Umno Youth calls for finance minister to withdraw re-implementation of RM1 ATM charges

Umno Youth chief Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki speaks to reporters during the party’s general assembly in Kuala Lumpur March 28, 2021. – Malay Mail photo

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 3): Umno Youth today urged Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz to withdraw the re-implementation of the RM1 charge for interbank cash withdrawal transactions at automatic teller machines (ATMs) which were reinstated this month.

Its chief Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki in a statement this morning said the exemption of charges should be continued for at least another year as people are still struggling with lack of cash and employment opportunities.

He said on top of that the prices of basic goods are set to increase as well.

“Even the economic outlook for 2022 also expects the prospect of a sluggish economic recovery will further increase the cost of living of the people.

“The moratorium on bank loans has come to an end, while until today #TuntutanRakyat for the last withdrawal of RM10,000 of their Employees Provident Fund (EPF) savings is not approved by the government,” he said.

Asyraf Wajdi also added that the banks should not face any problem absorbing the RM1 charge as the accumulated profit they earned last year reached hundreds of millions with some even reaching billions of ringgit in profits.

“Umno Youth does not see any problem for major local banks to absorb the RM1 charge for the sake of the people because the review of accumulated profits for 2021 until 30 September 2021 (9M/2021) reached tens of billions of ringgit.

“Therefore, once again, Umno Youth urges the finance minister to be more on the side of the people who are struggling and anxious by fulfilling their demands, including withdrawing the decision to impose this withdrawal charge,” he said.

The government introduced an exemption to the transaction on the Malaysian Electronic Payment System (MEPS) Interbank ATM withdrawal fee system on April 6, 2020 as people struggled in the Covid-19 pandemic.

The move was to enable the public to withdraw cash from ATMs that share the MEPS system during the movement control order period without having to be charged RM1.

RM1 charge is imposed by Payments Network Malaysia Sdn Bhd (PayNet) to customers.

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) is the largest shareholder in PayNet, while the remaining shares are controlled by a consortium of 11 banks.

Then senior minister of defence, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had said the move was to reduce Covid-19 infection risks and to limit any travel needs above the permitted 10km radius while under the MCO.

This was said to have helped reduce movement and possible congestion at the ATM centres during the early phase of the MCO.

Later, when the country transitioned into the conditional movement control order (CMCO), Ismail Sabri again announced that the decision would stay until the MCO was effectively lifted. – Malay Mail

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