PETALING JAYA,Oct 28: DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng says the party is open to collaborating with other parties to persuade the prime minister to extend the bank loan moratorium by another six months until March 31.

The moratorium expired on Sept 30, and Lim said that the Perikatan Nasional government disappointed many Malaysians by failing to automatically extend it by another six months when Muhyiddin presented an additional RM10 billion in financial aid during last month’s Kita Prihatin economic stimulus package.

“DAP is willing to work with all political parties to press Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to extend the bank loan moratorium automatically by another six months to help save jobs and businesses affected by the recent surge in Covid-19 infections.

“If Muhyiddin refuses to listen to the more than 6.6 million borrowers left out when the loan moratorium expired on Sept 30, then all political parties should collaborate to press for the automatic extension of the loan moratorium by another six months to save Malaysian jobs and businesses.

“The third wave of Covid-19 infections has dampened any nascent economic recovery, especially among small businesses, and requires immediate economic and financial measures to stave off another economic decline in the final quarter of the year,” Lim said in a statement today.

He added that Malaysia’s 17.1% GDP contraction in the second quarter of the year was the worst among Asean countries.

The former finance minister said the value of the original loan moratorium to the eight million individual and corporate borrowers was RM90 billion, “a huge financial relief” that has helped save livelihoods, businesses and jobs.

While Muhyiddin said that targeted bank loan moratorium extensions and bank assistance after Sept 30 had assisted over 1.4 million borrowers, Lim said the number was far lower than the eight million individual and corporate borrowers who stand to benefit from an automatic six-month moratorium extension.

Lim said the cost of the automatic loan moratorium extension would amount to RM6.4 billion and the banking industry, which he said recorded profits of RM32 billion in 2019, could afford such costs.

“Even if the banking industry is unwilling to shoulder such corporate social responsibility, the government should step in.

“What is RM6.3 billion compared with the (total) RM305 billion Kita Prihatin financial package or the loan moratorium value of RM90 billion to eight million individual borrowers and companies?”


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