“Many businesses still fail to repay their loans”
BANK Negara Malaysia (BNM) is urged to consider granting distressed businesses and individuals an extension of the loan moratorium, which ends on December 31.
Iskandar Malaysia Johor Chamber of Commerce and Industry Advisor Md Salikon Sarpin said the global economic outlook for next year remains uncertain and Malaysia has not been spared the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, although all economic sectors are now allowed to function fully.
“There are two sides to the story when it comes to the pandemic and various orders of movement control,” Salikon told StarMetro.
There is still a long way to go before the country’s economy can fully recover, he added.
Salikon said that although there were signs that some economic activities were in recovery mode, economic growth was still weak.
“There are those who still have problems servicing their loans, hence the need for Bank Negara to consider extending the moratorium,” he suggested.
Salikon, who is also a member of the southern branch of the Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the move would help ease the financial burden on businesses and individuals.
However, he also said those who were able to repay their bank loans should start doing so from next month.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Johor Baru, Low Kueck Shin, said individuals in the B40, M40 and T20 groups, microenterprises as well as struggling SMEs should have an option in regarding the moratorium on loans.
“It’s good that there are no more blockages, and most economic activities have returned to normal although at a slower pace compared to the days before Covid-19,” he said. he noted.
Low hoped the government would look into economic activities or sectors that may need more time to fully recover.
He said the tourism, hospitality and retail sectors, for example, were still in need of government assistance.
“Many of them were forced to temporarily cease their activities or to close because international and domestic tourism stopped during the MCO. “
He said that while most beachfront hotels in Desaru, Kota Tinggi had high bookings when the interstate travel ban was lifted in October, hotel occupancy rates in Johor Baru remained low.
“I hope that Bank Negara can extend the moratorium for another six months until June 30, 2022,” he added.
Low also said the government should come up with short and medium term measures to stimulate the economy.
He said that if the 2022 budget was to increase consumer spending, more should be done for other sectors, including public infrastructure projects.