The rakyat will have to live below the poverty line if they had to withdraw their EPF savings again

MUHAMMAD YUSAINY MOHAMAD YUNUS
MUHAMMAD YUSAINY MOHAMAD YUNUS
14 Jan 2022 06:46pm
Hassan Abdul Karim cautioned the further withdrawal of EPF funds -- Sinar Harian Photo/ Asril Aswandi Shukor
Hassan Abdul Karim cautioned the further withdrawal of EPF funds -- Sinar Harian Photo/ Asril Aswandi Shukor
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SHAH ALAM - The withdrawal of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) such as i-Lestari, i-Sinar and i-Citra schemes will cause contributors to live below the poverty line.

Pasir Gudang MP, Hassan Abdul Karim said, the facility should not be allowed every time a catastrophe occurs as it is the responsibility of the government to care for its people.

According to him, the EPF contributors do not receive a pension that can help them in the future, compared to government servants.

“We have to remember that EPF is a retirement saving fund that is meant to be used in the future, if we look at the employees' data, about 6.1 million of the distributors have less than RM10,000 in their EPF saving accounts so if we proceed to allow the withdrawal, many of the rakyat will live below the poverty line.

“As an example, if they have RM50,000 in their savings account and they spend RM1,000 a month, that means they only have four years before they use up all the money.

“However, if they live until their retirement age of 55-years old, they can only spend RM250 a month.

“This means, if we do not manage the country properly, many of the rakyat will have to live under the poverty line,” he said.

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He made the statement during the Berani Semuka programme discussing KWSP: Lega sekarang, susah kemudian? On Thursday (Jan13).

Umno Youth chief, Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi was also a panellist while Amin Idris moderated the forum.

Commenting further, Hassan said only 27 per cent of contributors has the minimum saving of RM240,000 when they reach 55-years-old as set by the EPF while the other 73 per cent have lower savings.

“So, how are we going to help the 3.6 million contributors who only have less than RM1,000 in their savings account?

“How are we going to help the 6.1 million contributors, who are mainly the Bumiputeras who have less than RM10,000 in their savings account? We have to be daring in making unpopular decisions so that the welfare of the rakyat is taken care of,'' he said.

At the same time, he said, the government or the opposition needs to generate new ideas to increase funds for the country and help the rakyat instead of using the rakyat’s own money to help the rakyat.

According to him, they need to work together and come up with solutions to help the rakyat even if it means the government had to borrow from domestic sources.

“The government can borrow from EPF, pay a high dividend rate and it can benefit the contributors and we do not have to borrow from abroad.

“This is the role of the government on how the contributors can add to their savings and prior to this, a mistake has been made in the National Trust Fund (KWAN).

“So, make sure the second mistake will not happen. I’m sorry to say this but it is considered as an act of betrayal,” he explained.