Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia to defer loan repayments

Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah (centre) at the press conference, joined by Jemat Bujang (right).

KUCHING: Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM) has agreed to defer the loan repayment for its borrowers, referred to as ‘Sahabat AIM’ especially those currently affected by the movement control order (MCO) and conditional movement control order (CMCO) in the state.

The deferment with zero-interest is effective from Jan 20 until the MCO and CMCO in the respective areas are lifted. 

Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said the move would bring a huge relief to a total of 44,946 AIM borrowers in Sarawak whose income had been greatly affected by the MCO and CMCO.

“The borrowers from my area (Dalat constituency) — 1,043 of them from 27 AIM centres or villages, wrote in to request for the loan repayment postponement.

“This is because with Sibu now placed under MCO and others under CMCO, businesses cannot be carried out as usual and movement is limited too, therefore their income is affected and they may find it hard to pay back the loan on a weekly basis as agreed in the terms and conditions,” she said at a press conference via Zoom after having a meeting with AIM Sarawak branch on Monday (Jan 25).

She said AIM would only collect the loan repayment once the MCO and CMCO is no longer enforced.

On another note, Fatimah said the ministry would collaborate with AIM Sarawak in further empowering the B40 groups, especially women in the business industry.

“AIM’s objective is to bring households out of poverty through providing loans to the B40, which is also one of our ministry’s main focuses.

“Therefore, with AIM providing the loan assistance, our ministry is looking at providing workshops such as financial literacy on how they can manage their money properly and also to offer workshops where they can increase their product quality,” she said.

Fatimah said the collaboration would be a win-win situation for both, and she hoped that through such collaboration, the aim to reduce the rate of poverty would be achieved.

Meanwhile, AIM Sarawak Southern Region assistant regional manager Jemat Bujang said that there were 24,205 AIM borrowers in the southern part of Sarawak, while 20,741 were in the northern part.

“As of last year, the total amount AIM has loaned out throughout the state is RM169,471,100,” he said, adding that 99 per cent of the borrowers were able to repay the loan.

Jemat added that the loan application was open to all, as long as they were under the B40 group and have not commit any offence under the law.

AIM was established on Sept 17, 1987, with the aim of reducing poverty among the poor and low-income households in Malaysia by providing micro credit financing to finance activities.

It also provides ongoing financial facilities, guidance and training to entrepreneurs from poor and low-income families, and aims to produce more entrepreneurs from the low-income groups.

Besides micro credit financing, it also provides other services such as Sahabat Welfare and Wellbeing Fund, and Compulsory Savings.