Mohammed Azman bin Aziz Mohammed
Mohammed Azman is a medical doctor and the CEO of PERKESO, the Social Security Organisation in Malaysia. Under his leadership, PERKESO has introduced various initiatives and programs that benefit employees, employers, and Malaysian society. Azman is actively expanding social security coverage in Malaysia, supporting the government’s objective of enhancing the standard of living and well-being of Malaysians.
Azman has identified specific challenges experienced by gig workers, those who have lost their jobs, foreign workers, and housewives in Malaysia who are not protected by the Employees’ Social Security Act 1969 and do not possess any accident-related medical insurance. In response, he paved the way for expanding the PERKESO social protection network.
One of Azman’s major contributions to the Malaysian workforce is the Self-Employment Social Security Scheme (SESSS) that was established in 2017 under the Self-Employment Social Security Act 2017. This scheme protects self-employed insured persons against employment injuries, including occupational diseases and accidents during work-related activities. Currently, more than 562,000 self-employed workers are actively contributing to and protected under the SESSS.
Azman has also worked to transform delivery service from a claims-based approach to an action-based initiative. He introduced the PERKESO Prihatin Squad in 2015 to push administrative officers on the ground to process cases in real time. Scouting information on various media, community leaders, and other information networks, PERKESO Prihatin Squad delivers immediate aid to insured persons and their dependents in the event of unexpected incidents or misfortune.
Recently, PERKESO allocated 2.5 million MYR (about 571,300 USD) to the Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) for a period of five years to mobilize and support growth in capacity-building, research and development, and societal awareness a occupational safety and health. Through this collaboration, the Social Security Management Center of Excellence (SOSCOE) was established, and 20 PERKESO employees were offered scholarships to complete a bachelor’s degree in human resource management (with a minor in social security management) in October 2022.
Before obtaining his Master of Science degree in occupational safety and health from UUM, Azman earned an MBA from Oxford Business College. Being a medical doctor with a business degree, Azman has a unique perspective that allows him to view the issues that victims of workplace accidents face, as well as the viewpoints of the employers, employees, and PERKESO top management. It also allows him to understand the point of view of the rehabilitators and their need to provide a high-quality service. All of these aspects are important to ensure that workplace accident victims are able to continue being productive contributors to the nation’s economy when they return to work.
In 2007, Azman, spearheaded PERKESO’s Return to Work program. This initiative has since been named an international best practice. Under this program, he established the state-of-the-art high-tech PERKESO Rehabilitation Center that opened in 2014. Today, the center is a leading provider of physical rehabilitation, integrating physiotherapy, occupational therapy, neurorobotic therapy, sensory therapy, work hardening, industrial rehabilitation, and prosthetics and orthotics. It also provides a variety of comprehensive reskilling and upskilling modules through its Vocational Rehabilitation program. As of April 2022, a total of 26,534 workers have benefited from this program.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Azman led PERKESO through various social protection programs and employment initiatives that impacted employers, employees, self-employed individuals, and job seekers. In 2020, PERKESO worked together with the Ministry of Human Resources to introduce the PenjanaKerjaya Hiring Incentive and Training Program. The program has found employment for 320,864 job seekers and is continuing its efforts to date as the newly rebranded JaminKerja Keluarga Malaysia initiative.
PERKESO, under Azman’s direction, has implemented several other initiatives to strengthen the country's resilience and support recovery efforts, including the Employment Retention Program, Wage Subsidy Program, Improvement of Job Search Allowance, Study Incentive Program, and also PERKESO's Screening Program for COVID-19. Altogether, 24 billion MYR (just over 5 billion USD) was disbursed to more than 350,000 employers from affected industries to safeguard the well-being of over 3 million workers in the labor market during the pandemic. This effort has aided in the survival of the industries, the workers, the economy.