BN MP suggests one final EPF withdrawal for contributors

BN MP suggests one final EPF withdrawal for contributors

KUALA LUMPUR: A Member of Parliament yesterday suggested that the government allow Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contributors to withdraw their savings for the last time.

Datuk Seri Mohd Salim Sharif (BN-Jempol) during the debates on the Royal Address in Dewan Rakyat said this was because there was an urgent need for some Malaysians to use their retirement savings for the sake of their survival.

“This is not to deny the government’s concern over the issue of contributors’ insufficient retirement savings, but to meet the needs of Keluarga Malaysia, especially those who are still struggling to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic or the recent floods,” he said.

Therefore, Mohd Salim said it was time for the government to look into the matter, including in providing targeted EPF withdrawal facility, depending on the contributors’ savings.

The government had previously allowed the withdrawals of EPF savings through a series of initiatives, namely i-Sinar, i-Citra and i-Lestari.

The issue has also drawn the attention of several MPs including Datuk Mohd Nizar Zakaria (BN-Parit), M. Karupaiya (PH-Padang Serai), Datuk Seri Hasan Arifin (BN-Rompin) and Datuk Dr Xavier Jayakumar (Independent-Kuala Langat).

Hasan opined that the government should conduct regular monitoring and inspections, especially in rural areas to ensure that traders did not increase the price of items when the people received their financial assistance.

He said the increase in prices of goods would also reduce the purchasing power of the people.

Xavier said the suggestion was timely to help accelerate the country’s economic recovery, adding that the government was responsible for helping Keluarga Malaysia, especially the B40 group.

Meanwhile, several MPs from the opposition bloc touched on the rising cost of living faced by the people, urging the government to immediately take proactive steps to address the issue which could be exacerbated by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Lim Guan Eng (PH-Bagan) suggested that the government set up a price stability fund to help the government reduce and curb the increase in prices of goods.

“I would like to suggest that the government provide a fund of RM3 billion that can be obtained from the windfall tax imposed in the 2022 Budget,” he said during the debate.

In a bid to alleviate the burden of living cost and expenses on the B40 group, Wong Chen (PH-Subang) suggested that the minimum wage be increased to RM2700 per month for each family in the group. — Bernama