HR minister wants to cast wider social safety net by amending Socso Act

Human Resource Minister M. Kulasegaran wants to amend the Socso Act 1966. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Human Resource Minister M. Kulasegaran wants to amend the Socso Act 1966. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

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IPOH, June 5 ― Having dealt with various labour-related cases in his more than 30 years legal practise, M. Kulasegaran said he requested the Human Resource Minister’s post when the he formation of Cabinet was underway.

“I told DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng human resources is my forte and I can bring positive changes to it but he said many are also eyeing the post.”

“Now that I am the minister, I am looking forward to it,” he said.

Speaking to Malay Mail when met at his service centre at Taman Idris here, Kulasegaran said among his target now was to amend the Socso Act 1966.

“I want to cast a wider social safety net to include every working Malaysian,” he said, adding that his ministry's legal adviser had been told to look into it.

The Act, noted Kulasegaran, does not cover those in the army, navy and civil service.

He is also looking to  cutting down cost in the ministry.

“Instead of having all officers coming to Putrajaya for meetings, we can have video conferencing or communicate through emails,” he said.

Having just reported for duty as a minister, the Ipoh Barat Mp already has work cut out for him.

His service centre has received inquiries from his electorates to look for jobs.

“My ministry may be involved in human resources but it is not a job agency. We supervise jobs,” he quipped.

The 60-year-old admitted pressure is building up as he is the only Indian in the Pakatan Harapan Cabinet.

“In the ministerial level, I have people to handle the matter but at the constituency, I have students who failed to get into matriculation courses despite scoring 12As coming to me. I even have people coming to me requesting for transfers,” he added.

Kulasegaran, who first became an MP after winning the Teluk Intan by-election in 1997, however, said he was looking forward to his new post.

“It is a challenge...the ministry has annual RM1 billion allocation and more than 15,000 personnel,” he shared.

“When I was a lawyer, there is much joy in helping the poor whose claim is much lower than the legal fees.”

“The satisfaction is doubled when we win such cases but now as a minister, I can meet ordinary people and assist them further.”

He also wants the ministry's officers to go back to basic by going to the ground.

“Do not sit in air-conditioned rooms making decisions for people who are outside,” he said, adding that he would be having spot checks soon.

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