Licensed money lenders advised to abide by the law

Voon Shiak Ni

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KUCHING, Nov 13: Special Officer to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government Voon Shiak Ni today urged licensed money lenders to be obliged by the Moneylenders Act 1951 in conducting their business.

She made this call after a member of the public complained to her that a money lender had kept her ATM card and that it would only be returned after she settled her loan in full.

In a press statement, Voon said the practice of withholding the ATM cards of borrowers was not provided for in the Money Lenders Act 1951, and it was against the interest of the borrowers.

“Money lending licensing is under the purview of the Federal Ministry of Housing and Local Government. Under Section 9A of the Act, the licence can be revoked or suspended if the licensee carried out his business in a manner that is detrimental to the interest of the borrower and/or contravened any provisions, regulations and rules of the said Act.”

She pointed out that the police could arrest without warrant any person who committed or attempted to commit any offence under this Act.

“I did call up and talked to some licensed money lenders to hear their side of the story. I was given to understand that money lenders face challenges in recovering their money loaned to borrowers and that roughly four out of 10 borrowers default in paying their loans.

“We will try to have some discussions with the stakeholders and to get feedback to see if we can come up with good solutions so that the trade of money lending can be more people-friendly while at the same time borrowers also need to understand their responsibility to pay what is due to avoid being blacklisted in CITOS,” Voon said.

She advised everyone to spend within their means and that resorting to money lenders for financial solutions was never a good option. — DayakDaily