Pathetic for Anwar and Guan Eng to call for more EPF withdrawals, PSM says

(Focus Malaysia) – PARTI Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) criticised PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng for joining the chorus to pressure the Government to allow another round of withdrawals from the Employees Provident Fund (EPF).

“It’s sad to see Anwar and Lim joining UMNO’s irresponsible calls to pressure the Government to approve another round of withdrawals from the EPF.

“This is appalling and it clearly shows that our political leaders are bankrupt of ideas on how to resolve problems faced by the people, especially the lower income group,” its deputy chairperson S Arutchelvan said, in a statement.

On March 6, Lim urged the Government to allow the public to make another withdrawal from the EPF as it was among the six key issues raised by Johor voters.

The former finance minister made the call despite previously criticising the proposal by UMNO, arguing back then that it was the Government’s duty to provide aid to the people in times of hardship instead of having them dip into their retirement savings.

“After a week of campaigning in Johor, feedback from voters revolve around six main people-centric issues that the BN/PN Government have failed to address.

“The Government should allow the public to withdraw their EPF contributions, if not by RM10,000, then at least RM5,000 to allow them to meet their financial obligations,” Malaysiakini reported him as saying.

Yesterday, Anwar jumped into the bandwagon too by calling the Government to allow contributors to make another round of withdrawals.

“Contributors should be able to access their funds as soon as possible without any hindrance and bureaucratic hassle.

“There is increasing pressure from the public who want the Government to allow EPF withdrawals,” Free Malaysia Today reported him as saying.

Stand firm, Tengku Zafrul

Last year, Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz and EPF’s management themselves have said that as of now, 50% of the EPF contributors have less that RM10,000 in their accounts, with a whopping 79% of them having less than RM1,000.

With that, Zafrul then urged the public not to be swayed by calls made by certain politicians to allow more withdrawals, adding it would create long-term problems among contributors in the future.

On that note, Arutchelvan said that one should not engage in populist moves when they know the dire consequences, especially when it comes RPF contributors.

He reminded the public that MPs, who receive huge perks and pensions, could care less about the working people’s retirement fund and would do anything just to win an election.

“Another round of withdrawal will only make our working class poorer in the long run. In addition, this also shows the failure of the memorandum of understanding signed between the Government and Opposition.

“We urge the Finance Minister to remain steadfast on his decision and not succumb to the pressure,” Arutchelvan remarked.