Malaysian MP urges government to grant moratorium on loans to save jobs
Klang MP Charles Santiago called on the government to grant a six-month moratorium on loans to save small businesses and jobs.
It comes as the country is in third order movement control (MCO) and small businesses face cash flow issues and uncertainty.
A moratorium on loans would help keep businesses in business, protect jobs and prevent staff layoffs, he told a virtual press conference.
Malaysian banks made huge profits in 2020 despite the pandemic, he said, adding that “it’s an irony that small businesses are closing, but banks are making more money.” As such, he said the government should step in to help small businesses.
In addition, Santiago also called for an immediate six-month rent relief of between RM2,000 ($ 485) and RM3,000 ($ 727), as well as a six-month wage subsidy program.
To further help small businesses avoid closures and protect jobs, the government is expected to provide a one-time sum of RM 5,000 ($ 1,211) and a 15% reduction on water and electricity bills, a he declared.
The vice-president of the Malaysia Muslim Restaurant Owners Association (Presma) Abdul Mukthahir Ibrahim was also present at the virtual press conference, who feared that members of his association would fall into the trap of illegal lenders if the government offers no help.
“We have advised our members not to fall into this trap, but if they have no other choice it will be a disaster,” he said.