Finance Minister: Right Time To Reintroduce Previous Initiatives Like i-Sinar, Automatic Moratorium
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Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz has commented that the time is now right for the government to reintroduce previous initiatives that were used to assist the Malaysian public, such as i-Lestari, i-Sinar, and the automatic loan moratorium. This is in line with the implementation of the National Recovery Plan (NRP).

“With the NRP, this is the right time to reintroduce such initiatives to help the people and business,” said the minister in a Facebook post, adding that he has already discussed the matter with the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).

Tengku Zafrul further emphasised that the government is always striving to think of solutions to continuously help the people. He also said that although there were some people who initially opposed these previous initiatives, many soon came to realise the initiatives’ positive effects and began to support them.

Additionally, Tengku Zafrul stated that Malaysia was one of the earliest countries in the world to introduce such initiatives to help the people get through challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Malaysian government had rolled out a series of financial assistance throughout 2020 to help the people ride out the effects of the pandemic. Chief among them was a blanket automatic moratorium that took place between April to September 2020 – announced by BNM in March 2020.

Meanwhile, EPF also introduced the i-Lestari withdrawal facility, which allowed EPF members to take out up to RM500 monthly between April 2020 to March 2021 from their Akaun 2. This is in addition to a subsequent i-Sinar initiative that lets eligible EPF members withdraw money from their Akaun 1 to help with cash flow problems during the Covid-19 crisis.

(Sources: The Star, The Edge Markets)

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