The government has announced an extension of its i-Sinar programme to allow all Malaysians to withdraw funds from Account 1 of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF).
The move will benefit some eight million EPF contributors, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz said in the Dewan Rakyat today.
The move will involve some RM70 billion from the retirement fund.
Zafrul said the yearly dividend distributed to contributors would not be affected by the move, adding that a careful feasibility study had been done.
The i-Sinar programme is an extension of the i-Lestari programme which allows a monthly withdrawal of up to RM500 from Account 2.
People will have access to up to 10% of their savings in Account 1 as long as they have a minimum balance of RM100.
Zafrul made the announcement during his winding-up speech on the 2021 budget, which he tabled on Nov 6, just hours before a crucial vote to pass the bill.
“These are not my suggestions, these come from the MPs and the people. We might not be perfect, but we listen,” he said in concluding his speech.
He added that the budget might not be “100% perfect”, but said it should be viewed as a survival plan during the time of the pandemic.