Steven Sim: Rakyat used RM78b from EPF, why can’t banks use RM6.4b for moratorium?

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An MP has accused the government of caring for tycoons rather than the people over its refusal to instruct banks to implement automatic loan moratoriums.

In a statement, Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim said finance minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz recently said Malaysians have withdrawn some RM78 billion from their Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) savings through the i-Sinar and i-Lestari programmes.

“Now, 2.6 million EPF members have less than RM1,000 in their Account 1. The situation shows that the people are desperate as they have to dip into their retirement savings because there is insufficient government aid.”

Sim said that even though the third movement control order (MCO) began on May 12, the government has yet to announce any aid for the people and affected economic sectors.

He said the most basic aid announced during the first MCO in 2020 was an automatic loan moratorium for six months.

Sim said although the moratorium saw banks suffering losses of RM6.4 billion, the country’s top 10 banks still ended the year with profits of RM22 billion. In 2019, the banking sector recorded profits of RM36 billion.

“The people have to spend RM78 billion of their retirement savings, why can’t banks spend RM6.4 billion to provide an automatic loan moratorium for six months?


“If Malaysians are so desperate to the point of spending RM78 billion of their retirement savings, why isn’t the government willing to instruct the banking sector, which makes tens of billions in profits, to spend RM6.4 billion to ease the burden of the people?” – FMT