YB Wong Chen
Victory is Ours!
The Employment Insurance System bill is expected to be re-tabled again on 24th October 2017, with one major amendment; a 60% reduction in the insurance premium to be paid by workers. This amendment is a major victory for my office which fought the original bill.
Recall that in the last July to August Parliament sitting, my office took on the ministry and broke the story that the insurance premium was ridiculously high. Our math showed that the originally proposed premium was more than double what is fair. Note that while the BN government proposed this scheme, it doesn’t have to contribute a single sen. The insurance premium is to be paid by the workers and their employers only. So this was a clear cut case of “harap pagar, pagar makan padi”. Essentially, the BN government, instead of really protecting workers, tried to overcharge 6 million lower-income workers and their employers. My office fought hard and the BN government backed down and eventually withdrew the bill. I was later informed by some ministers that they looked at and agreed with my numbers.
Anyhow, I am glad that the insurance premium is now at a more reasonable level and that being the case, I will support this newly amended bill. The key lesson for all Opposition MPs is that despite all the odds against us, we can still make a difference and we can stop the government from steamrolling every single law. We have to persevere and we have to carefully read the legislation. We have to do the math and we have to pursue alternative policies.