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EPF chief urges focus on raising wages, not fund contributions

There should be an in-depth study on the salaries and wages of employees taking into account the cost of living, Employees Provident Fund chief executive officer Tunku Alizakri Alias said today.

He pointed out that emphasis should not be on increasing the percentage of their contributions to the fund, but rather their wage levels.

Tunku Alizakri noted that the contributions of 12 percent and 11 percent by employers and employees respectively was already the fifth highest in the world, and said there would be implications if this is increased.

"The increase will impact employees in terms of their take-home pay and for employers, the cost of doing business, and these are sensitive issues.

"I would not recommend increasing the contributions hastily, and there should be more studies done before such an action is taken," he told reporters after the launch of the Belanjawanku expenditure guide for Malaysian individuals and families in Bangi today.

Tunku Alizakri said the underlying motivation behind the development of Belanjawanku was the problem of low financial literacy, rising cost of living and over-indebtedness among Malaysians.

"This guide will be adopted by our Retirement Advisory Services officers in providing our members with financial guidance and advice, in complementing what is essentially a flagship EPF service.

"We expect Belanjawanku to form the bedrock of society's strong financial well-being, leading to a better quality of life in the long-term," he added.

The Belanjawanku project was commissioned by the EPF as part of its financial literacy programme, with detailed research being carried out by a team at the Social Well-being Research Centre of Universiti Malaya.

When asked about the ongoing issues between Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd and AirAsia, Tunku Alizakri said the EPF was pleased that both parties had taken its comments positively.

"AirAsia has met with us. MAHB will be meeting with us very soon," he added.

- Bernama


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