KUALA LUMPUR, 16 July 2020: Malaysia’s government should
extend the loan moratorium for the ailing tourism industry for another six
months according to the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents.

MATTA President Datuk Tan Kok Liang said the tour and travel
industry was the hardest hit by the recent Covid-19 outbreak and studies
suggest a slower recovering when compared with other sectors of the Malaysian
economy.

He warned that if tourism companies closed tourism workers
would be driven into bankruptcy by early 2021.

“The Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on 6 July
announced that the tourism industry would need four years to recover,” he said
in a press statement released 14 July.

“With no firm direction from the Government on the easing of
borders, it is only appropriate to request that the Government to order an
extension of the moratorium rather than industry players seeking an extension
to their respective banks on their own which will likely be turned down.”

“Individual borrowers working in the hospitality and
tourism industry should also be given a six-month moratorium extension as many
are currently on pay cuts, unpaid leave or have been retrenched. Many do not
have the ability to repay their loans under current pressing circumstances, and
the rate of unemployment is rapidly increasing.”

The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture estimated the
losses suffered by the tourism and culture industry at around MYR45 billion in
tourism receipts and about one million workers in the tourism industry in
Malaysia could lose their jobs this year.