KUALA LUMPUR, March 17 — The decision to allow Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contributors to make a special withdrawal of RM10,000 from their accounts as announced today will enable those impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic to settle their outstanding commitments.

Most of the Umno members who support the move said, besides that, the withdrawal would also help to improve the people’s livelihoods and stimulate the local economy, especially the petty traders.

Supreme Council member Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan believes that 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 yesterday.

Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan, meanwhile, described the announcement as timely, with many people very much in need of it. 

However, according to him, the decision as to whether contributors with savings exceeding RM10,000 want to withdraw the sum or not was 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 Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki said the announcement should not be viewed as a political move, instead it is 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. So, 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 Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob was yesterday reported to have said that the government has decided to allow EPF contributors to make a special withdrawal of RM10,000 to ease the burden of Keluarga Malaysia (The Malaysian Family) members who are still impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ismail Sabri said although it was a difficult decision to make, the government had to take this middle-of-the-road approach to strike a balance between contributors’ current pressing needs and their savings for the future. — Bernama