| Fadley Faisal |
THE Magistrate’s Court yesterday imposed a $80,000 fine or in default 160 months’ imprisonment on a company owner following his guilty pleas towards 160 charges of non-payment of Tabung Amanah Pekerja (TAP) and Supplemental Contributory Pension (SCP) contributions due to his employees.
This case is the first of its kind with the prosecution of the defendant following enforcement of TAP and SCP rules.
Leong Ting Boon, who trades under Nyuk Lian Printing Company, pleaded guilty to 160 charges of failing to pay employees their rights to contributions of TAP and SCP.
“There is not much to be said in the defendant’s favour apart from his undertaking to make payment to his employees,” Senior Magistrate Lailatul Zubaidah said.
The court underlined the importance of sending a message to all employers that failure to pay contributions, as required under the relevant legislation, will be dealt with seriously.
“Employees working in good faith should be reassured of financial security once they retire. Without such incentive and assurances, there will be imbalance in the dynamics of the business sector. People will be less motivated to gain employment and there will be more unemployed individuals who will inevitably turn to crime to sustain themselves.
“This is the scenario that must be avoided at all costs. For this reason, a deterrent sentence must be passed to prevent other employers from doing the same,” Senior Magistrate Lailatul Zubaidah said.
DPP Amiriah Hj Ali informed the court that investigations were carried out by TAP, which led to the discovery.
Total arrears that were initially due against the defendant for TAP contributions to the employees’ accounts were $58,692, while for SCP it stood at $34,631.35. This represents non-contributions from 2010 until 2013.
The defendant was given a one-month grace period to settle the fine. The prosecution has also indicated its intention to apply for payments of due contributions to the employees.
Senior Magistrate Lailatul Zubaidah ordered for a review of this order to be mentioned again on October 8.