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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

MCO 3.0: Fresh calls for loan moratorium and cash aids

 


As Malaysians brace for the third round of nationwide movement control order, fresh calls have been made for the government to immediately issue a three-month loan moratorium and other supportive packages, including cash aids.

The National Muslim Students Association (PKPIM) said the government should expedite the distribution of existing cash aids, as well as other announced assistance, including 150,000 free laptops to assist students' home learning process.

In a statement, PKPIM president Ahmad Farhan Rosli said the government should also slash salaries of ministers and MPs by 50 percent for an additional income to be channelled as aids or towards the national vaccination programme.

Other suggestions include the government’s compensation for traders affected by its last-minute announcements surrounding the enforcement of the MCO, with only two more days left before the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations.

PKPIM president Ahmad Farhan Rosli

"Cut down on statements that add on to the people's sufferings. Let us all unite to break the Covid-19 infection chain.

"What is needed right now is action and the best management from stakeholders of the people's voice," Ahmad Farhan said.

Meanwhile, a DAP leader also called for another round of three-month blanket loan moratorium, on top of other forms of support, including cash aids.

DAP assistant national publicity secretary Zairil Khir Johari said the move was needed to reduce the economic burdens that are surely threatening the rakyat.

"With SMEs employing almost half of Malaysia’s labour force, a loan moratorium will have an immediate impact on this important sector of the economy.

"Business owners can improve their cash flow while employees will be encouraged by increased job security," the Penang DAP vice-chairperson said in a statement today.

DAP assistant national publicity secretary Zairil Khir Johari

"With the youth unemployment rate recording a worrying high of 13.9 percent earlier this year and unemployment generally hovering around the 4.8 percent mark, a loan moratorium would undoubtedly help save many jobs.

"More importantly, a loan moratorium such as the one implemented last year would provide instant relief to millions of borrowers besides lubricating the economy with some badly-needed liquidity," he added.

Zairil claimed that despite six major stimulus packages amounting to RM340 billion being announced in the past year, the impact was not felt by most ordinary citizens who remain cash-strapped.

As such, he said the government should consider providing targeted monthly cash assistance of RM1,000 for the B40 and RM500 for the M40 for three months.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin last night announced that the entire country will be placed under Covid-19 prevention MCO restrictions from May 12 until June 7.

The decision, while expected due to the rising Covid-19 cases, courted backlash for its sudden nature as Muhyiddin had previously stated on March 18 during his Pemerkasa speech that a blanket MCO was unlikely to be imposed again. - Mkini

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