PETALING JAYA, Sept 30: The government must implement a targeted loan moratorium to focus on borrowings from lower income households and small businesses, said PKR president Anwar Ibrahim.

The opposition leader expressed disappointment over Putrajaya’s decision of not extending the loan moratorium for another three months, claiming the lack of a targeted loan moratorium was a leadership failure.

Noting that banks in the country have only contacted 1.4 million of their 8.3 million borrowers, he said this meant the government and banks were still “in the dark” on borrowers’ sentiment.

“I urge the government to immediately relook into implementing a more targeted loan moratorium, focusing on the borrowings of lower income households and small businesses,” Anwar said in a statement today.

“These classes of borrowings should be targeted for moratorium as we have yet to see any meaningful recovery of the salaries of lower income families, nor steady revenues for small businesses in Malaysia.

“While a full blanket moratorium may not be necessary, failure to take the lead in imposing a targeted moratorium is a dereliction of responsibility and a serious lapse of leadership, leaving borrowers at the behest of banks.”

Anwar also said the government and banks should be more transparent with Parliament on the banking sector’s latest liquidity and profitability data for MPs to establish better policies in response.

He said more focus should be given to lower income households, given the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the country and its impact on the economy in the short term.


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