Mixed reactions over EPF withdrawal decision

Ho says it is a good move that can ease the financial burden of the people in the short term.

JOHOR BARU: The Government’s decision to allow RM500 monthly withdrawal from Employees Provident Fund (EPF) for members beginning April 1 to help them during the Covid-19 pandemic has received mixed reactions from the public.

While some applauded the move, others expressed concerns over its effects in the long run, especially for those with lower savings.

Social activist James Ho, 67, said that it was a good move that could ease the financial burden of the people in the shortterm during the movement control order (MCO).

“I think a lot of people, especially those from the low-income category who are facing tough times during the MCO period and are unable to provide a steady income for their families will benefit.

“However, their EPF savings will dwindle, ” he said.

Legal adviser Muhammad Nur Sadiqin Mohd Khusni, 25, said that it was a good move to help those whose earnings were affected by the order.

“It will ease the burden of those facing financial difficulties.

“On top of that, limiting it to RM500 monthly is also a good way to prevent account holders from overspending their savings, ” he said.

Entrepreneur Fanny Wong, 39, said the initiative would bring more harm than good in the long run as the public may not have enough savings to support themselves when they retire.“I think it is better for the government to give financial aid to those with low income instead of asking them to take out money from their savings.

“Some may not even have much in their savings now, ” she said.

Factory operator S. Krishnan, 32, said that it was a good decision as it allowed the public to be financially independent during such trying times.

“I do not plan to withdraw but it is good to know that I can if I choose to do so.

“It may also prevent those in dire straits from resorting to borrowing from loan sharks, ” he said.

Krishnan added that those who withdrew from their EPF savings must be prudent in their spendings.

In a statement, EPF chief executive officer Tunku Alizakri Alias said the decision to allow withdrawals from the retirement fund was made following careful consideration.

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