KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 – Information Chief Shahril Hamdan said the government and the financial institution must bear the brunt of Covid-19 effects on the people.
Hence, the people should not be at the losing end when banks are reluctance to give automatic moratorium. The current aid package was not enough even though some countries did not offer a prolonged moratorium but their citizens were aided in many ways.
“This emergency government must now choose. If you cannot offer moratorium, then increase spending for the people. If not, instruct banks to give a moratorium to B40, M40 and SMEs. Other countries offer big subsidy but we are less fortunate. What is wage subsidy of RM600 per person?
“The new one off cash assistance is RM1,500 per household. Grant for SMEs is RM1500, one off. There are ies on the brink of close shop. What can they do with RM1,500? Debt to service is already thousands. If the staff salary is RM2,000 and one has five staff, how do you want to pay them?”
Earlier, Shahril quoted the statement of the Bank Islam Chief Economist Dr. Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid who said Malaysia needs to differentiate the need for a moratorium as an instrument to help the people and the bank as a profit-motivated business entity.
“That’s right. Both are important to the economy. But right now, which is more important? Securing the well being of the people or preserve banks’ profits?”
In reality, he said it is difficult to get complete data on who is eligible and who is not. Data storage in Malaysia has not reached the proper level. There have been cases of dropouts and the issue is, when it can be properly undated.
“What’s wrong with giving to B40 and M40, and giving to all SME companies. Those who do not want, can decline it. If there is a charge or if it is beneficial, do it. But if the instalment is for 400 months, don’t make they pay for 700 months just because of 3-month moratorium!.
Sharil who is Youth Movement deputy chief said most shares of banking institutions are owned by institutions such as the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) and Khazanah Nasional Berhad (Khazanah), hence dividends derived from the banks can be utilised to assist the people.
“It sounds not easy but practical. Who holds the most savings in ASB PNB? Who holds a lot of savings in the EPF? B40? M40? About 76 per cent of ASB holders have less than RM5,000 in premium. People have already spent a lot on the EPF.
“Yes, we want PNB, Khazanah, EPF and those making profit to stop giving excuse for not offering moratorium. We ensure for banks to make profit but the people should get its benefit too.”