THEY WILL ASK thee as to what they should spend on others. Say: "Whatever of your wealth you spend shall [first] be for your parents, and for the near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer; and whatever good you do, verily, God has full knowledge thereof." - Al-Baqarah (2:215)

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Money, money, money...

For the past week, I’ve been getting a few calls from my PLWHA clients, informing me of the status of their EPF withdrawal applications.

Right after she got her cheque by mail, Ani called me up to thank me for helping her with the application. I didn’t do anything much, but she still wanted me to know first. And I really appreciate her telling me about it without me asking. Not that I’m such a busybody wanting to know whatever goes on with her life, but I prefer to know the latest status of all my clients so I can prioritize whoever needs help more.

Just 2 days after Ani called me, Yah called me. She said she went to update her bank book and found out that her EPF money had already been banked into her account. Great news indeed! Now she can settle the purchase of land and house from her aunt and no longer need to worry about being chased out of the present house by her landlord’s son as what happened previously.

Both Ani and Yah applied for EPF withdrawal to build/buy a house. Ani is currently staying in a small kampong house together with her in-laws including her husband’s younger siblings. Since nobody else knows about the couple’s HIV status, it can be quite difficult staying in the same house with so many others. With the EPF money, Ani’s husband can now build a separate house on a nearby piece of land.

I was told by a fellow volunteer that he had brought Mr. and Mrs. K to EPF office last week for the same purpose. Mr. K’s medical report was signed by a specialist so hopefully he doesn’t need to go to any panel clinics to confirm his health status. My friend (the volunteer) did ask the EPF officer about the question I posed to him earlier, as to why the applicants need to go to private panel clinics when they have already submitted medical reports issued by government hospitals… it didn’t sound quite right. And the officer’s answer was, “Itu keputusan Lembaga KWSP, bukan keputusan saya.” Yes, the typical “that’s not my job” answer. This means they don’t care about the logic behind any procedures that need to be carried out… if the big bosses say the applicants need to jump off a building to prove their disability, the applicants WILL be asked to jump off the building! (Of course I’m exaggerating here, but you get the drift…)

Well, Mr. K’s EPF withdrawal should be approved soon and hopefully the money will help the family get back on their feet.

While I’m not too worried about how Ani and Yah will use their money, I am a bit concerned about Mr. K’s family. I have seen how Yah manages her finances, and I believe her EPF money will be put to good use.

But Mr. K’s family being the “gali lubang tutup lubang” type (first borrow from A, then borrow from B to pay back A, and so on and so forth). They have never seen big amount of money in their life, so seeing a big amount in their bank account may tempt them to use up the whole amount of money in no time, thinking there’s a lot more to spend! I have already seen quite a few of such cases, especially the men (sorry, men… but I’m saying this based on what I’ve personally seen). But Mrs. K promised me they’d put aside at least RM10K in ASB, so I hope she’ll keep her word when the money comes in.

Hopefully, they will spend the money WISELY.


J.T. said...

Hi Pi,

I am glad that things are coming together for Yah and Ani. A great relief to see some $$$ in the bank.

It is a little worrisome when you know some who do not handle money well get their hands on a lump sum. I bet the wheels in their brains go spinning crazily. :D
Some make mistakes between 'wants' and 'needs'.

U.Lee said...

Hello Pi Bani, I masuk your previous 'Tambun theme park' and read your reply to my query. Thanks. Wow! And to think I used to go fishing for haruan, tilipia those areas old days in the 70's.
Yes, I remember the hot springs very well and the beautiful limstone hills.
I have always loved Ipoh for its beauty, the mountains, the limestone hills and its cool night breezes. I stayed on an off dua tahun in Ipoh, had a bungalow in Canning Gardens.
Oh ya, one morning I had a very bad accident at Tasek road, partly my fault for driving fast (in my Alfa Romeo), with a lorry carrying those big, long, dried bamboos.
Somehow the bamboos came loose and fell and bounced on the road. The road was deserted except yours truly doing about 80 mph (was rushing to go to Penang for a meeting) and was about 100 yards behind the lorry about to overtake when I saw long bamboos bouncing towards me.
No chance to ehlak as they were bouncing all over the road. All I could do was slammed my brakes, and duck under my dashboard fast! One bamboo went right thru my front screen and speared my rear seat.
Fortunately only one bamboo hit my car.
A lot of later passing cars stopped as never seen a car speared by bamboo before. They all enquired whether driver suda habis? Ha ha. I sued the lorry company, got a few $$$ and car repaired too.
Re your EPF story above...I took out mine back in the 80's. By the way Pi Bani, whats the interest like now?
You have a nice day, UL.
ps, is the Police field force HQ still there?
Used to love eating banana leaf rice at 'Goodshed' next to railway lines. Still there?

winniethepooh said...

Glad to know that Yah and Ani had their money and will put to good use the money. :)

Indeed, I agree with j.t., some make mistakes between 'wants' and 'needs' esp when a LUMP sum of money dropped into their hand; suddenly they will go 'goo goo ga ga' as if they have strike lottery going on a 'grab-all-you-can' shopping spree. It does gets worrying esp when you know their 'pattern of spending habits'.

Hopefully Mrs K will put aside the money as she has said.

Have a good week ahead Pi Bani!

PEARLY said...

hi chegu Pi :
how are you ? reading the EPF , I wonder myself any money there still hahaha.

the next time will come and visit you so you can also give me a hand to find out ehheheh.

you are a very kind person all this time you worry and help lot of ppl who need ,may god bless you xxxxxx

Pi Bani said...

Sometimes it's not just between 'wants' and 'needs'. Even their needs they must learn to prioritize.

Pi Bani said...

Goodness... luckily you managed to duck under your dashboard! Otherwise we won't be reading your moonlight and roses... :)

Re: EPF, interest not that high since the 97/98 recession but have improved a bit lately.

The PPH (Polis Hutan) still in UK (Ulu Kinta lah... not United Kingdom) but am not too sure about the 'Goodshed' banana leaf rice as I seldom eat out.

Pi Bani said...

I also can go goo goo ga ga if a huge amount of money lands in my hands... lots of things start playing in my mind. But usually I'd think things thru before deciding to buy anything.

As for Mr K's family, I guess I will have to remind them from time to time they need to prioritize their spendings.

Pi Bani said...

If you have worked before and you have not withdrawn anything, then the money should still be there. Actually anyone moving overseas can withdraw their money. If you haven't, then the next time you come back, yes, I can help you sort that out. After that you got to belanja me lah... haha!

Anonymous said...

Hi Pi, Bani,

If I am not mistaken Kak Yah was supposed to re-visit the specialist for confirmation to her EPF application, did she went again or EFP had given the $$$ after reading your post ?

Hope some Govt staff are reading your posting and are willing to assist.


Cheras KL

Pi Bani said...

Yah didn't have to revisit the specialist, but because her medical report from GH was signed by MO, not specialist, she had to go to 2 panel clinics (private). Her problem earlier was one of the clinics she had to go to was quite far and to make matters worse, when we went, they said they had not received the letter from EPF on Yah's medical report and therefore the doctor was unable to sign any report for Yah.

That was when I told Yah to go back to EPF and ask if she could see another panel clinic in Ipoh so that she wouldn't have to travel too far for nothing. They finally gave her another clinic in Ipoh. Jumpa doctors at the panel clinics tu pun bukannya depa check apa-apa. They just read the copy of the medical report from the GH, get Yah's particulars filled in a particular form provided by EPF and they just simply sign the form without even asking Yah about her illness.

All the panel clinic stuff sekadar untuk menambah kerja for the applicants je... and for people like Yah, to travel to Ipoh alone she'd have to spend about RM50 per trip. But alhamdulillah, now she's got her money.

nyonyapenang said...

Hi Pi Bani,

Thank God, your clients have you to help them with their withdrawals from EPF...dealing with the doctors and getting reports and all. Dealing with these departments can wear a person thin...'naik tangga, turun tangga' and the 'merry-go-round' thingy.

And hopefully, they will be wise with the money.

Mustafa Şenalp said...

çok güzel bir site.

PEARLY said...

hi chegu :
no problem la I treat you wateven you like we can have breakfast to lunch then diner then supple , tak apa la! ( am I say right in no problem )I think the last time I check that was 15 years ago there around 4,000 rm hhhhhaaahanow don't know la ,

also the next tiem you must also must tell the best place to go in IPOH ok

love you lot xxxxx

Pi Bani said...

Nyonya Penang,
Sometimes it's not just 'naik tangga, turun tangga', silap haribulan can also 'naik angin' maa... :)

Pi Bani said...

Thanks for dropping by again. If only you'd translate that sentence for me, I can learn a few words of the Turkish language... :)

Pi Bani said...

Wah, you want to belanja me from breakfast right to supper?! Aiyo, nanti you balik Ipoh, I yang gemuk!!