The government will look into suggestions to allow the withdrawal of a portion of funds from Account 1 of the Employees' provident Fund (EPF).

However, this would involve only certain contributors, such as laid off workers, who have fallen into hard times after losing their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, said Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin today.

"I have discussed with the Finance Ministry and we basically agreed and are prepared to study the proposal for contributors who really need to withdraw allocations from Account 1," Bernama quoted the premier saying in an interview with Bernama and local television stations ahead of Budget 2021 on Friday.

For the record, the EPF allowed contributors to withdraw RM6,000 from their respective Account 2 as a step to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic impact, via the i-Lestari withdrawal scheme. Besides, the fund already allows workers to reduce their contribution rate from 11 percent to seven percent.

This differs from Muhyiddin's remark last week that EPF contributors will face bigger problems in the future if they are allowed to withdraw money from their Account 1 now.

That is why the government was already dispending billions of ringgit to aide the people, he had said.

All eyes are now on the government, which is set to unveil Budget 2021 on Friday afternoon, touted to be one of the toughest ever, due to the pandemic.

Source: Bernama
Photo source: Astro Awani