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March 1999


News Flash 2001

19 January 2001
04 September 2001
22 September 2001
28 September 2001
30 September 2001
19 December 2001
Year 2002
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High Crime, Low Wages
- Who Gains?
Sarawak Labor Ordinance
Merger of Banks & Financial Institution
Increase Retirement Age
Customer First ?
Adapt or Die
Industrial Court Awards





SBEU thought Banks, being at the top end of the Institutions of civil society, have developed professional and ethical human resources management policies. Well we thought wrong.

Hong Leong Bank dismissed Josephine, a SBEU member in Miri Branch on 5th November 2001 whom it accused of misappropriating RM500. The facts of the case are as follows:

On 1 Oct 2001 a customer present a cheque amounting to RM500 to the member for payment. Josephine posted the cheque, and when she noticed that the signature of the cheque does not match the one that is on the computer screen, she aborted the transaction and refer the check to the officer. The systems did not call for printing of the check. She did not realise that even though she has aborted the transaction, and that the cheque was not validated, the account was in fact debited. The officer after checking instructed her to return the cheque to the customer

At the end of the day, she balanced her physical cash. However when she cast the cash vouchers, she discovered that one of the vouchers was missing. She traced it back to that particular transaction and reported the matter to the officer. She confirmed that she balanced her cash till.
By right, she should have a cash excess of RM500. As the account was debited but the customer was not paid. However she did not have an access.

The bank charged her for misappropriating the RM500. She categorically denied the charge. It is entirely probable that there could be a compensating error involving another transaction. As the day in question was 1st of the month, there were a lot of transactions- she paid out more than RM210,000 and received more than RM107,000 in cash.

SBEU believe that any staff, whether they are SBEU members or not, must be dismissed if found guilty of any fraudulent misconduct, as staff in the banking Industry must exhibit the highest standards of honesty and integrity.

However, before the bank dismissed anyone for misappropriation, which is a criminal misconduct, there must be clear and convincing proof, and there must be proper investigation in line with accepted industrial relations practice and natural justice.

SBEU also believe that in cases where the Bank has established a reasonable belief that the staff is guilty of the offence, the dispute should be referred through the normal dispute resolution procedures under the Industrial Relations Act 1967.



However In this case, there is not a shred of evidence that our Member misappropriate the money. There are so many inconsistencies in the bank's case that we have the gravest doubts as to the integrity, fairness and professionalism of the Bank's human resources (HR)

Amongst others:

"Notes of Domestic Inquiry (DI) were not given to our member until the 27 Nov 2001, and only after intervention from SBEU, thereby prejudicing her appeal.
"The Bank confirmed that the notes of the inquiry were not ready and were still being check by the DI Panel members as at 13th November 2001. The Bank dismissed Josephine on 5th November 2001 on the basis that the Panel of the DI has found her guilty. How can the panel find her guilty on 5th November, if the notes were not even ready at that time? On what basis and on what evidence?

"When we pointed out to the HR that the missing RM500 could be due to a compensating error, and that the DI did not look into this possibility, the HR turn around to claim that they did check. This is a lie. The day's other transactions were never checked during the DI. The notes of the inquiry confirmed this.

"We have also received credible reports the DI panel initially found Josephine not guilty. They were then "requested" by the HR to change their decision.

" Immediately after dismissing Josephine, the bank freezes her savings a/c denying her access to her own money for her daily survival.

The bank tried to make Josephine a scapegoat for what essentially is a loss caused by a system error.

SBEU will not tolerate such unprofessional conduct will take all necessary actions against the bank until the dismissal is rescinded

SBEU members in Hong Leong will now picket wef 21st Dec. We request members in all Banks and Finance Companies in Sarawak to be ready for all out action!


Copyright 2001 Sarawak Bank Employees' Union. All rights reserved.