BY ALVERDTEKOSTER ANYAP & SARAH HAFIZAH CHANDRA
KUCHING: Many are flooding the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) building here to apply for the i-Sinar Account 1 withdrawal of up to RM10,000.
The i-Sinar will benefit eligible EPF members across the country and it is one of the efforts by the government to provide relief to those greatly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
There are approximately eight million EPF members who stand to benefit from this scheme, and withdrawal starts this month.
New Sarawak Tribune was able to get feedback from several members of the public who were at the EPF building today.
Salleh Mohidin, 44, Event Management personnel
“I’m very thankful for the availability of the scheme as it helps me to care for my family.
“With events being cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic, event management companies and people like myself have been affected greatly. I think the scheme is a good initiative by the government because it really helps families to survive.
“Through the i-Lestari scheme, I was able to pay for my car even though it was only RM500 a month. At the same time, my wife and I are now doing other small businesses like selling food to sustain our family.
“I hope that local event management companies will be more involved in upcoming events by the government and private sector.
“I hope there will be more opportunities or initiatives by the government and private sector to engage local event management companies as this will help our livelihood. There are many event management companies in Sarawak, we work closely together and we try to help each other in any way possible.”
Bibiana Jinga, 42, Business store operator
“The scheme will be a great help in my small business and children’s education.
“During the movement control order, my business was good because villagers were not allowed to travel outside of Serian so they would purchase essential items for their households from my convenience store. Now that there are no longer travel restrictions, business is slow.
“If my application is approved, I will be relieved because I will be able to take care of my two children who are still in school and to expand my business. As a single mother, I worry about not being able to provide for my kids.”
Martina Abd Rahim, 34, Former cleaner
“I have high hopes for my application getting approved because it will help my family during this challenging time.
“I applied for i-Sinar to help my husband whose salary as a kitchen worker is affected by the pandemic. We are expecting our third child so I am worried that we might not be able to provide for our growing family.
“I used to work as a cleaner but I had to quit so I can look after my children. I hope that my application will be approved because the money will help us.”
Muhamadie Luqman, 39, Construction industry employer
“The application criteria for the scheme should be fair and simple.
“In the beginning of the pandemic, we had to help our workers financially by giving their salary in advance and this affected the company’s revenue because there were no incoming projects.
“I am grateful that they are now able to apply for i-Sinar so that they can ease their financial burdens.
“I believe that the application criteria and process should not be too complicated or strict because it is not a financial assistance initiative. After all, we are applying to get the money we’ve earned ourselves.”