Early birds plan to use i-Citra withdrawal wisely

Monetary help: Ibnu (left) and Yusrezan say I-Cirta will give them some financial freedom.

MELAKA: Reza Hamid is among the early birds applying for the Employees Provident Fund’s (EPF) i-Citra withdrawal for contributors below 55.

The 40-year-old said he applied for the withdrawal as soon as it was opened on Monday, three days earlier than scheduled.

“The application process was fast and easy despite many others applying at the same time,” he said.

Reza said he would use the money to buy gadgets for his three children to assist them in home learning.

Hotel general manager Jason Bak said he decided to apply for the i-Citra withdrawal to ease his burden in supporting his family after the hospitality industry was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I will use the money to pay bills that were in arrears for several months,” he said.

A former salesperson, Natassa Ismail, 29, from Klebang, said she decided to apply for the withdrawal facility to finance her new bakery business.

“I was badly affected by the pandemic. This withdrawal came as a blessing for me,” she said.

The mother of two also plans to save the money for her children’s education.

The i-Citra withdrawal was introduced following the announcement of the National People’s Well-Being and Economic Recovery Package (Pemulih) by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on June 28, as a temporary relief measure to help EPF members tide over the economic impact due to the pandemic.

In Johor Baru, storekeeper Ibnu Azim Azmi, 30, said he was thankful for the government’s move to allow withdrawal from EPF.

“I am currently living off a monthly salary of RM1,500, which is barely enough to survive on a monthly basis as things are getting more expensive these days.

“I’m living with my parents who both run an online food business. So we share the burden of paying the house, car and utility bills,” he said.

He was hoping the government could introduce programmes that sell products at a discount such as baby diapers, baby formula, dried food and other necessities.

Food truck operator Yusrezan Samsuri, 45, said he would use the money to sustain his business.

“I have previously withdrawn my savings under the i-Sinar facility.

“I believe this would help small businesses to continue operating during the National Recovery Plan,” he said, adding that the money could be kept as an emergency fund.

Eligible members are allowed to withdraw up to a maximum of RM5,000 subject to the total combined balance in both Accounts 1 and 2.

The application can be made through icitra.kwsp.gov.my.

For more information, EPF members can refer to the retirement fund’s official communication channel at www.kwsp.gov.my or call the i-Citra hotline at 03-8922 4848.

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