IPOH: Employees Provident Fund (EPF) withdrawals, at a time when the people are facing uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, must be considered a dire and emergency need, UMNO youth chief Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki said.

He said the withdrawals will be extremely helpful for the people's survival as there is no guarantee currently that their lives are going to change for the better.

"From the onset of COVID-19 up to the various movement control orders (MCO) enforced, the people have been affected to the point some have incurred burdensome debts.

"There is no guarantee that their future will be much better when even now they are already suffering... this is a pandemic and there is a need for EPF withdrawals because this is now an emergency," he told reporters here today at the Polling Agent/Counting Agent/Barung Agent (PACABA) course opening ceremony officiated by Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob was recently reported to have said that the government will not approve any further EPF i-Citra withdrawals to safeguard contributors' savings for post-retirement life.