MTUC Sarawak: Move to allow auto approvals for withdrawals under i-Sinar scheme ‘totally irresponsible’

Andrew Lo described the move by the government to allow automatic withdrawals from their EPF Account 1 as ‘totally irresponsible.’ — Borneo Post Online file pic
Andrew Lo described the move by the government to allow automatic withdrawals from their EPF Account 1 as ‘totally irresponsible.’ — Borneo Post Online file pic

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KUCHING, Feb 16 — The Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) Sarawak is not in favour of automatic withdrawals from the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) under the i-Sinar scheme that allows EPF members with a balance of less than RM100,000 to withdraw up to RM10,000.

Its secretary Andrew Lo described such move by the government as “totally irresponsible.”

With the move put in place, affected workers will have to pay for these for generations to come, said Lo in a press statement today

“Please don’t use the excuse that the public supports withdrawals. They don’t have a choice as government assistance is not forthcoming.

“The government has managed its finances in such an inept manner that it has to now resort to workers digging into their own precious savings to help themselves.”

“The government is telling the whole world that it is incapable of providing assistance to workers. It is embarrassing. It is like killing the patient to cure the disease.,” Lo argued.

Lo claimed that the move was motivated by politics when he said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is the Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman, was using it to “buy political support”.

Last week a national news portal (FMT) reported that the EPF will automatically approve applications from those who have already applied for i-Sinar withdrawals because the government has done away with conditions on withdrawals from the EPF under the scheme.

Finance minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz was quoted as saying that the decision to abolish the conditions was made on the advice of the prime minister to improve the scheme following feedback from the public.

Members with more than RM100,000 in their EPF account can withdraw up to 10 per cent of their savings in Account 1, capped at RM60,000.

Payments will be disbursed in stages over a maximum of six months with the first payment amounting to a maximum of RM10,000. — Borneo Post Online

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