KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 50.3 per cent or 6.4 million household loan accounts are fixed-rate loans that are not affected by the 100 basis point increase in the overnight policy rate (OPR) last year, said Deputy Finance Minister I Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan.
An estimated 54.8 per cent of loan accounts of low-income borrowers, with an income of less than RM5,000 per month, are on fixed-rate loans, he said.
"The government understands the people’s anxiety to repay the increasing monthly instalments following the increase in OPR and the impact on borrowers, especially the B40 group.
"Nevertheless, not all borrowers are affected by the increase in OPR because the increase to monthly instalments only involves borrowers with floating-rate type loans,” he said during a question and answer session in the Dewan Rakyat today.
Ahmad Maslan was responding to Shaharizukirnain Abd Kadir (PAS-Setiu), who asked about the study carried out by the government on the effect of the OPR increase on the B40 group.
He insisted that the move to increase the OPR by the Monetary Policy Committee of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) was appropriate to ensure inflation was under control and the economy remained stable.
"The increase in OPR by 100 basis points reflects the return of monetary policy accommodation to a reasonable level following a reduction of a cumulative 125 basis points to a historic low of 1.75 per cent to provide support to the economy during the pandemic.
"Therefore, for floating rate loans taken before the pandemic, the monthly instalments amount is currently still lower than the monthly instalments amount before the pandemic (which OPR is at) three per cent,” he noted.