KUALA LUMPUR, July 29 ― Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today announced that the government has agreed to further extend the bank loan moratorium for the public, following outcry from those affected by Covid-19 and the movement control order.
In a special address today, he said the targeted moratorium extension will run for three months but only for those who lost their jobs this year and are yet to find employment, after which period banks can further extend the help based on individual situation.
“I hear you about the moratorium that will end in September. I also know many are hoping that the moratorium would be extended,” Muhyiddin said.
“Therefore, I have discussed with the finance minister and Bank Negara governor, to find a solution to the problems faced by some who are still in need of help.
“So today I want to announce that the Perikatan Nasional government has agreed to execute the extension of the moratorium and targeted bank aid, which will be focused for those who are truly in need,” he added.
As for those who are still employed but seen their wages reduced or affected owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, Muhyiddin said that the amount of their monthly loan commitments would be reduced, in line with the quantum of their salary deduction.
This, he said, would depend on the type of loans taken by the said borrowers.
“For example, for home loans or personal loans, the monthly installment will be reduced at the same rate as the salary reduction. This assistance is for a period of at least six months and an extension can be given, subject to the current salary situation of the individual,” Muhyiddin explained.
The six-month financial moratorium was enforced in April, in response to the Covid-19 outbreak in the country.
“Since the gradual re-opening of the economy in May and later during the recovery movement control order (RMCO) period, economic activities throughout the country have been picking up again. Now, there are individuals and businesses who can afford to repay their loans,” Muhyiddin said.
He added that the number of individual borrowers who continued to pay their loan instalments and no longer opted for the moratorium facility, increased from 331,000 borrowers in April, to 601,000 borrowers in July 2020.
“Meanwhile, for the same period, the number of small and medium enterprise (SME) borrowers choosing not to take up this facility increased from 5,000 to 13,000 borrowers,” he added.
In a separate statement, Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said that various economic data pointed to encouraging signs of economic recovery, which are attributed to the government’s efforts.
He said that the country’s exports grew 8.8 per cent in June 2020 to RM82.9 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of RM20.9 billion, the highest value ever recorded.
He added that this is a positive development compared to data for May 2020, where Malaysian trade contracted by 27.8 per cent year-on-year and export performance declined 25.5 per cent month-on-month.
“The Industrial Production Index increased 18.2 per cent in May 2020 compared to April 2020. The manufacturing sector jumped 25.9 per cent, while the electricity sector rose 13.7 per cent over the same period. Sales in the manufacturing sector amounted to RM90.2 billion for May 2020, a 19.1 per cent jump compared to April 2020,” Tengku Zafrul added.