KUALA LUMPUR, July 13 — International Strategy Institute (ISI) recommends the government to enact a special Covid-19 Act on rental moratorium to incentivise landlords and ease the business tenants’ burden on rental space payment due to the movement control order (MCO) and its variations in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic. 

ISI chairman, Cheah Chyuan Yong, said the enactment was important to keep the businesses afloat and ensure employment is kept intact thereby maintaining consumer spending and avoiding a damaging recession.

“By the end of September, Malaysia will end its moratorium on bank loans. By that time, whether businesses are struggling or not, they need to resume paying their loans. 

“Now this is all fine and dandy if businesses are making money, but during the MCO and its subsequent variations, a huge number of businesses made zero or negligible revenue, making it tremendously difficult to pay their full rent on commercial spaces, without the threat of bankruptcy,” he said in a statement today.

Cheah said there was no law or regulation stopping landlords from demanding full rental payments from tenants during these difficult times, though during MCO shopping malls were not allowed to open.

He added it was critical to ensure the private sector does not collapse since it was the nucleus of economic activity, of employment and the impetus that maintains consumer spending that fuels economic growth.

“This intricate economic relationship is worth saving at all cost. Let’s hope Malaysia does the right thing in these difficult times,” said Cheah.