Many turning to illegal money lenders to get through difficult times

Tay: They are facing difficult times without income and borrowing money to support their families.

JOHOR BARU: Ah long or illegal money lenders are likely to gain the most from the Covid-19 pandemic as more people will borrow money from them.

Johor Baru MCA public complaints bureau chief Michael Tay said he had received many calls from daily wage earners and petty traders since the start of the movement control order (MCO) on March 18, saying they had resorted to borrowing money.

He said the petty traders were dependent on daily income while daily wage earners only get paid for work done and not otherwise.

“They are facing difficult times without income and borrow money to support their families, ” Tay said when contacted.

He said closing businesses to comply with the MCO ruling has affected a large number of people.

Johor Consumers Movement Association chairman Md Salleh Sadijo said daily wage earners were the most affected now.

He said they used to earn about RM80 per day and for the past two weeks had zero earnings.

“They have to pay utility bills, house rental and put food on the table for their families, ’’ said Md Salleh.

He said some petty and night market traders were in a vulnerable position and would turn to loan sharks as they needed money to go on with business after the MCO was lifted.

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) counselling centre director Dr Zulfikar Ahmad said the loan sharks would be taking advantage of the situation.

He said petty traders or non-salaried workers had no choice as it was a hassle borrowing money from financial institutions. — By ZAZALI MUSA

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