PETALING JAYA: Workers will be left in the lurch if they are allowed further withdrawals of their Employees Provident Fund (EPF) savings, the National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE) said.
It hoped that Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob “will not succumb to short-term popular political pressure and leave the workers in the lurch in the long-term”.
In a statement, NUBE said that allowing workers further EPF withdrawals would cause severe social problems in the future.
Although it sympathised with the plight of flood victims, it said, dipping into the retirement fund during each disaster was “not a wise approach”.
Instead, both the federal and state governments should continue to ensure sufficient availability of basic necessities and their timely distribution to flood victims, it said.
The government, it said, should increase the allocation of its resources accordingly rather than be obsessed with dipping into workers’ retirement funds.
“Politicians must be mindful that the workers’ retirement funds have already been significantly reduced from the withdrawals made in the last two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”
NUBE also urged the government to focus on closing the wide inequality gap and address the absence of a decent basic wage.
It was recently reported that the government would not allow EPF contributors to withdraw through the i-Citra scheme, with the public and some politicians calling for a one-off withdrawal of RM10,000 to be allowed in light of the floods.
In response to this, finance minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz had said the EPF should not be seen as a solution or a way to overcome challenges as this will affect the retirement savings of contributors, especially when Malaysia is expected to hit aging nation status by 2030.