Former PM Ismail persists with EPF withdrawal

BERA MP Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said today that he will bring the issue of Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) withdrawals to the Dewan Rakyat this month.He said he received a request from the government to allow such withdrawals from the Pertubuhan Warisan Rakyat Prihatin, who presented a memorandum to him demanding a targeted withdrawal from the EPF to help the rakyat fight back against the rising cost of living.“Thank you, Perbutuhan Warisan Rakyat Prihatin for this meeting. We hope to continue to be the eyes and ears of the people and to always be sensitive to the needs of the people in this country.“God willing, I will raise this issue during the debate in Parliament that will take place in mid-February,” he said in a post on Facebook today.Ismail met with criticism from netizens two weeks ago when he suggested that the Government should allow EPF withdrawals.A significant number of social media users took to his Twitter account to express their opposition to such a proposal and provide information on the potential negative consequences.On the other hand, analysts have also noted that allowing withdrawals from the EPF would likely result in increased inflation rather than resolving individual financial difficulties.Furthermore, the EPF would be required to adjust its portfolio by prematurely selling assets, particularly those invested overseas, to accommodate the increased cash outflow.Additionally, it has been pointed out that such withdrawals would likely prove ineffective, as many individuals may have already depleted their savings through prior withdrawals.However, it appears that Ismail is ignoring all the calls against another round of EPF withdrawals, insisting it is good for the rakyat.He said in addition to the Prihatin People’s Heritage Organisation, several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) previously demanded that the government led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim allow the EPF to be released either on a targeted or one-off basis.Anwar has rejected calls to allow for another round of withdrawals, saying the government needs to consider the fate and future of EPF contributors before allowing further withdrawals. — Feb 4, 2023

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