By S. Harrish
FORMER finance minister Lim Guan Eng has criticised the government for not heeding calls to extend the bank loan moratorium ending this month by another six months.
Lim said “outside pressure” was needed since it was not listening to the pleas of those badly affected by the Covid-19 crisis.
Noting that the Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) was the latest to join in the chorus of calls for the moratorium to be extended, the DAP secretary-general said a Warisan Plus victory in the Sabah state election could this this.
FreeMalaysiaToday reports him saying in a statement that this could compel Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to change his mind and extend the moratorium on bank loans by another six months.
The MBAM had said it was still reeling from the RM11.6 billion monthly losses because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said the banking industry should be able to bear the additional RM6.4 billion loss in revenue with an additional six-month moratorium extension, citing their profits of RM32 billion announced in 2019.
“Even if the banks are unwilling to do so, the government can inject the RM6.4 billion to assist eight million Malaysians and companies. This is money well spent, with a high impact value to these eight million individuals and companies.”
Citing a human resources ministry report that there will be one million unemployed Malaysians by the end of September, Lim said failing to extend the loan moratorium would only make things more difficult for these people.