Malaysia's Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has announced that all Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contributors under the age of 55 will be able to withdraw a maximum of RM500 (S$163) each month.
EPF is a compulsory savings and retirement plan for private sector workers in Malaysia
Starting April 1, 2020
During a press conference at the Prime Minister's Office on Mar. 23, Muhyiddin explained that this new initiative will help ease Malaysian's financial burden during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Those eligible can withdraw from their EPF Account Two for a period over 12 months, starting Apr. 1, 2020.
According to Muhyiddin, this initiative is expected to benefit 14 million EPF members with an estimated withdrawal sum of RM40 billion.
He noted that although the money is intended for retirement, some people may require additional financial help amid the current Covid-19 crisis.
Muhyiddin added that the money should be used in an appropriate manner.
"My advice is to use the money wisely, only what is needed during this difficult time...What is important is for there to be food on the table for your family."
Muhyiddin also announced several other initiatives during the press conference.
A total of RM500 million will be used to purchase medical equipment, such as ventilators, and other lab necessities.
An additional RM100 million will be used to hire about 2,000 healthcare staff, especially nurses.
All 13 states in Malaysia will also receive RM130 million, regardless of which political party each state is governed by.
Lastly, the National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN), the authority responsible for giving study loans to students pursuing tertiary education in Malaysia, will extend its loan repayment until Sep. 30, 2020.
Muhyiddin said that more information will be revealed in the updated Economic Stimulus Package on Mar. 30.
This is his full press statement:
You can also watch his announcement here:
Top image from Muhyiddin's Facebook page.