Najib denies inciting Malaysians to reject PN govt over EPF, moratorium

(FMT) – Former prime minister Najib Razak today denied trying to incite Malaysians with his call for Putrajaya to allow people a one-off withdrawal of RM10,000 from their Employees Provident Fund (EPF) Account 1 and to extend the loan moratorium.

He said he did not stand to personally benefit from these proposals, adding that he had never urged the people to reject the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government if these two conditions were not implemented.

Najib said the two conditions for Barisan Nasional’s (BN) vote in support of the 2021 budget were not populist moves but economic strategies, besides being in response to the needs of people facing hardship amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I believe that people will be responsible in using the money wisely and working hard to replace their retirement savings when things improve. Is it fair to deny families a lifeline just because there are concerns that some might misuse the money?

“I believe that the funds injected from the two measures will help stimulate the economy and save more jobs. It’s not like I have no experience or don’t understand Malaysia’s economic matters.

“If anyone can refute what I’ve written, only then will it be fair for you to accuse me of inciting or toying with the people,” he said in a Facebook post today.

The Pekan MP also reiterated that these proposals were not impossible or difficult to implement, adding that Putrajaya had already done so previously with the initial six-month moratorium and i-Lestari scheme for EPF Account 2.

He said EPF had assets worth RM940 billion while banks have been netting billions in profits yearly, which would not make it an issue for them to implement the proposals.

“Until now, no one has answered my question as to how the 2021 budget to fight Covid-19, which is only 2.5% higher than the 2019 budget (without Covid-19), can save the country,” he said.