Jonathan Chai Voon Tok

KUCHING: An extension of moratorium on loan repayments will benefit both employers and employees.

As the current moratorium is due to expire in September, borrowers are expected to resume their repayment of the instalments on loans in October.    

The secretary-general of Kuching Chinese General Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCGCCI) Jonathan Chai Voon Tok said an extension will definitely help those employers who are facing financial difficulties to ease their cash flow before their businesses could get back to normal.    

“For those employees who are retrenched or forced to take pay cuts during the movement control order (MCO), such relaxation from the rescheduled repayment would ease the financial burden of these affected individuals.    

“Those employees who are able to still keep their jobs would find it handy to have additional money to spend and from the perspective of the business operators, the moratorium would help to expedite the revival of our deteriorating economy as the consumer spending from the extra money derived from such moratorium would create spinoff in the market,” he told New Sarawak Tribune on Sunday.  

Chai also pointed out that there was no such thing as a free lunch.  

“Those who opted for the moratorium must exercise restraint and be cautious in their spending, otherwise they might find it difficult to readjust their life style once the moratorium ends,” he cautioned.  

On July 4, Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) urged the Finance Ministry and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to ask banks to consider extending the moratorium on loan repayments by at least another six months.  

In a statement, MTUC secretary-general J. Solomon said this was needed especially for targeted groups who were still unable to service loans such as for housing and vehicles.  

“For banks to adopt a ‘business as usual’ attitude and expect workers who are still mired in job losses and with little or no income, to resume paying their loans, is a downright cruel and inhumane act against the borrowers,” he said, referring to many of the 800,000 workers who lost their jobs as of April this year while thousands more were forced to take deep pay cuts or go on unpaid leave.