A local councillor in Kluang who helped provide food to the needy wants to make it clear that she cannot provide financial aid.
Kluang Municipal Council’s Joan Ng said she had been approached by strangers seeking cash assistance, the latest being an individual who contacted her via WhatsApp this month seeking RM2,000 to pay off a debt.
“The person claimed that she had previously borrowed RM2,000 from a friend to cover her family’s expenses.
“The person also claimed that she was unemployed and only approached me because she was desperate after her friend had been pressuring her to repay the debt.
“I explained to her that it was not our standard practice to provide financial aid but if she needed essentials such as food, I would be able to assist her,” Ng said during an interview.
She instead advised the woman to apply for a bank loan.
“After hearing my explanation, the woman told me that she would look for me in the future if she needed assistance in kind.
“I have given a similar response to other individuals who previously sought financial aid from me,” she said, adding that she understood that these individuals might have been driven by desperation.
Ng, who is also Kluang MCA public complaints bureau chief, cited a case in July where a woman had approached her for help, saying she had nothing to eat at home.
“She was living with her mother who is in her 80s, and electricity supply to their home had been cut off as she could not afford to pay her outstanding bills.
“One of my friends agreed to donate RM200 and I used my monthly councillor’s allowance of RM1,300 to help her settle the outstanding amount in her electricity bill,” Ng recounted.
“However, about a week later, the woman’s house was splashed with red paint after she borrowed money from a loan shark.
“She then asked me to lend her money but I turned her down this time and told her that I could only help her with foodstuff and other essentials,” said the councillor.
Those in need of assistance can call Ng at 012-711 5188.