GEORGE TOWN: The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) has urged the government to allow delays in the repayment of debts, especially for those in the business sector, given the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the country.
It said this would help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which have been affected by the impact of the virus on the supply chain and tourism at large.
“SMEs constitute 98.5% of businesses and contribute up to 37% of the country’s gross domestic product.
“With the fast-changing economic landscape, the RM20 billion economic stimulus package announced in late February will not be enough to address the needs of the people.
“Given this situation, the government should impose a moratorium on debt payment as a means to mitigate the consequences,” CAP president Mohideen Abdul Kader said in a statement today.
He also suggested that tourist attractions be closed down given that school holidays begin tomorrow.
“The education ministry ought to extend the school holidays by another week, instead of just one week beginning March 14,” he added.
He also said the government should consider imposing mandatory holidays for colleges, universities and childcare centres.
The Visit Truly Asia Malaysia 2020 campaign should likewise be called off to avoid putting the health of the public at risk, he added.
He said non-essential events and large gatherings should be banned as well as these could help spread the virus.
“The government should be proactive in anticipating that the situation will not ease so soon. Covid-19 will not be contained if the people are not cooperative in making a sacrifice and helping to tackle it.”