PETALING JAYA: Malays are among the most notorious when it comes to borrowing money from loan sharks or Ah Long, according to the Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association (PPIM).
Its head activist, Nadzim Johan, said that out of 10,000 cases of loan shark victims solved by PPIM over the last five years, 70 per cent were Malays.
What is more distressing, he said, was that among those who took loans from loan sharks, and were forced to pay high interest, were civil servants and even those with the title of “Datuk”.
“Besides the 70 per cent Malays, 15 per cent were Chinese and 15 per cent Indians. The loans taken by Malays were only small amounts, with some ranging to a few thousand ringgit.
“They asked for loans due to slow business or to start doing business.
“They are duped into taking these high-interest loans from the smooth-talking Ah Long,” he told FMT.
He added that the biggest case PPIM had handled was a loan involving RM15 million.
Nadzim also denied using gangster tactics to solve the cases.
On the contrary, PPIM used psychological methods as well as persuaded the loan sharks, through face-to-face interactions, to get the head of the loan sharks to bring down the ridiculously high-interest amounts forced onto the victims.
“We use key words to persuade and face these Ah Long. The truth is that these Ah Long are cowards.
“They do not have licences and are in fact even more afraid of us. If we are afraid, they become more daring.
“We should never be afraid of these Ah Long as they are like dogs and can smell our fear.
“PPIM also rarely uses the assistance of police or the authorities to solve these cases.
“Instead, we use our own methods, using PPIM staff who have been given special training in dealing with these Ah Long.
“The way we resolve these cases is by asking the victim to pay the loan to the Ah Long according to the method set by the government.
“For example, if the victim owes RM10,000, then the government allows an interest rate of 18 per cent, which means that he will have to pay a total of RM11,800.”
Nadzim urged Malaysians to not be fooled by the promises of loan sharks because these group are big frauds and people should avoid becoming their victims.