Press Statement by MP for Bukit Mertajam, Steven Sim Chee Keong in Kuala Lumpur on 12 November 2020:
The government should accept the “Puteri Gunung Ledang’s conditions” if they are sincere in approving a Unity Budget, unless of course, if the government couldn’t bear to let banks ‘sacrifice a bowl of blood’ in order for moratorium to be extended for the benefit of the rakyat and Malaysian businesses.
Yesterday in the Dewan Rakyat, PAS Member of Parliament for Pasir Mas likened the terms given to the government – including the one in regards to automatic moratorium extension for the approval of Budget 2021 – with the legend of the “Puteri Gunung Ledang’s conditions”, in which the Princess “asked for a golden bridge from the Malaccan palace to Gunung Ledang, seven bowls of mosquito hearts and others, which were not meant to signal that the marriage proposal was accepted, but in contrary, to allude that it was rejected.”
The Pasir Mas MP opined that banks will bear considerable losses should the automatic moratorium extension be allowed.
I disagree. In fact, I stood up during his speech to assert this fact:
Malaysian banks recorded after-tax profits of RM32 billion in 2019, while the 6 months moratorium since April 2020 only costed RM6.4 billion.
Therefore, I believe there shouldn’t be any issue for banks to ‘sacrifice’ a little for the sake of the rakyat and Malaysian businesses which are going through adverse hardship following the scathing post-Covid-19 economic crisis.
Within Malay Folklore, Puteri Gunung Ledang put forth these conditions for the marriage proposal by Sultan Mahmud Syah:
- A golden walkway for her to walk to Malacca from the mountain.
- A silver walkway for her to return from Malacca to the mountain.
- Seven barrels of tears.
- Seven barrels of young betel nut juices from the betel tree.
- Seven trays filled with hearts of germs.
- Seven trays filled with hearts of mosquitoes, and
- A bowl of the blood of the Sultan’s young son.
According to the legend, Sultan Mahmud cried, “I could fulfil all of her wishes…”, except for the bowl of blood from the Sultan’s young son, for he could not possibly bear losing his only child.
I do not believe that the conditions put forth by the opposition, including moratorium extension, welfare aid increment to RM1,000 a month, JASA abolishment and other as “Puteri Gunung Ledang’s conditions”. However, the reality in this extraordinary situation we’re facing, the government should agree to even “Puteri Gunung Ledang’s conditions” if they are sincere in getting a Unity Budget approved for the wellbeing of the rakyat.
Unless of course, if the government couldn’t bear to see banks ‘sacrifice’ RM6.4 billion after tens of billions of profit.
Steven Sim Chee Keong,
MP for Bukit Mertajam.