Allegations of pocketing Socso benefits baseless

The airline clarifies that all monies received from Socso were fully disbursed to employees and it did not retain any portion of the amount as alleged


MALINDO Airways Sdn Bhd has denied allegations of pocketing the Social Security Organisation (Socso) benefits and assured that the sums that it received from Socso had been paid out to staff.

According to a statement yesterday, under the Employment Retention Programme (ERP), the airline received a total of RM1,267,200 for April 2020 which was credited in mid-May 2020 from Socso and disbursed to 2,112 staff.

“Malindo Air clarifies that, whatever sums it received from Socso were fully disbursed to its employees and the airline did not retain any portion of these sums as is otherwise being baselessly alleged by certain quarters,” the statement read.

The company said a total of RM1,486,800 was received in late June 2020 and credited to 2,478 staff accordingly.

Subsequently, Malindo said when Socso discontinued the ERP and replaced it with the Wage Subsidy Programme, only 196 staff benefitted from the same.

The airline stated that a total of RM235,200 was received for June and July 2020, which Socso disbursed in late August and September 2020 respectively.

“Nonetheless, Malindo Air has ensured that staff who benefitted from both the schemes were retained for more than three months as per their governing rules,” Malindo Air said.

Meanwhile, the Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M Saravanan has given his assurance that all Malindo employees who have been laid off will receive their unemployment benefits through the Employment Insurance System (SIP).

Saravanan said affected employees are advised to submit the SIP application online at or to send it to any Socso office as soon as possible.

He added that Socso would assist the ex-staff of Malindo in finding jobs through the MYFutureJobs portal.

Malindo has laid off 2,647 workers since Nov 1. The airline said its average revenue has tanked to 7.5% of the pre-Covid-19 levels.

Prior to the pandemic, Malindo had an average monthly revenue of RM200 million which supported a payroll of 5,000 personnel amounting to RM40 million a month.

“The pandemic which resulted in the grounding of almost all of our fleet since March has had a crippling effect on our finances with current average revenue being just 7.5% of the pre-pandemic levels.

“How do you continue to maintain status-quo eight months and still counting, when there is barely any revenue or meaningful support of any kind?” CEO Captain Mushafiz Mustafa Bakri said in the statement.

Malindo said it has downsized fleet by 50% by transferring out 20 aircraft, which resulted in a monthly savings of about RM20 million.

The airline also said it has sought deferments and renegotiated contracts with its vast number of service providers, including aircraft lessors and airports.

On the people front, Malindo said it had to retrench 1,861 staff in order to remain in operation despite having taken numerous steps such as a voluntary separation scheme for 349 staff and a long-term unpaid scheme for 439 pilots and cabin crew.

Malindo also said it is working closely with Saravanan; the DG of Industrial Relations Malaysia Khalid Jali; Jabatan Tenaga Kerja; Socso and Human Resources Development Fund to assist all its displaced staff to be retrained and reskilled for onward job placements.

Previous reports stated that the government had received 31 complaints from former Malindo employees who felt that their dismissal was unfair.

Saravanan previously said the employees, who felt that their dismissal due to the Covid-19 pandemic was unfair and done without solid reasons, have the right to file a representation to be reinstated in their former employment under Section 20 of the Industrial Relations Act 1967 (Act 177).

“As of Nov 2, the Department of Industrial Relations (JPP) received 31 representation cases under Section 20 of Act 177 which involves the former employees of Malindo Air.

“Of the total, 24 cases were resolved through peaceful negotiations, while the seven remaining cases are still awaiting JPP’s actions for peaceful negotiations,” he said in the Dewan Rakyat recently.

Saravanan added that JPP expects to receive more cases from former Malindo Air employees since the 60-day period stipulated under Act 177 has not ended and several states are still under the Conditional Movement Control Order.