EPF withdrawal: The government has to be 'cruel'

DIANA AZIS
DIANA AZIS
22 Feb 2023 08:00am
Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Fuziah Salleh - SINAR
Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Fuziah Salleh - SINAR
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SHAH ALAM - The government needs to be 'cruel' regarding the issue of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) for the benefit of the people in the future.

Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Deputy Minister Fuziah Salleh explained that it is the government's responsibility to ensure that the people have sufficient savings after they retire.

"That's why the PM (Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) said the government will try to find a way and be responsible, as we are thinking about the people's future, not to take their money.

"Its like this, 'you have to be cruel to be kind' (need to be cruel for good) for instance like a mother who wants to give medicine to her child, but the child cries and the mother feels guilty, but you have to remember that this medicine must be given as well for the child's benefit.

"That's why I said, it will be difficult for the government if they allow it (EPF withdrawal) because we know they have no more savings (for the future). What will happen after they retire, because there is no pension (money), no savings. This is the government's social responsibility to ensure that the people have that protection," she said.

Fuziah said this in Sinar Harian's Wacana programme, titled 'Anwar's Budget: Expectations vs Reality', which was broadcasted live on all Sinar Harian digital platforms today ( Tuesday night)

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Also present was Putra Business Economic Analyst Associate Professor Dr Ahmed Razman Abdul Latiff.

Fuziah, who is also the Member of Parliament for Kuantan, said that the government understands the people's grievances in dealing with the rising cost of living, and is always trying to find suitable ways to reduce the people's burden.

"We understand that its a difficult situation for some families (because) some are in debt until they have to leave the house, the car debt is not paid, this creates pressure. That's why they think the EPF is their right, and demands a withdrawal.

"I understand this situation but as today's government, we are responsible in ensuring that their old age savings are not tampered with. It is our responsibility to find other ways to help and I admit it is not easy. It is our hope that more engagement sessions can be held to solve this problem.

"We are trying our best in terms of (introducing) the Rahmah Menu, there is the Rahmah Package which is a set of items that cost RM70 but are sold for RM50 and so on," she added.