PM Anwar: Not allowing further early EPF withdrawals is the right decision, even if unpopular
SUNGAI BULOH, May 8 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today said that he will not waver in his decision to not allow more early Employees Provident Fund (EPF) withdrawals, even though he has faced pressure to do so.
Anwar, who is also finance minister, said that this is despite being aware that his decision may cause political controversy in the upcoming elections in six states.
“In making decisions, we must take the decision that is true and not be dragged to make a forced decision to appease some people,” he said during the inauguration ceremony of the new EPF Headquarters in Kwasa Damansara here.
“We anticipate that it will continue to be used as political fodder, especially during the upcoming state polls, but we won’t let this dissuade us.”
Anwar also said that he understood the need for the previous early EPF withdrawals — which were allowed in 2020 and 2021 during the Covid-19 related lockdowns.
“But the situation has changed now. People are free to go out to work. That’s why I agree with the EPF management’s proposal to no longer allow emergency withdrawals,” he said.
According to the EPF, some RM101 billion was taken out of the fund via the three early EPF withdrawal schemes, which were named i-Lestari, i-Sinar and i-Citra.
On a separate matter, Anwar said that the government is yet to discuss a proposal to increase employers’ EPF contributions to 20 per cent of an eligible employee’s salary — up from the current 13 per cent.
The proposal was reportedly brought forward to the government by trade union Uni Malaysia Labour Centre (Uni-MLC).
Last week, Anwar said that the proposal would be discussed at the Cabinet level.