Many Malaysians Have Too Little Savings to Retire Comfortably

As 2023 begins, about 274,000 EPF members in Malaysia will turn 54 and become eligible to make withdrawals for retirement. However, deputy finance minister Steven Sim reveals that 35% of this group (nearly 100,000 people) have less than 10,000 ringgit in their accounts. This is far below the recommended savings to retire comfortably.

So how much money do you actually need to retire comfortably in Malaysia? According to EPF, you would require savings of about 1 million ringgit to generate 2,450 ringgit monthly at a 6% return rate, assuming expenses remain constant from ages 55 to 80. Though only 2% of those nearing retirement age have this much.

For the majority with meager savings, they will likely need to find jobs to supplement their income in old age. Compounding interest and prudent savings from an early age are key to building sufficient retirement funds.

Farm Fresh Acquires Ice Cream Company to Expand Distribution

In other news, dairy producer Farm Fresh Berhad recorded a 12.8 million ringgit Q2 net profit, up 14% year-on-year. This is attributed to lower input costs and selling price increases.

Additionally, Farm Fresh acquired a 70% stake in ice cream company Sinwa for 28 million ringgit. Besides making premium ice cream pongs, Sinwa owns 6,000 distribution points nationwide.

The acquisition provides Farm Fresh synergy between its insider’s scope ice cream retail business and Sinwa’s consumer packaged goods distribution. This allows expansion into rural markets and completing Farm Fresh’s venture into the ice cream industry.

Government Introduces Progressive Wage Policy to Help SMEs

The government also announced a progressive wage pilot policy targeted at SMEs starting June 2023. This initiative will see wage incentives of up to 200 ringgit per month given for each new entry-level staff hired, and 300 ringgit for senior hires.

Companies must register for the program and ensure the additional income is channeled back to deserving workers. The goal is to raise average nationwide wages over time. Training programs may also be tied to receiving these incentives.

Public Health Bill Amended – Smoking Age Limit Removed

In other policy news, the previously proposed ban on sale of tobacco products to those born after 2007 has been dropped. The new Public Health Bill still imposes stricter fines for underage sales, with enforcement officers being given body cams.

But the removal follows New Zealand’s lead in their Generational End Game bill repeal. Detractors argue it infringes on personal rights and reduces tax income. Ultimately it remains contentious, with 30% of citizens supporting a smoking age limit.

Johor Building 30km LRT System With 3 Lines

Finally, Johor announced it will construct over 30km of LRT lines covering 3 routes – Jural, Scai and Isand P lines. Estimated to cost about 10 billion ringgit, it aims to improve connectivity and accessibility modeled after the Klang Valley’s development.

The project promises opportunities to transform JB into an economic hub akin to the Klang Valley’s boom fueled by rail infrastructure over the past decades. More Malaysian states enhancing transport links is viewed positively despite financing challenges.


In summary, many pressing issues remain around retirement savings adequacy, health policies, supporting SMEs, and infrastructure development. Striking an appropriate balance between rakyat well-being and national interests is paramount.

The ideas and initiatives put forth aim to elevate the rakyat’s livelihoods. But prudent spending and accountable governance must not be overlooked by policymakers. Collaboration from all stakeholders is vital in realizing national aspirations.