Don’t overspend on festivals and then turn to loan sharks

MIRI: Civil servants are among the many victims trapped by the instant loan schemes of money lenders during the festive season.

In acknowledging the problem, Sibuti MP Ahmad Lai Bujang said there have been many cases involving civil servants being hounded by money lenders for failing to pay their debts.

Some of them (civil servants) approached me to find a solution because they have lost their way in finding money to pay their loans from illegal money lenders or loan sharks.

Most of the victims are employees of the public service who run out of money especially after the end of any festive celebration, he said when interviewed yesterday.

Ahmad Lai said the issue of illegal money lenders or loan sharks has been raised several times in the Dewan Rakyat to curb the matter and impose enforcement efforts.

However, money-lending companies are continuing to sprout like mushrooms after the rain, in which the licence or permit is easily obtained from the local authorities (PBT), he added.

We want the local authorities to inspect, examine or inquire into these businesses before approving or issuing a licence or permit to the applicant, he stressed.

He said the government has already announced the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) and special assistance to the civil service to ease the burden while, at the same time, civil servants will also receive a salary advance to prepare for the arrival of Syawal and their children’s return to school.

Nevertheless, soon after the end of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, they will run out of money because of the long period for the next paycheck, and this is where they will (look to money lenders) and be stuck with money lenders’ loans, he said.

Ahmad Lai called upon Muslims, especially those in the civil service, to be smart when planning family expenses and not to splurge in preparing for Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

People should know the consequences of dealing with these money lenders. Day by day, we read in the newspaper about how the money lenders treat those who fail to pay their debts, he added.

Furthermore, local authorities here need to be more aggressive in taking down loan shark advertisements similar to what is being done by local authorities in Peninsular Malaysia.

All the banners, brochures or business cards of these illegal money lenders should be taken down and the licences of those in violation of the terms of business need not be renewed, he said.

Ahmad Lai also revealed that there are employees of these moneylenders who withdrew money from the victim’s bank cards each month.

They withhold the victim’s bank card to withdraw money according to the victim’s debt and this is really happening on payday every month, he explained.

He said the government is strongly against the matter of instant loans and all parties need to seriously combat illegal money lending issues here.

Source: The Borneo Post