2,000. The others are former members of Dewan Undangan Negeri and political secretaries.

There are also those who will ride the bandwagon and they include former deputy chief minister Dunstan Endawie, former ministers Joseph Balan Seling, Tajang Laing, Leo Moggie and Sulaiman Daud.

After the order has been extracted, Tajem said that all the litigants would present a bill of costs to be taxed against the government.

“The government will be given a time frame to pay, failing which they may take a writ of mandamus against the chief minister to compel him to pay the sums due,” he said.


Apai Semalau said...

Not a penny less! Its your right and entitlement to ever penny.
I have known and met Datuk Tajem many times in Sri Aman and in New Zealand when he was the Malaysian High Commissioner there. I have great respect for this Datuk because he is honest unlike others who can retire with bags full of money and government guaranteed/sponsored projects. For him to sue the state government for his rightful dues and pension goes to show the government's ingratitude towards his past services. This matter should have been settled out of court. Its the rakyat who now have to foot the costs incurred by the government in this court case! Money that could prove to be more useful in one of the poverty stricken longhouses in Pantu!

Anonymous said...

This is an example of misplaced priorities by those in power in the state.It is sad that these people have to resort to the courts to recover what is rightfully theirs.Question now is whose head will roll for this shame or will there be feeble denials and finger pointing ?
Well people don't be too upset because you chose to keep these leeches in power... or time to wake up!

the watcher in the woods

simpang punda said...

Actually SAG had briefed CM about this case, and advised to get it settled out of court but CM arrogantly instructed SAG to fight it out in court.See?What absolute power can coursed.CM jangan EGO sanggat.What is rightly due to them concede lah.Like land issues,kalau patut,concede.Apa susah sanggat.Rakyat happy ,You (CM )pun happy.Panjang umur.Tidak jaga kena sumpah.

Agom said...

Congratulations to Datuk Seri Daneil Tajem who won the case.

Article 160(2) of the Federal Constitution states `pension rights` include `supernnutation rights and provident rights.

Pension should be paid in the form of monthly for life and on death to the surviving spouse and dependent children, to enable the employee to retire in comfort and live in dignity while maintaining a reasonable standard of living.

However,where a public officer has been found guilty of negligence, irregularity or misconduct, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong vide section 3(2) of the Pensions Act ` may reduce or withold a pension, gratituity or other benefit which the officer would have been eligible.

Enjoy your pension Datuk.

Agom said...

correction to my ealier comment.

Should read...Article 160(2) of the Federal Constitution states ` pension rights ` includes superannuation rights and provident fund rights.

Ingkol said...

I am a pensioner too. I had my pension adjusted last year from 50 per cent to 60 per cent of my last salary drawn in accordance with Section 3 of the Pensions Adjustments Act 1980.Thanks to the government.

Hoping that in the near future, the government will kindly enough to adjust the pension to 100 per cent of the last salary drawn.

A pensioner is a friend of the government of the day.

Anonymous said...

Having sat on the chair for too long would cause any person to be arrogant.
We must limit a CM's ocupation to one or max two terms. Nobody is indispensible.
This Taib is ruthless. Datuk Tajem should come out of the limbo and fight him hard. Let him feel how it is like when beaten.
Sometimes good men suffer; Datuk Tajem is a case like this.
Time has come to make a change.