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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 2 ― Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail revealed today that about 13.7 million Malaysian workers are still not covered by any form of social security protection.
She said the figure was alarming and the situation needs to be addressed. According to the January 2018 data of the Statistics Department, the country had 15.19 million workers.
“The government is committed to extending the coverage of social security in the country to ensure Malaysians from all walks of life are covered by a sustainable and affordable social security system,” she said when opening the Regional Social Security Forum for Asia and the Pacific of the International Social Security Association (ISSA), here.
Acknowledging the creation of new types of work from the Industrial Revolution 4.0, she urged the Social Security Organisation (Socso) to extend the Self Employment Social Security Act 2017 to all platform workers of the new economy.
She said these new types of work, which are breaking away from the traditional work models, are leaving these new workers uncovered by any form of social security programme.
Wan Azizah said workers in the informal sector also should not be forgotten, as well as other vulnerable groups such as persons with disabilities, older persons, housewives, children and other layers of society.
“To address this, we need to establish an integrated social security system where all social partners are able to share their data to ensure that the right benefits reach the right persons.
“This way, all social partners in the country will be able to operate more efficiently in delivering social protection to the people,” she said.
On another note, Dr Wan Azizah, who is also Women, Family and Community Development Minister, called on social security administrations to use innovative approaches to sustain benefits and further extend coverage to enhance the quality of the social security services.
She also said that social security practitioners need to start moving from “payer” to “player” to ensure that social security benefits are designed to include giving back to society.
“Successful development and management of innovation is a key factor in determining the capacity of institutions to work towards extending coverage and securing the sustainability of social security programmes,” she said.
The three-day forum, with the theme “Excellence in Social Security: Enhancing Protection for Tomorrow's Society”, is attended by 400 participants from 42 countries in the Asia Pacific region.
Also present were Human Resource Minister M. Kulasegaran and ISSA president Dr Joachim Breuer. ― Bernama