KUALA SELANGOR (March 21): The government will not adopt a populist approach by considering another round of withdrawals from Employees Provident Fund (EPF) members’ savings, said Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli.
He said taking the money out of the EPF would drastically reduce its fund size and severely impact the fund manager’s ability and flexibility, hence limiting its investment option strategies and eventually impact the dividends paid to contributors.
“If we are going through tough market conditions in 2023 and 2024, we would need to have a fund that is equally resilient and robust so that we can protect the majority of EPF depositors, who are basically small depositors,” he told a media conference here today.
“If the government chooses a populist approach because we want to go for the state elections and allows the withdrawal, that will severely impact the EPF’s ability to manage its fund,” he added.
He said that for the good of the nation, the government would not resort to populist measures despite facing immense pressure from a group of people.
“No populist move. We have gone through administrative phases where decisions were made in order to get responses and likes on TikTok and Facebook, for which we are feeling the effects now,” he said.
He expressed hope that within five years, the people would understand the government’s decision and be able to appreciate it.
Earlier, Rafizi launched the first vending machine under the People’s Income Initiative (IPR) at Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Puncak Alam here.
He said 100 self-service machines would be placed in public areas and high-demand locations such as light rail transit (LRT) stations within a month.
“This IPR initiative is part of the government efforts to promote healthy competition among traders so they do not just depend on financial injections from the government,” he added. – Bernama