MPs: Extend loan moratorium for people, businesses

IN a rare show of bipartisanship, a number of MPs from both Perikatan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan urged the Government to extend the loan moratorium until June 2021.

Leading the pack, Umno MP Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan told the Dewan Rakyat that the Government should make lives easier for the people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“On top of extending the loan moratorium until June next year, I also urge the Government to be flexible with borrowers after the moratorium ends.

“After moratorium ends, the banks should allow those who have borrowed RM500,000 and lesser to be given another postponement between three and six months, if the pandemic still rages on,” he said.

Under Budget 2021, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz had rejected calls for a blanket loan moratorium extension, adding it will only be extended on case-by-case basis.

The first condition was for the B40 group, where they can choose a three-month moratorium or a reduction in monthly installment payments by half, for six months.

The second condition is for the M40 group, where they can rework their financial packages through a self-declaration process, if they experience an income reduction.

However, many politicians and business leaders have panned Tengku Zafrul’s idea, saying many businesses and individuals may have to declare bankruptcy without moratorium extension.

Ahmad said the Government can exclude those who have higher borrowings and the T20 group from the proposal, saying they have the capacity to continue paying.

“We must prioritise those affected by COVID-19. The RM500,000 benchmark can be revised based on how many people will benefit from the loan moratorium,” said the Pontian lawmaker.

Among other MPs who supported the proposal were Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (BN-Pekan) Lim Guan Eng (PH-Bagan), Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun (Bersatu-Beaufort), Mohamad Sabu (PH-Kota Raja), M Kulasegaran (PH-Ipoh Barat) and Datuk Wilson Ugak Kumbong (Gabungan Parti Sarawak-Hulu Rajang). – Nov 10, 2020




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