MTUC wants ‘vocal’ sec-gen reinstated as Socso board member

MTUC secretary-general J Solomon was removed as the congress’ representative on the Socso board on Dec 3. (File pic)

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has urged the human resources minister to reinstate its secretary-general, J Solomon, as a Social Security Organisation (Socso) board member, saying his removal was unfair and done without justification.

Solomon was removed as MTUC’s representative on the Socso board on Dec 31.

In a statement, MTUC president Abdul Halim Mansor said both he and Solomon have important obligations and roles to play on boards of directors in various entities such as the Employees’ Provident Fund and Socso.

Halim said they were there to safeguard the welfare of workers who contributed millions of ringgit each month to these entities.

“We have a moral and legal responsibility to speak up even if the matter is not pleasing to the ears of the chairmen or other board members,” he said.

Halim also urged Human Resources Minister M Kula Segaran to clear the air over Solomon’s removal to allay fears and suspicion the dismissal was “done unilaterally and motivated by personal agenda”.

He said this was because Kula had stated that Solomon was removed from the board due to a request from the board itself.

However, he said that in a letter to Solomon last month, Kula made no reference to the supposed dissatisfaction of the board with Solomon.

Halim said Solomon also confirmed that no Socso board meeting had been held where any decision endorsing his removal was taken. Neither was there any discussion on Solomon’s conduct at the board of directors meetings.

“Therefore, it is very strange for the minister to claim that it was the Sosco board which pushed for Solomon’s removal,” he said.

Solomon had previously claimed he was removed after he raised issues over pensioners’ contributions, and for asking for minutes of meetings in Bahasa Malaysia to be translated to English in May.

But Halim said based on Solomon’s briefing and an audio clip of the meeting, MTUC did not find anything untoward in Solomon’s conduct, and no action was taken by the minister then.

Halim also said Solomon was officially nominated by MTUC and that the minister had a moral obligation to justify his actions.

“The minister should not remain silent on this issue,” he said.