Flood victims appreciate EPF withdrawals

NAZRIN ZULKAFLI
NAZRIN ZULKAFLI
18 Mar 2022 08:00am
Wet weather continues to batter Malaysia leaving with many states facing flash floods, displacing thousands and damaging properties in the untold millions. - Bernama Photo
Wet weather continues to batter Malaysia leaving with many states facing flash floods, displacing thousands and damaging properties in the untold millions. - Bernama Photo
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SHAH ALAM - After the government announced the latest RM10,000 special withdrawal from the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), flood victims breathe a sigh of relief as they would be able to pay off their debts using the money.

Based on Sinar Harian’s observation, victims who were badly affected will be using the money to repair their flood-damaged vehicles, rebuild their homes and use it as capital to start up a business.

This, according to the victims, was because they still have yet to receive the flood aid promised by the government which led to their decision to make the special withdrawal.

Private employee Musjaiman Ahmad Mustar, 37, said he will use the RM10,000 to repair his two cars and his motorcycle which were damaged after being submerged in floodwaters.

Musjaiman who lives in Taman Sri Muda, here, said he had used about RM15,000 in total.

“I will be withdrawing my EPF savings. I was waiting for this announcement because I need to pay the cost to repair my car that is still stuck in the workshop since last December.

“It took some time to repair the car because I bought the spare parts myself. This way, I could save costs and would not spend too much of the money that I withdrew. I would only pay for the labour cost of the workshop to help fix it.

"This does not include the cost to repair the house. So, I had to use my own savings,” he said.

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Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Wednesday announced the government's decision to allow the withdrawal of EPF contributions up to RM10,000 to ease the burden of Keluarga Malaysia, who were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said the decision was made based on the findings of a comprehensive research among affected victims who have lost their incomes and still rebuilding their lives from the financial aspect.

Musjaiman said he appreciated the announcement as there were still many people who needed help, especially flood victims.

Meanwhile, another private employee Khairol Amin Mohamad Akhir, 46, said he also withdrew his EPF savings under the scheme to settle the debt he owed his family members.

He said his elder brother and sister have used their money to help him pay for the repair of his motorcycle that was damaged due to the floods.

“I used the EPF money to pay back my siblings as they helped me earlier. I used the balance of the money to repair the house,” he added.

On Wednesday, Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari said a total of 8,395 flood victims in Selangor have not received aid from the state government and Bantuan Wang Ihsan (BWI) from the federal government as of Monday.

Trader Sarina Mohd Som, 44, said the EPF withdrawal has helped her business resume as usual after her business had to be temporarily closed due to the Covid-19 outbreak and the flood.

She said she had used her personal savings to pay the cost of repair works for her house with the help from her friends.

“As a self-employed person, I was affected. I have yet to receive the assistance meant for flood victims promised by the government. I received only RM1,000.

“I have applied for assistance to rebuild my home which was damaged due to the flood but it is still pending approval,” she said.

For Muhammad Tarmizi Mahayadin, 42, who works in the private sector, the EPF money will be used to repair his flood-damaged home.

“So far, the wiring in the house is damaged and the kitchen cabinet was also destroyed. Even RM10,000 would not be enough to cover the cost actually,” he said.