By Karen Bong
KUCHING, July 6: A 30-year-old despairing father of three with mental health issues from Baleh is contemplating suicide after falling into debt and being constantly harassed by a loan shark.
Julau MP Larry Sng, who came across this case, highlighted that this young Iban man is one of many desperate debtors, not only in Sarawak but across Malaysia as a whole, who needs some form of support and protection before they are pushed to the brink into suicide.
“I think he is not a case in isolation as there are many other people who are facing the same situation, given the impact of the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic and Movement Control Order (MCO).
“The government needs to play a role as these are the people who fall through the social safety net.
“In cases like this, the government should have a mechanism on how to prevent such unfortunate instances and to save them from taking their own lives,” he told DayakDaily.
Sng was recently approached by the young man who had borrowed RM5,000 from a loan shark but due to the MCO, he was unable to work to settle the debt.
Sng was made to understand that due to constant harassment from the creditor, the man saw no way out and is planning to commit suicide.
“I have looked into his case and it appeared to be legit with medical certificates from the hospital’s psychiatric ward.
“I have also transferred some money to help settle part of his debts and have passed the contact number of his ADUN (elected representative). Unfortunately, he has yet to receive any help,” he said.
Sng pointed out that the Ministry of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development which is under the watch of Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah could perhaps look into this issue.
“They are suffering from mental issues especially under this current stress. I think this will fall under the purview of the welfare (dept) and perhaps the police can also look into this case.
“And should anyone commit suicide due to harassment by ‘Ah Long’, I think the police should take a very stern action against these people (loan sharks),” he added.
Those who are interested to help and donate may message Sng via Facebook messenger to get the particulars of the man mentioned earlier.
“It is in times like these that the vulnerable individuals in our society need a helping hand. I hope people will spare a thought for them and for the loan shark to give them a break until everything is back to normal,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) had in a statement on June 30 raised the alarm about the rise of suicides and attempted suicides in Malaysia during the Covid-19 pandemic which has taken a toll on the physical wellbeing and mental health of many people, particularly those who experienced sudden loss of income.
Suhakam asserted that health services especially mental health support must be made available to those in need, especially anyone who may be having suicidal thoughts.
Suhakam emphasised that equal access to timely and appropriate care and assistance should be provided to those who are most vulnerable, including children, the poor, downtrodden and marginalised, as that would be afforded to the general Malaysian society. — DayakDaily