The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) said it allowed members to withdraw funds from Account 2 of their savings for medical expenses incurred for the treatment of critical illnesses and/or to buy medical aid equipment as approved by the EPF board for themselves or allowed family members.
The government agency said this in response to questions from The Malaysian Insider on the decision of the Ipoh High Court on June 10 to not release the full EPF contributions of a former construction firm manager to pay for a liver transplant.
“In relation to the case published in your news portal, the EPF can consider the member’s application if he wants to withdraw from his Account 2 to fund his medical treatment as stipulated in the EPF’s Health Withdrawal scheme,” it said.
EPF’s corporate communication department in Kuala Lumpur said Lau Poh Lee, 54, was allowed to withdraw his savings in Account 2 for the health treatment he needs, but not the full amount of savings in his fund. Lau’s application to compel the EPF to release his contributions was rejected by the Ipoh High Court on the grounds that he would be able to work again after his surgery.
Last year, he had applied to withdraw funds totalling RM833,310.09 under Section 54(1) of the Employees Provident Fund Act 1991 because he was incapacitated and unable to work. This was rejected by the EPF medical board on October 16, last year.
Subsequent appeals against the decision was also rejected.
Judge S.M. Komathy Suppiah found that the medical board was legally convened and its decision was correct.
Lau was diagnosed in July, last year, with hepatome hepatomegaly (enlarged liver) and was subsequently diagnosed with ischaemic heart disease, liver cirrhosis and diabetes mellitus.
According to his consultant physician and cardiologist, he was in a dire need of a liver transplant and was medically certified as incapacitated physically from engaging in employment.
As a result, Lau applied to the EPF to withdraw his contributions to pay for surgery.
EPF’s lawyer Karlos Israphil Bendlin told the court that based on the medical evaluation of three government doctors, Lau was healthy.
The EPF’s management board was also satisfied with the findings of the EPF medical board which evaluated Lau’s level of disability.
Lau’s lawyer Ranjit Singh said an appeal will be filed against the High Court descision. – June 13, 2015.
Sources from http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/citynews/greater-kl/article/ex-manager-cannot-withdraw-entire-savings-for-treatment-says-epf