SMEs affected by floods allowed to defer payments for up to three months, says Ewon


Entrepreneurship and Cooperative Development Minister Datuk Ewon Benedick.

JOHOR BARU: Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) affected by floods during the current monsoon season are allowed to reschedule or defer payments for up to three months, says Datuk Ewon Benedick.

The Entrepreneurship and Cooperative Development Minister said that a government policy had already been introduced earlier this year and will be continued for the current monsoon season.

“The government is well aware of the flood situations that are affecting a few states on the peninsula.

“The ministry has actually introduced a policy that allows SMEs to reschedule their payments if their business is affected by flood particularly those who received funding from agencies under the ministry.

“This includes the National Entrepreneurial Group Economic Fund (Tekun Nasional), Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM), and the Cooperative Societies Commission of Malaysia (SKM),” he said.

He said this when met by reporters after conducting his working visit to Menara Bank Rakyat at Coronation Square here on Tuesday (Dec 5).

Entrepreneurship and Cooperative Development Minister Datuk Ewon Benedick (second left) taking a group photo during his working visit to Menara Bank Rakyat at Coronation Square, Johor Baru.Entrepreneurship and Cooperative Development Minister Datuk Ewon Benedick (second left) taking a group photo during his working visit to Menara Bank Rakyat at Coronation Square, Johor Baru.

Meanwhile, during the visit, Ewon said that the 35-storey Menara Bank Rakyat has been completed and is expected to start operating in February next year.

“I hope this will be able to provide a better banking service to the people of Johor,” he said.

At present, Malaysia is experiencing the northeast monsoon season, which began in the middle of November and will last until March 2024.

During this season, showers and storms are expected, with continuous heavy rain potentially causing floods in low-lying areas.

Menara Bank Rakyat is part of the RM6bil Coronation Square integrated development in Johor Baru that covers a total area of 2.3ha, which is also the centrepiece of the Ibrahim International Business District (IIBD).

Coronation Square is on track for full completion by 2028. Once fully completed, the project would have a mall and six towers featuring two blocks of serviced apartments, two office blocks, a hotel and medical suites.

All the key development components will be directly linked to the upcoming RTS to Singapore, in addition to sky bridges connecting to the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex in JB Sentral.

Two of the six towers have been sold comprising a 30-storey tower to KPJ Healthcare Bhd and a 35-storey tower to Bank Rakyat.

The KPJ Healthcare tower, which will be ready by mid-2024, will occupy seven levels and will offer non-ambulatory, or non-emergency, medical services such as aesthetic services, dentistry, aged care, and paediatrics in purpose-built medical suites.

While Bank Rakyat will occupy 29 levels of Menara Bank Rakyat.

The RTS Link is set for completion by Dec 31, 2026, and will commence operations on Jan 1, 2027.

In 2015, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar of Johor launched the Ibrahim International Business District transformation plan to redevelop or regenerate about 101ha within the city centre.

It entails the creation of a new business and financial zone and is expected to contribute over RM9bil in economic output and support 60,000 jobs throughout its development phase.

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