PETALING JAYA: The National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE) has voiced its disappointment that Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin did not address the issue of extending the blanket loan moratorium in his speech yesterday.
Its secretary-general J Solomon said while they supported the government’s stand against implementing a total lockdown, an extension of the blanket moratorium was still needed to help the vast majority of Malaysians and businesses.
“NUBE hopes the prime minister will address the matter urgently as the B40 and M40 wage earners as well as many small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are in dire financial difficulty and require a blanket moratorium on their loan repayments at least until the end of the year.
“The gesture will show that the prime minister does not merely sympathise with the plight of the B40 and M40 groups but, in fact, matches his words with deeds,” he said in a statement today.
The blanket moratorium, he added will resolve the various problems that arose after many low-wage earners and SMEs failed to comply with the requirements by banks to apply for assistance with their loan repayments following the end of the six-month moratorium on Sept 30.
“Banks will not suffer from an extended moratorium as the payments are only deferred to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
Solomon added that the country’s leaders need to be more accountable and responsible in adhering to Covid-19 SOPs amid a resurgence in cases.
He also welcomed Muhyiddin’s remark that there will be no double standards in the enforcement of the SOPs.
On the issue of a total lockdown due to the recent surge in Covid-19 cases, Solomon believed that wage-earners did not want it as it would be a “devastating blow to the economy and worsen the unemployment situation.”
“As such, the government and employers must do more to break the infection chain by showing more resolve and commitment to provide a safer environment for their workers as well as the public.”