Taxi Driver Walks 312KM From Johor To Istana Negara To Request Targeted EPF Withdrawals
A man walked 312km from Skudai, Johor to Istana Negara, Kuala Lumpur to deliver a memorandum requesting another round of targeted withdrawals from the Employees Provident Fund (EPF)
According to New Straits Times, taxi driver Norazlan Ismail arrived in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, 2 April, and reached the gates of the palace at 11.15am on 3 April, signalling the end to his gruelling six-day journey.
The 49-year-old was accompanied by Tasek Gelugor member of parliament (MP) Wan Saiful Wan Jan.
Noorazlan began his journey amidst the fasting month of Ramadan, urging the country's lawmakers to hear the cries of people like him who are suffering and are in need of aid.
"I'm grateful that throughout the journey, many people have offered to help by giving money and a ride, but I had refuse them because that was not my objective," said Norazlan as reported by the English daily.
"If I hitch a ride, I might as well just take the bus. I want our leaders to see this, and thankfully, I finally got here and even received a souvenir from Tuanku (Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah), which means that although we haven't met, the King knows I'm here," said Norazlan.
The man embarked on his mission at 10pm on Wednesday, 28 March, in hopes that the implementation to allow EPF withdrawals would help in paying off his family's debts
"Let me brave this tiring journey, this is my struggle for my children's future," Norazlan told Malaysiakini.
The father of five worked as a driver for a businessperson before losing his job during the COVID-19 pandemic. He then began driving a taxi to support his family.
Norazlan believes that the withdrawal could help relieve the weight of his financial burdens caused by personal debts and the rising cost of living.
Norazlan efforts caught the attention of the Tasek Gelugor MP and three non-governmental organisations (NGOs), who all offered to lend their support towards the cause
Wan Saiful said that he too had been planning to submit the memorandum on the EPF issue since last month.
"Three NGOs, Pertubuhan Gagasan Inovasi Rakyat, Muslim Consumer Association of Malaysia (MCAM), and Global Human Rights Federation (GHRF), approached me about a month ago seeking help to forward the memorandum," the MP told New Straits Times.
According to MalaysiaNow, calls have been made for the government to initiate another round of EPF withdrawals, including one by former prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has consistently opposed the implementation of EPF special withdrawals:
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