The non-tattoos that Badu do.

From the Selangor Times 2 March 2012. Ask Lord Bobo is a weekly column by LoyarBurok where all your profound, abstruse, erudite, hermetic, recondite, sagacious, and other thesaurus-described queries are answered!

Lord Bobo, what do you make of the Erykah Badu concert cancellation? Surely we cannot allow foreigners cavorting with “Allah” tattoos to perform here, right? If it had been allowed, we may well have seen riots and pure chaos. (Von D, via email)

The cancellation is ridiculous for many, many reasons.

Uno, it shows that for all the talk, the era of government knows best is most certainly not over. This is a direct example of the authorities telling us who we can and cannot see in concert.

Dos, His Supreme Eminenceness does not see who would be upset by the tattoos. It wasn’t a derogatory statement, or insulting depiction. If a handful or small percentage of individuals would be upset, so what? Since when is our nation governed based on the feelings of a super-minority?

Tres, Malaysian leaders like to talk about being “moderates” – and here we have a concert cancelled at the last minute because of what seems to be the judgement-on-a-whim of an individual, Rais Yatim.

Best of all? Erykah is gonna leave Kuala Lumpur to perform in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation.

Malaysia Boleh.

The non-tattoos that Badu do that caused the hullabaloo.

In a given salary slip, there are the following deductions – EPF employer, EPF employee, SOCSO employee, SOCSO employer. I have a friend whose prospective employer mentioned that there will be no EPF & SOCSO contributions throughout the probation period. Is this legal? I’ve contacted the EPF and was given the opinion that contributions from both employee and employer are compulsory as long as salary is paid by employer to employee. Is there any proper black and white on mandatory EPF and SOCSO contribution by both employee and employer as long as the employee (permanent, contract, temp, probation) is paid a salary? (Twisted Mind, via email)

What shenanigans are these!? The short answer is that your friend’s employer cannot withhold EPF and SOCSO payments during the probationary period.

For the EPF, the obligation lies in Section 43 (1) of the Employees Provident Fund Act 1991 which states that “every employee and every employer of a person who is an employee within the meaning of this Act shall be liable to pay monthly contributions on the amount of wages for the month at the rate respectively set out in the 3rd Schedule”.

The only exception is where the employer has established its own pension fund which has been approved by the Board as an “approved fund” under Section 52.

The employer should deduct the employee’s contribution from the employee’s wages and then actually pay the amount deducted, together with the employer’s own contribution, to the EPF under Section 45 of the EPF Act.

Crucially, the EPF Act makes no distinction between a probationary employee and a confirmed employee. The only people who do not have to contribute are those who are not considered “employees” under the EPF Act (defined in Schedule 1 of the Act, and including “nomadic aborigines” (unless the Director General of Aborigines specifies otherwise), most “domestic workers” (except if they work in an embassy or high commission) and certain foreigners temporarily working in Malaysia.

“Probationary” employees are therefore still “employees”.

If after all this, your friend’s employer still refuses to pay up, you can tell your friend that his employer will commit an offence under Section 45(4) of the EPF Act. Better yet, tell your friend to get a copy of this delectable newspaper and read this for himself.

Or to go over to or to read the online version!

All the directors of the Company will be liable to be prosecuted under Section 45(4), and to a civil suit under Section 65 by the EPF Board for recovery of contributions. The penalty is a jail term up to three years, or to a fine up to RM10,000, or both.

Lord Bobo might also send a plethora of purple bananas up the employer’s posterior.

The same principles apply to SOCSO payments, and the corresponding provisions in the Employees Social Security Act 1969 (the SOCSO Act) are Sections 6, 9, and 94.

Have a question for Lord Bobo? Call on His Supreme Eminenceness by emailing [email protected], stating your full name, and a pseudonym (if you want), or tweeting your questions by mentioning @LoyarBurok and using the hashtag #asklordbobo. What the hell are you waiting for? Hear This, and Tremblingly Obey (although trembling is optional if you are somewhere very warm)! Liberavi Animam Meam! I Have Freed My Spirit!

You can read archives of all the Ask Lord Bobo columns by clicking here. These are the divinely-inspired words of His Supreme Eminenceness Lord Bobo Barnabus PhD SP GBE OMGWTFBBQ.

Ask Lord Bobo is a weekly column by LoyarBurok where all your profound, abstruse, erudite, hermetic, recondite, sagacious, and other thesaurus-described queries are answered! It is the ONLY place that...