LETTER: In a tight economic situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, some of us who took out loans might be affected badly, especially those in the B40 and M40 groups, following the end of the moratorium on Sept 30.
Massive lay-off and salary reduction, some as much as 70 per cent for those in the airline, tourism and hotel industry, have brought greater hardship to their families.
In that sense, kudos to government agency, Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK) for doing a fabulous job in dealing with the 1,100 daily walk-in customers by advising those affected on how to manage their finances in a tight economic environment.
Malaysia is not spared as unemployment has risen dramatically from 3.2 per cent to 5 per cent. This is worrisome. No wonder Bank Negara and our Finance Minister have urged bank customers to negotiate with banks to restructure their loan payments.
It seemed that quite a few have done so with 21,000 from the small and medium enterprises (SME's) submitting their applications to the banks. Commercial businesses and micro-entrepreneurs applied for extension to give businesses more time to recover.
The man on the street also felt the pinch with utility and rental bills to pay aside from their daily household expenses.
An estimated 800,000 had lost their jobs, according to Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) secretary-general, J. Solomon, with many taking huge pay cuts or go on unpaid leave due to Covid-19 impact.
We also read in the newspapers and WhatsApp messages about properties going on sale to allow the owners to settle their house and car loans with some are under the clutches of Ah Longs.
I sincerely hope the government will extend the moratorium until the economy picks up with Fomca also lending support to people facing the brunt of the pandemic.