Shahidan tables emergency motion on EPF withdrawal
The opposition has continued its call for the government to allow Malaysians to withdraw from their Employees Provident Fund (EPF) savings.
(NST) – The opposition has continued its call for the government to allow Malaysians to withdraw from their Employees Provident Fund (EPF) savings.
Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim (Perikatan Nasional-Arau) tried to move an emergency motion, urging the Dewan Rakyat to debate the issue.
“Contributors are desperate, the cost of living is on the rise. Many have sold off their properties, and are left with only the clothes on their backs.
“It is time for members of Parliament (MP) to fulfil their promises to help the people.
“The unity government can take the same step as the previous governments during Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s administrations to allow targeted and phased EPF withdrawal,” he said in Parliament today.
He added that EPF savings were the right of the contributors, and said many needed the money before school reopened in March.
“Additionally, many will observe Ramadan and celebrate the month of Syawal soon.”
Based on the EPF report as of Dec 2022, he said, there had been a rise in the number of contributors, employers and active contributors.
“Therefore, cash flow (for EPF) should not be a problem.”
Shahidan’s motion, however, had been rejected by Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Johari Abdul.
Johari had rejected the former’s motion earlier, but allowed him to read it in Parliament because he was a senior member of the house.
“The (debate) for the 2023 Budget is after Feb 24. I hope you raise this issue to be debated,” he said.
Last week, the Dewan Rakyat heard that more than 8.1 million EPF members had seen their median savings halved by 50 per cent in 2022.
Deputy Finance Minister I Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan said the drop was after the government allowed members to withdraw their contributions during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdowns.
He also said since Covid, 8.1 million EPF members had withdrawn a total of RM145 billion.
Ahmad, who is also Pontian MP, said this was the reason the government could not allow any more EPF withdrawals.
Muhyiddin, who is also Perikatan Nasional chairman, had reiterated that targeted EPF withdrawals would help alleviate the burden of the people.
He had said there was “nothing wrong” with the government considering another round of withdrawals.