CORONAVIRUS | Putrajaya will allow contributors to dip into their Employees Provident Fund (EPF) during the Covid-19 crisis.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the measure is to help those in need of money after having lost their source of income.
He said contributors will be allowed to withdraw up to RM500 a month from Account 2 for the next 12 months beginning April 1.
"This initiative is expected to benefit 14 million EPF members with a withdrawal sum estimated at RM40 billion," he told a press conference in Putrajaya today.
Muhyiddin said this is on top of an earlier measure to reduce the EPF contribution from 11 percent to seven percent.
"My advice is to use the money wisely, but only what is needed during this difficult time.
"What is important is for there to be food on the table for your family," he added.
He noted that the money is intended for retirement but some needed it now.
"It may not be much but it is your hard-earned money. It is for retirement but there are people who need it (now)," he said.
The prime minister reiterated that the money should be used in an appropriate manner.
Muhyiddin also announced that the government has agreed to extend the moratorium on repayment for the Higher Education Loan Fund (PTPTN) from three months to six months.
He said the moratorium is effective today until Sept 30 involving a sum of RM750 million for 1.5 million borrowers.
Malaysia went into a partial lockdown on March 18. This is expected to last into March 31 but could be extended.
During the movement control order, all non-essential businesses are not allowed to operate, causing loss of income including amongst small traders.
As of noon yesterday, Malaysia recorded 1,306 Covid-19 cases with 10 deaths.