Umno leaders say the decision to allow Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contributors to make a special withdrawal of RM10,000 from their accounts as announced yesterday will enable those impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic to settle their outstanding commitments.
Most of the Umno members who supported the move said the withdrawal would also help improve the people’s livelihoods and stimulate the local economy, especially for petty traders.
Supreme Council member Abdul Rahman Dahlan said the affected contributors could replenish their retirement savings in the EPF once the country’s economy picked up.
“Surely many like this, but there will also be some who won’t have the opportunity or be eligible to withdraw the money. The people are very much in need of it now,” he told Bernama.
Umno secretary-general Ahmad Maslan meanwhile described the announcement as timely, saying many people were in need of it.
He said whether contributors with savings exceeding RM10,000 want to withdraw the sum or not is up them.
“What’s important is that when they withdraw (their savings), they can use it to top up their business capital, settle debts and for their own and their family’s commitments. They can use the withdrawal for so many things,” he said.
Meanwhile, Umno Youth chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki said the announcement should not be viewed as a political move, but for the benefit of those in need.
“They (the people) still have substantial savings in the EPF and need this amount to settle their outstanding commitments and debts. That’s why what was announced will bring huge relief to the people.
“I believe that, judging from the trend today, many (people) are thankful to the government. For me, it’s never too late… the most important thing for me is the positives, it shows that we are not politicising this issue,” he said.
Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said yesterday that the government had decided to allow EPF contributors to make a special withdrawal of RM10,000 to ease the burden of those who are still impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ismail said although it was a difficult decision to make, the government had to take this middle-ground approach to strike a balance between contributors’ current needs and their savings for the future.