Former Prime Minister Najib Razak stepped up the campaign to withdraw lump-sum money from the EPF pension account.
Malaysia News: Najib visited the noodle stall run by former airline pilot Captain Azlin Mohamed Zawawi this evening .
He says in an earlier Facebook post that Azrin is an example of how a one-time withdrawal of RM10,000 from EPF account 1 can help small businesses and small traders who have suffered loss of income during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Of course, such a one-off RM10K withdrawal can help Capt Azrin grow his stall business. Indirectly, Mak Kiah (the government’s fictional example of a petty trader) can also expand her fried banana business to sugarcane water and so on,” Najib says.
He questioned why the government continues to insist on the monthly withdrawal limit of only RM500 from account 1. It only applies to the unemployed, and said that this is not the financial assistance people need.
EPF said earlier today that it is fine-tuning the withdrawal plan for its No. 1 account called i-Sinar, and the details will be announced on Wednesday.
In addition, Finance Minister Tengku Zavrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said that the government intends to increase the number of contributors eligible to withdraw deposits from Account 1. He said that negotiations are still ongoing and the details will be announced “in a few more days”.
In an earlier post, Najib asks:
“What about those who did not lose their jobs but receive less income because their overtime, allowances, or commissions are reduced or their basic salary was cut by employers?”
He says that a one-time withdrawal of RM10,000 can use to pay utility bills, rent or housing loans, children’s necessities, unpaid insurance money and other debts.
He says: “The “lump sum” money can also be used as basic capital to start a small business, especially for those who have lost their jobs.”
However, the monthly withdrawal of RM500 will not use for these purposes.
Support small traders and businesses
As an alternative, he urged EPF to consider allowing a one-time withdrawal of RM3,000 or RM5,000.
Later, he visited a noodle stall operated by Capt Azrin, a former pilot of Malindo Airlines. Azlin is one of the 2,000 employees lay off by the airline last month.
Najib said: “As a result of Covid-19 and economic problems, he is now a small trader. I know many are also working on their own. The people have no choice. It is not easy to get a new job.”
He urged the people to support small businessmen. Najib said that many people’s income is unstable. Their income is low enough to cover expenses or support their families.
He said: “The people want and need a comprehensive action plan,” he said. “We cannot allow economic problems to continue. We cannot let the people face income and financial problems. This brings instability and hardship.”