Govt talking to banks on extending 6-month loan moratorium

Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz (third from left) with Prasarana Malaysia chairman Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (left) after visiting the Prasarana Malaysia Berhad headquarters today.

KUALA LUMPUR: The government is engaging with banks to extend the six-month moratorium on bank loans, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said today.

He said this follows many requests by people to extend the moratorium which ends in September. Zafrul, however, said this was up to the banks.

“There have been many requests from people who need more time under the moratorium (to settle their financial problems).

“As for the government, we are engaging with the banks. It is really up to the banks on whether they can or cannot (extend the moratorium),” he told reporters after visiting the Prasarana Malaysia Berhad headquarters today.

“We can focus on targeted groups. But we cannot force the banks,” he said.

Tengku Zafrul advised people to start discussing with banks on restructuring their loans now as it was nearing the moratorium deadline.

Meanwhile, on the world gross domestic product (GDP) shrinking to 4.9%, he said Malaysia as a global economy will not be excluded from the negative effects.

He said Malaysia’s GDP for the third and fourth quarter of 2020 would depend on how the country fights the Covid-19 pandemic.

He reiterated that Malaysia’s fiscal deficit is expected to increase between 5.8% and 6% of GDP this year following the announcement of various economic stimulus packages after the economy was badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting movement control order (MCO) to control its spread.

He added that the economic stimulus packages were dynamic. “If there are any new ideas, we need to hear them.”

Meanwhile, Tengku Zafrul said the government had allocated RM200 million for the My30 limitless travel passes for RapidKL’s LRT, MRT, BRT, monorail and buses to boost the economy.

Since the My30 initiative was introduced on June 15, more than 62,000 travel passes have been sold.

“This is something that has been very encouraging considering the My30 initiative was carried out during the recovery MCO (RMCO) period,” he said.

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