KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today announced a moratorium extension and targeted bank assistance, focusing on those in need.
In a special address, he said the extension and aid would benefit three million individuals and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
"The Perikatan Nasional government has agreed to implement an extension to the loan moratorium, and targeted bank assistance focused specifically on the needy.
"First, individuals who have lost their jobs this year and have yet to find a new one can enjoy a targeted extension on their moratorium for a period of three months.
"After the three months, the banks can further extend the moratorium based on the situation of each individual," he said in a televised announcement.
Muhyiddin said as for individuals who were still working but had received pay cuts due to the Covid-19 outbreak, their monthly installment payments would be reduced in line with the reduction of their salarirs, depending on the type of loan.
"For example, their monthly repayment on housing or personal loans will be reduced at the same rate as their salary cuts.
"This assistance will be given for six months and an extension can be sought subject to the current salary situation of the individual."
He added banks had also agreed to provide assistance to borrowers - individuals or SMEs - based on their current situation.
The assistance includes, only paying the interest for a specified period of time; or extending the entire loan term to reduce monthly repayments; or providing other relief until the borrower achieves a more stable financial position.
As for hire purchase loans, Muhyiddin said the bank would also offer appropriate installment scheduling options, subject to the Hire Purchase Act.
"This move is expected to benefit three million individuals and SMEs. Should there be more people that need help, the banking institutions have made a commitment to consider appropriate assistance.
"Therefore, eligible borrowers can contact their respective banks starting Aug 7 to apply," he added.
On March 25, Muhyiddin announced a six-month moratorium, conversion of credit card balance to term loans and restructuring of corporate loans in an initiative estimated to be worth at least RM100 billion.
The moratorium, which will end on Sept 30, was introduced to ease the burden faced by the small and medium enterprises as well as individuals affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.