Anwar: MOF had no choice but to waive moratorium interest rates following public pressure

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim speaks during a symposium in Bangsar South February 20, 2020. ― Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim speaks during a symposium in Bangsar South February 20, 2020. ― Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 7 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim described the government’s announcement over the banking sector’s decision to waive the additional interest or profit charges on installments for hire-purchase loans during the moratorium as “flip-flop”.

Replying to a question from a member of the public during his Facebook Live session today, the PKR president also congratulated the public for being vociferous enough that Putrajaya had no choice but to listen.

“This is a flip-flop. I must congratulate and salute the hundreds and thousands, millions of netizens who protested until the government was forced to reconsider and take back their decision.

“It was easy for them to make the announcement. It sounded good and everyone clapped their hands. Then it became apparent that there were charges, there were interest rates. Even Bank Islam charged interest rate, that’s how bad it was.

“Alhamdullillah, the finance minister (Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Ismail) announced that there’s no interest. And for that, we thank him,” said Anwar.

However, he still gave the newly appointed senator a backhanded compliment, reminding Tengku Zafrul, who was the group chief executive officer for CIMB Bank Group, that he should not put the interests of the banks before the public.

He questioned Tengku Zafrul’s intent and if the economic policies that the new minister has in mind will favour banks over borrowers, and crony companies over SMEs.

“When we are taking care of the economy, who are we looking after? If we are pro-banks and place the interest of the banks first, the borrowers will suffer.

“If you have the funds to bail out an industry, who will you choose? The three to four crony companies? This will leave hundreds of thousands of other smaller firms in a lurch. When you are looking after the economy, you must look at the majority that will benefit the most,” said Anwar.

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