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KUCHING, Aug 6: Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Public Complaints Bureau (PCB) chief Wilfred Yap strongly advises members of the public with financial difficulties against borrowing money from illegal money lenders or loan sharks.
He highlighted the seriousness of this issue after being approached by a 70-year-old retiree, who had sought help from SUPP PCB following months of harassment and threats by a loan shark.
The elderly man, who wished not to be name, shared in a press conference today that the loan shark has been harassing him and his family six to seven times in the span of three months due to a loan taken by his son.
He had since lodged a police report on this matter.
“For now we let the police do their investigation as it is against the law to intimidate people and destroy other people’s property. That is an offense under the penal code. Similarly, lending money without a licence is also against the law,” Yap emphasised.
“That is why I want to highlight this issue in order to create awareness amongst society to not get involved with loan sharks,” he added.
Loan sharks or ‘ah long’, he elaborated, are illegal money lenders that usually target the desperate and the poor.
Money borrowed from ‘ah long’, he continued, will come at a very high price, not to mention risk.
“Borrowers may think that it won’t be so bad if only a small sum is borrowed and they should be able to make repayments, but it does not work that way due to the exorbitant and ridiculously high interest rates and numerous hidden costs,” he added.
Prevention, Yap reminded, is better than cure when it comes to this issue and urged everyone to stand together in unity to condemn this type of action.
He noted that people borrowed money from loan sharks due to reasons like gambling and debt issues but sometimes it could be something like being unable to pay the hospital bills.
“Anyone who has debt servicing problems should go to Agensi Kaunseling dan Pengurusan Kredit (AKPK) for assistance as it is legal, free of charge and experienced officers will act on their problem,” he advised.
AKPK was set up by the government under Bank Negara’s umbrella to help anyone in debt or currently facing financial problems. — DayakDaily