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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Rental relief needed to save 59,000 small traders, says MP


Klang MP Charles Santiago says financial assistance provided by the government had failed to reach some groups.

PETALING JAYA: An MP has proposed a rental relief fund to assist small traders during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Klang MP Charles Santiago said a relief fund with an allocation of RM1.7 billion could save more than 59,000 small traders and over 590,000 workers.

He pointed out that approximately 6,500 restaurants and 1,011 premises had shut down since the first lockdown last year, while financial assistance provided by the government such as the loan moratorium had failed to reach some groups due to bureaucracy.

He said the government should not only provide moratorium for small traders operating in business premises owned by the government because other traders were also severely affected by the lockdown.

“Therefore, it is important that a special committee on a rental relief fund be formed between the finance ministry and the business community without further delay,” he said during an online press conference with various community-based business groups.

He added that most struggling businesses, such as pharmacists, hairdressers, restaurants and hawkers, depend on their local communities.

Separately, Pejuang urged the government to provide a blanket moratorium and rental exemptions for small traders during the lockdown.

This follows Bumiputera Retailers Organisation president Ameer Ali Mydin’s statement warning that Bumiputera businesses were “on the brink of death” due to lack of government assistance.

The party also urged banks to ease the moratorium application process.

“We received many complaints on the difficulties of entrepreneurs and traders applying for a moratorium from banks. The details, information and documents requested by the banks complicate the situation.

“Those who are struggling should not be burdened with the moratorium application process. The loan exemption can be offered by financial institutions without an additional budget from the government,” it said in a statement. - FMT

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