IPOH, June 10, 2015:

The High Court here today dismissed an application by a former construction manager for a judicial review against the Employees Provident Fund’s (EPF) decision to deny his request to make an early withdrawal of his contribution.

In her judgment, Judicial Commissioner S.M. Komathy Suppiah said the decision imposed on wheelchair-bound Lau Poh Lee, who would only turn 55 by the end of this year, was justified.

The decision of the EPF Management Board stated that it was satisfied with the findings made by the Medical Board of EPF which assessed the level of Lau’s disability.

The board said the application was dismissed because he had not fulfilled the conditions set for the withdrawal.

Lau’s application to withdraw his contributions, which stood at RM833,310.09 on Aug 6, 2014, was rejected by EPF on Oct 16 last year.

He claimed that he had to undergo liver transplant surgery after he was diagnosed with hepatomegaly (enlarged liver) and subsequently diagnosed with ischaemic heart disease, liver cirrhosis and diabetes mellitus.

He claimed the diagnosis was made by consultant physician and cardiologist Dr Koh Chan Seng at the Perak Community Specialists Hospital, Ipoh.

Lau is currently residing at Villa Lagenda Condo, Taman Desa Bakti, Kuala Lumpur.

His counsel, Ranjit Singh, said such an application was allowed under Section 54(1)(c) of the EPF Act 1991, which stated that the EPF board may authorise the withdrawal if it was satisfied that a contributor was “incapacitated physically or mentally” from engaging in an employment.

Meanwhile, counsel for EPF, Karlos Israphil Bendlin, told the court that based on medical reports from three government doctors, Lau was healthy.

After the court dismissed the application, Ranjit Singh told reporters that he would file an appeal.

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