KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 24 — DAP’s Lim Guan Eng said many Malaysians have been left disappointed by the government’s failure to extend the loan moratorium by another six months.
The automatic six-month bank loan moratorium to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic ends on September 30.
In a statement today, the former finance minister commented on the new packages for Malaysia’s middle-income group and the bottom 40 per cent wage earners, as announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday.
“The prime minister had said that up to 98 per cent of applications for moratorium extensions and targeted bank assistance have been approved, with over 1.4 million borrowers, and over 380,000 borrowers having confirmed they need such assistance.
“However, this number of borrowers is still very much lesser than the eight million individual and corporate borrowers benefiting from the automatic six-month extension of the bank loan moratorium,” Lim said.
The Bagan MP, who is also DAP secretary-general, said the automatic loan moratorium had helped ease the burden on businesses and households affected by Covid-19, by deferring loan repayments, including mortgage and hire purchase loans.
“The value of this loan moratorium to the eight million individual and corporate borrowers is RM90 billion, a huge financial relief that has helped save livelihoods, businesses and jobs.
“The targeted bank assistance and selective moratorium extension are very much inferior to the automatic sic-month bank loan moratorium extension.
“The uncertain economic recovery after Malaysia’s contraction of 17.1 per cent of GDP growth in the second quarter, the worst amongst Asean countries, is not helped by the second wave of Covid-19 infections happening in many foreign countries,” he said.
Lim added that Muhyiddin should listen to the more than 6.2 million borrowers who will be left out when the loan moratorium expires, saying it should be extended by another six months.