That is what the latest move by the government to freeze loan repayments for six months due to the COVID-19 outbreak will provide the people, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said in a statement today.
The unprecedented move, as announced by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) last night, was the government’s response to public concern about hardships they are enduring due to the Movement Control Order (MCO) which is being enforced until March 31.
“All measures to postpone loan repayments, restructure credit card debts and business loans involve a sum of around RM100 billion.
“This is a very significant amount and I am grateful for the concern of the Finance Ministry, Bank Negara and Malaysia’s banking industry,” he said.
Muhyiddin added the measures announced yesterday include a six-month postponement of all individual and business loans for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the option to convert existing credit card debts to personal loans, and the restructuring of corporate debts.
The Prime Minister had earlier announced additional measures such as allowing Malaysians to withdraw RM500 monthly from their Account II contribution with the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) for a period of 12 months.
In his statement today, Muhyiddin repeated that he will announce additional measures to preserve Malaysia’s economy on March 30, following deliberations at the Economic Action Council (EAC).
“I have asked the Finance Ministry and BNM to fine-tune these announcements more carefully so that the public may better understand the benefits on offer,” he said.
Muhyiddin said the government was aware that the impact of the COVID-19 had not only caused health concerns among the people but that the MCO had also affected them financially.
“The public, from entrepreneurs to farmers, from fishermen to those paid daily wages, are concerned about their finances, particularly how to make loan repayments.
“The government is studying various measures that can ease the burden of the people and we will launch another economic stimulus soon,” he added.