When it comes to financial matters, unlike my mother, I’m rather clueless. I understand certain procedures and the like, but finance, on the whole, has bored me. That said, I am extremely protective of my monies. It comes from being told as a child that I cannot do what I like unless I have money, so when I place my monies in other people hands, I generally expect it to be returned to me.
When it comes to the EPF, I am of the opinion that as long as the money is there when the time comes for me to retire, I don’t really mind about the lack of interest. I come from a family where it is always prudent to invest in more than one scheme. That and a belief that savings is really, really important. I also admit that I am lucky that I still have money for savings.
That said, I am not very happy with what is happening with my EPF money. For those who do not know, the EPF is a mandatory contribution fund for Malaysian workers. The idea behind the EPF funds is that it forces workers to save money for their retirement, with the funds being released at the age of 55 to the worker. However, depending on the user’s needs, a certain amount may be removed from the EPF accounts for emergencies and betterment, such as purchasing a new computer under the IT guidelines, housing loans and/or in case of disabilities or death (please correct me in the last).
The Federal Territories Minister has come up with a “brilliant” plan to provide housing loans for some 20,000 renters who are, for various reasons, unable to get a commercial loan to buy houses. Some reasons include having retired and/or unable to guarantee a steady income. On the surface this may seem like a great idea, but I can’t help but be skeptical and very worried about the entire scheme for one reason, and one reason alone:
Why is the EPF lending directly to these borrowers instead of going through a third party like the Bank Rakyat and the Malaysian Building Society? The main comment and question being asked in all articles I’ve read so far is that if, as Federal Territories and Urban Well-being Minister Raja Datuk Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin insists, that this new housing loan scheme is so profitable, why aren’t the commercial banks snapping up the loans?
Why is it that my monies, entrusted to the government to ensure I have a safe retirement, is being used in such a manner?
Or is this, perhaps, the Federal Government’s way of saying “FUCK YOU” to the middle class, who it left out in the 2012 budget, for voting for Pakatan Rakyat instead of Barisan Nasional?
You know, I wasn’t sure what else BN could have done to lost votes and drive people to Pakatan Rakyat after Bersih and the EO6 saga, but I suppose they seem to be rather insistent on outdoing themselves every time.