The Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia (DPMM) today urged the government to include those who have been declared bankrupt in its latest aid package, in a list of suggestions for the Pemerkasa Plus initiative announced by Putrajaya on Monday ahead of the current two-week lockdown.
Its deputy president Norsyahrin Hamidon said those in this group cannot presently apply for the aid introduced by the government to cushion the impact of the Covid-19 crisis.
He said individuals declared bankrupt before Dec 31, 2019 should be automatically released from their bankruptcy order, along with those whose principal loan is less than RM1 million. He said the same should apply for those who were declared bankrupt as a guarantor on loans of less than RM2.5 million.
At a press conference today, he also spoke of several possible additions to the Temporary Measures for Reducing the Impact of Covid-19 2020, known as Act 829, under the emergency ordinance.
He said this includes an extension of the ordinance enforcement from Dec 31, 2021 to Dec 31, 2023.
Act 829 was introduced, among others, to address the inability of businesses to perform contractual obligations.
“The threshold value for bankruptcy action could be raised to RM300,000 from the current RM100,000, and the threshold for action to wind up a business entity to RM1 million.
“The definition of consumers should also include entrepreneurs who rent business premises,” he said, adding that mediation should be made the absolute solution for bankruptcy cases.
He also suggested that declarations of bankruptcy and the eviction of tenants from business premises be done after the three-month moratorium period.
“Rental payments for all kinds of premises whose landlords were granted the moratorium should also be postponed,” he said.
Norsyahrin said the proposed measures were based on a study by DPMM involving atom, micro and small and medium enterpreises which had revealed a bleaker picture for such businesses in the latest round of movement control order than the first two instalments.
He added that they would help those declared bankrupt to rebuild their lives.