PETALING JAYA: A consumer movement has called for an additional three-month extension to a loan moratorium offered by banks, as many people were struggling with the economic impact of restrictions to curb Covid-19.
Marimuthu Nadason, president of the Federation of Malaysian Consumer Associations (Fomca), said the moratorium should last until the end of 2020, as those who have lost their sources of income or their jobs would have difficulty in paying off debts that had accrued.
“Without consumers, banks will collapse. When people are doing better, they will take more loans and banks will make a profit. Banks need customers to keep their cash and take loans,” he said in a statement. “It is a win-win situation. At this challenging time, banks should lend a hand and give in by extending the moratorium.”
Marimuthu said the government aid under various stimulus programmes was “relatively insufficient” for those in the B40 group (bottom 40% of society), and many were resorting to pawnshops to obtain cash.
He also said business conditions were no longer the same for many companies despite being allowed to reopen and it was unclear how long it would take before they could make a decent living.
On March 25, Bank Negara Malaysia announced measures to assist individuals, small and medium enterprises and corporations to manage the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.
The measures include a deferment of all loan and hire-purchase repayments for six months from April 1.
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