KOTA BHARU: A consumer association here has been receiving an average of 10 reports daily over the last month from those who had borrowed money from loan sharks and who are unable to repay.
Saying this is a drastic increase compared to before, the Kelantan Muslim Consumers Association (PPIK) said it had received 280 reports from borrowers during this period.
Its president, Mohd Fared Abdul Ghani, said this showed the increase in the number of people going to illegal money lenders (Ah Long) due to the current financial pressures and ease of getting the loans. He did not say if the increase was related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said some of the borrowers had been threatened, while others had their houses splashed with red paint for failing to settle the loans.
“On average, we receive almost 10 reports every day from borrowers, who come to us for help saying they cannot pay the moneylenders.
“There was also a Form Five student who got embroiled with a loan shark,” he said, adding that he had borrowed to pay his online gambling debt.
Fared said the easily available contact numbers of the moneylenders, which can be seen pasted at bus stops and on electric poles, provided a short-cut for those desperate for cash.
“The loan can be only for RM1,000, but it can spiral to RM5,000 quickly,” he said when met by reporters after handing over three tonnes of mineral water for frontliners in Kelantan to Raja Perempuan Zainab II Hospital (HRPZ II) director Dr Selasawati Ghazali here today.
Meanwhile, Selasawati thanked PPIK for the contribution which will be distributed to frontline staff at HRPZ II and at the Covid-19 Low Risk Quarantine and Treatment Centres in the state.
“So far, the equipment in health facilities in the state is still sufficient. The current trend shows a decline in the number of daily Covid-19 cases. We pray the situation will continue to improve.”