i-Sinar a lifeline to Kluang traders

KLUANG: THE decision to allow Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contributors to use part of their savings to resolve their financial difficulties during the Covid-19 pandemic has been described as nothing less than a lifeline for several traders here.

Nor Laila Mohd Lip, who sells kerepek and traditional Johor delicacies, said following the government's announcement, she wasted no time in preparing the documents to facilitate the application process.

The 46-year-old, who submitted her application for the i-Sinar withdrawal facility at the EPF branch here, is waiting eagerly for the first payment to be credited into her bank account.

She said the money would be used to continue her business.

She operates a stall at a food court run by the Kluang Municipal Council in Kampung Gajah here.

"This cash will be helpful. Alhamdulillah, I prayed for this and my prayers have been answered.

"This (money) is timely and important as many businesses have been affected in Pekan Rabu here.

"I hope that the withdrawal of funds via the i-Sinar facility will inject new life into my business, which has been badly affected since the Covid-19 pandemic hit in March."

Fellow trader Johari Wahid said he would use the money to pay off the debts he incurred since the start of the pandemic.

Johari, who sells coconut water, said the money from his EPF Account 1 would also be useful in looking for a new rented house for his family. He said the current house would be reclaimed by the landlord soon.

Johari said he had been at his wit's end trying to find a way to solve his financial woes. The government's announcement to allow contributors to withdraw from Account 1, he said, gave him much relief.

"It's as if a giant weight has been lifted off my chest. I was at a loss as to how to raise the money.

"I am thankful to the authorities for helping people like us. We need this money to address our urgent needs.

"The money will prove invaluable during these trying times and will be put to good use for the sake of my family."

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