Malaysia needs a better living wage system, says ETH chief

The Employees Provident Fund is keen to see wages increase, but stresses that this must match the availability of funds and the right way to do it.

Malaysia needs a better living wage system that balances the demands of employers and workers without causing too much disruption, said Employees Provident Fund (EPF) CEO Amir Hamzah Azizan.

“Pandemic-related withdrawals of RM101 billion ($24.32 billion) since 2020 have resulted in 48% of EPF members having less than RM10,000 ($2,389) in their accounts,” said he said during a press briefing, reports The Malaysian reserve.

EPF is keen for salaries to rise, but that has to match the availability of funds and the right way to do it, he noted.

“If you increase the salary, the contribution to the EPF will be better, which will then translate into a better savings rate. At the moment we don’t have a plan to increase the contribution rate, when the economy is in a better condition, we could come back to it. We always encourage people to increase their contribution if they can afford it,” he added.

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EPF intends to increase investments in various domestic asset classes this year, as it is time for Malaysia to venture outwards, with the reopening of international borders and the country’s vaccination rates among the best in the world, he said.

Michael A. Bynum