Muslims urged to practise moderation for Raya

"They had no other choice but to borrow from the ah long as banks will not give them loans." - Michael Tay

JOHOR BARU: Muslims should be moderate when it comes to celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfitri and not go into debt to cover expenses.

In sounding this warning, Johor Consumers Movement Association chairman Md Salleh Sadijo advised Muslims to be aware of the dangers of borrowing money to buy things for their families for Hari Raya.

“Be prudent and avoid borrowing money that will get into trouble. After the celebration is over, remember that you have to pay back or the consequences can be terrible,” he said.

Salleh’s advice comes on the heels of growing concern that some Muslims, especially from the low-income group, have resorted to borrowing from loan sharks (ah long) to celebrate the coming festival.

Johor Baru MCA public complaints bureau chief Michael Tay said most were from the low-income group and working as security guards, drivers and odd-job workers.

“They had no other choice but to borrow from the ah long as banks will not give them loans,” he said.

Tay said he had 10 cases of people borrowing money from loan sharks, with the amounts varying between RM5,000 and RM10,000.

He said those who sought his help told him their applications for personal loans from banks were rejected.

Tay said banks had their guidelines in such instances and and as such cannot be blamed for the situation.

“Some of the borrowers had asked family and friends but, when denied, turned to the ah long. They need money to buy clothes and other necessities for their family for Hari Raya Aidilfitri, and were desperate,” he said.

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