Keep budget promises, ease rules on EPF withdrawals, Najib reminds govt

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Najib Razak has again urged the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to ease its criteria for the fund’s i-Sinar facility, which allows for withdrawals from members’ Account 1.

In a Facebook post, he shared a video of a young woman in tears, appealing to EPF to remove the conditions, claiming that she had been rejected from accessing her savings on three occasions.

Najib also reminded the government to fulfil its promise to BN during the rounding up of the 2021 budget debate in Parliament.

BN previously stated that it would only support the budget under two conditions — namely, the extension of the bank loan moratorium until June 30 next year and allowing people a one-off withdrawal of up to RM10,000 from their EPF Account 1.

“The Perikatan Nasional (PN) government should trust the rakyat because they know best about their needs.

“They also understand that they should not waste their retirement funds if they do not need this money desperately,” Najib said in his post today.

Najib added that the government was also not aware that many individuals were struggling with outstanding debts or liabilities since the pandemic first started 10 months ago due to their inconsistent income.

He said it was not the government’s responsibility to deny the public from accessing their own funds in these desperate times.

“Instead, it is the government’s responsibility to make it easier for the people and to find ways to ensure that EPF savings can be recovered in the near future after the Covid-19 pandemic ends,” he said.

According to EPF, those eligible to apply for the i-Sinar facility were members who have not contributed for at least two consecutive months (at the time of application) and those still employed but who had their basic salary cut by 30% or more after March 1 this year.

Following EPF’s announcement, various parties have requested that the fund remove all criteria and conditions set under i-Sinar.

In response, EPF last week clarified that there were no changes to the withdrawal criteria as yet.

Online applications for the scheme will start from Dec 21 and payment will be made by mid-January 2021. FMT

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