Netizens have been left appalled by a Johor-area woman’s account of her sister’s struggles with stage 4 cancer — not to mention the bureaucracy surrounding her Employees Provident Fund (EPF) — after a post about their ordeal went viral over the weekend.
Nur Sheila Abdullah posted late Friday afternoon, describing her 56-year-old sister’s efforts to withdraw the money from her EPF account while bedridden with advanced-stage cancer.
Both Nur Sheila and her brother had gone to their local EPF office to try to find a solution that didn’t their very ill sister having to go down to the office herself to provide the necessary fingerprint to withdraw the cash from the EPF — a retirement fund of sorts for Malaysians. At the office she tried to rationalize with civil servants, asking if they might — under the very exceptional circumstances — make a house call to get her sister’s prints, but to no avail.
“EPF’s slogan is ‘Ready to Help’, but as I think back, is that slogan [even] right?” her post reads. “Or is it just to help healthy contributors? And if you are sick and [bedridden], please help yourself.”
“We asked them if they would be kind enough to make a home visit and take her fingerprints manually, as well as to verify any information they need, but their response was disheartening,” she continued.
“They said no and that it didn’t matter if she came in an ambulance or a stretcher, but she would still have to come down to the office to use their machine to take her fingerprint.”
After receiving the blunt ultimatum, Nur Sheila and her family arranged for just that: having an ambulance take her sister to the EPF building, where they allegedly didn’t even let the woman in the front door, asking the family to take the ambulance around back.
Eventually an EPF officer came from inside and told them they could take the woman, who was now on a stretcher, inside the office, causing a commotion among other individuals who were there that day.
And, as if to add insult to inconvenience, another officer came to the woman and her family and allegedly explained that there was no need for them to have come in personally — the withdrawal could have been done from home, just with a longer wait.
“EPF really needs to review their Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), we live in a country that is democratic and somewhat advanced, we need to change the way we think about these kinds of things,” Nur Sheila concluded.
“It isn’t my intention to find fault but there has to be a change when it comes to convenience for all contributors in the future.”
Reactions to the post and photos were uniformly appalled at the unaccommodating nature of the EPF, with many wondering why no one could simply have gone to the ailing woman’s house.
“Instead of the bedridden patient having to come down to the office, why not the officers visit her home and see her condition? All you’d have to do is take a few photos as supporting documents for proof, taking it to this point is just nonsense,” one user wrote.
Kumpulan Wang Simpanan Pekerja (KWSP) ambil maklum mengenai berita yang sedang tular berkaitan pengalaman perkhidmatan…
After the initial post attracted thousands of shares and reactions, the EPF issued a statement via its own social media account apologizing for the incident and explaining that they are now reviewing their procedures when it comes to cases of a sensitive nature.
Probably a good idea, since these contributors facing life-threatening illnesses just want to get the cash that’s, y’know, actually theirs.
This article, Stage 4 cancer patient goes to EPF office in stretcher after being denied home visit, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!