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PETALING JAYA: The Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs) says it hopes the Finance Ministry and Bank Negara Malaysia can consider extending loan repayment periods to help ease some difficulties faced by civil servants during the Covid-19 pandemic.
THE Covid-19 pandemic’s alarming impact on the nation’s employment market cannot be denied, with Department of Statistics Malaysia data showing that the unemployment rate stood at 4.7%, or 741,600 individuals, in August 2020.
PETALING JAYA: Despite being offered the chance to defer payments, around 28% of National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) borrowers are still servicing their loans.
Parents, teachers and academics want special attention for online learning, teacher training and infrastructure improvements.
PETALING JAYA: The RM322.5bil in Budget 2021 has been allocated to ensure the rakyat’s wellbeing, business continuity and economic resilience while ensuring financial aid for the B40 and M40 groups, says the Finance Minister.
PETALING JAYA: The Budget 2021 worth RM322.5bil has been designed to ensure the rakyat’s well-being, business continuity and economic resilience, with several forms of financial aid available for the B40 and M40 groups, says Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.
KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Nasional has declared only conditional support towards Budget 2021, which will be voted on by MPs in Parliament on Nov 23. Datuk Seri Najib Razak (BN-Pekan) said Barisan’s 42 MPs would only support Budget 2021 if two of its demands were met — a blanket moratorium on loan repayments till June 30, 2021 and allowing Malaysians a one-off withdrawal of RM10,000 from their Employee Provident Fund (EPF) account 1. “The support of my friends and I are subject to the approval of these two matters. “Our support on this budget is conditional,” he said during an hour-long speech as Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BNBBC) chairman while debating Budget 2021 in Parliament on Tuesday (Nov 10). Najib was responding to Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan (BN-Pontian), who asked whether Najib agreed that Budget 2021 should be amended before being voted on by MPs. "He has (Ahmad Maslan) read my mind. I want to point out that this Budget is drafted during an extraordinary time and if we want to amend it, it should be done because these are unprecedented situations,” he said. Najib’s remarks echoed Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's stand over the matter. Anwar told Parliament on Monday (Nov 9) that Pakatan Harapan might not support Budget 2021 if the concerns of its lawmakers were not addressed. Najib described the extension of loan moratoriums till June next year and the one-off EPF payments as bold and conventional steps, saying that these two measures could increase the circulation of cash in the economy when government spending was limited. “Not a single person has said that the money withdrawn from EPF cannot be recovered in the future. “The government’s responsibility is not to deny contributors access to their money when they are desperate.” Instead, said Najib, the government’s priority should be finding ways to ensure that EPF contributors who were forced to withdraw from their account 1, would not be left with a low balance after the pandemic is over. “Find ways to increase their savings at the fastest rate,” he said, adding that the government should also assist EPF in raking in more profits once the Covid-19 pandemic was over by offering them lucrative contracts. At the same time, Najib said EPF withdrawals should be a one-off payment and not monthly scheduled payments. “This RM10,000 can be used to settle outstanding loan repayments, rent, insurance, children school fees and so much more. “Besides that, that money can be used as capital to start a small business. This would help those who lost their jobs recently,” he added. Describing Budget 2021 as a “war-time budget”, Najib said the loan moratorium should be extended to everyone in the B40 and M40 income group. He pointed out that criticism on social media came not only from those in the B40 group, but also the M40 group who were badly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. “Many in the M40 aren’t satisfied because Budget 2021 does not benefit them much. “Is the government going to wait until the M40 group turns into the B40 income group before granting (the M40) loan moratoriums?” he asked. Under Budget 2021, B40 borrowers who received Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) or Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat (BPR) loans will be given two options — a moratorium on their instalments for three months, or a reduction of their monthly repayment by 50% for six months. Those in the M40 group borrowers are also able to apply for the same assistance, but are required to make a self-declaration of the reduction in their income in order to secure the repayment assistance. Budget 2021, which will see more than two weeks of debates in Parliament, is set to be voted on by MPs at policy stage on Nov 23.
BEIJING: For once, the Chinese are concerned about the wealth of the country’s richest man more than the money in their own pockets.