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REHDA: Loan moratorium helps but govt needs to heed other issues too

PETALING JAYA (June 28): The newly announced blanket loan moratorium is beneficial in helping to alleviate individuals’ financial burdens due to the prolonged lockdown, said Real Estate & Housing Developers’ Association Malaysia (REHDA) president Datuk Soam Heng Choon.

In a special address today, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin unveiled a relief package named PEMULIH (National People’s Well-being and Economic Recovery Package) worth RM150 billion with the objective to help Malaysians and businesses under the National Recovery Plan (NRP) Phase One. 

Muhyiddin announced a six-month blanket loan moratorium under the PEMULIH initiative to be given to all individual borrowers equally from the B40, M40 or T20 group, and micro-entrepreneurs.

Previously, the loan moratorium only targeted the B40 group with certain terms and conditions. Under PEMULIH, individuals just need to apply from banks (starting from July 7) and approval will be given automatically. 

While lauding the government’s move in relieving the individuals’ financial burdens, Soam added that more targeted approaches are needed to help businesses which are facing serious cash flow problems as the current NRP Phase One does not have a clear ending date, so sectors which are not allowed to operate have to remain closed indefinitely until the NRP moves to the next phase.

“We hope the government can further discuss with each individual industry's stakeholders to understand what help is needed to assist them navigate out of this very difficult period.

"There could be other issues apart from loans that the government can help with, such as to be transparent on the criteria in defining critical industries that are allowed to operate,” Soam told EdgeProp.my.

Blanket moratorium crucial for stabilising Malaysian financial system

Meanwhile, deputy regional operating principal at Keller Williams Malaysia Jonathan Lee said the first blanket loan moratorium which was implemented last year had helped many weather the storm during the lockdown. He expects the reimplementation of such measures regardless of income groups will help Malaysians again. 

The realtor said the newly announced blanket loan moratorium under the PEMULIH package “is a timely move”.

“I think it is the right and important measure to support the entire financial system from having a systemic shock. I believe stabilising the system is critical… It worked well last year, it should work for now,” he shared.

He observed that many wage earners are struggling in making ends meet as well as to continue paying for their housing loans, so the loan moratorium will offer them a temporary relief, especially for those who are affected by the lockdown.

NRP Phase One, which is supposed to end today (June 28), has been extended to an indefinite date until the number of Covid-19 cases in the country dips below 4,000 cases, said Muhyiddin yesterday (June 27).

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