MOU: Harapan rues PM taking sole credit for B50 loan interest waiver

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MOU: Harapan rues PM taking sole credit for B50 loan interest waiver
MOU: Harapan rues PM taking sole credit for B50 loan interest waiver

Pakatan Harapan has criticised Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob for taking sole credit over a loan interest waiver for B50 households.

They said the government was initially opposed to the idea before the opposition coalition presented their case and later made it Article 1.7 of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Putrajaya and Harapan.

"We regret that the prime minister did not acknowledge that this policy is one of the items in the MOU which he himself signed.

"In fact, this exemption is portrayed as a government idea, even though it was Harapan's consistent stand which was implemented in the spirit of fulfilling the MOU," the Harapan presidential council said in a statement today.

The statement was signed by the heads of PKR (Anwar Ibrahim), Amanah (Mohamad Sabu), DAP (Lim Guan Eng) and Upko (Wilfred Madius Tangau).

Last night, Ismail Sabri unveiled the Financial Management and Resilience Programme (Urus) - which would give households earning less than RM5,880 per month to get a three-month waiver on loan interests, as well as reduced repayments up to 24 months.

Victory for the people

It was not specifically stated whether this programme was applicable only to loans under moratorium, or all loans.

Under the terms of the current loan moratorium, interests are still accrued for the deferred payments, although there are no late fees or compounding interests.

This would result in either an extended repayment period, or higher monthly repayment.

The Putrajaya-Harapan MOU states that B50 borrowers must be given a moratorium interest waiver for three months.

In their statement today, Harapan said that the government initially did not agree to the waiver.

However, Harapan then met with the government as well as the chief executive officers of commercial banks to make their case.

"Even though there were concerns from the banks, but after the engagement session and Harapan leaders expressing their views clearly, the prime minister agreed with our stance and this was ultimately implemented.

"The implementation of Article 1.7 of the MOU is a victory for the people," they said.

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