BANKS should introduce a special loan scheme for those who want to borrow small sums of money, a backbencher said.
Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (BN – Bagan Datoh) lamented that banks were imposing strict regulations to potential borrowers, including requiring assets to be put up as collateral and having guarantors for such loans.
“The banking system is non-borrower friendly, which has led borrowers to find other loan alternatives,” he said when debating the Moneylenders (Amendment) Bill.
He urged the Housing and Local Government Ministry to discuss with Bank Negara on how to create the loan scheme.
Zahid suggested that the ministry set up a special centre to register “victims” of loan sharks to find out the seriousness of the problem.
“I would like to propose that the ministry organise counselling sessions for these people,” he added.
He said the counselling sessions should be conducted by financial counsellors to ensure that those concerned would learn to better manage their household budgets.
Chang See Ten (BN – Gelang Patah) said the younger generation must be taught to understand that borrowing from moneylenders was not a wise approach in overcoming financial difficulties.
He said the country’s education system should focus on the importance of savings.
“The savings habit must be instilled among Malaysians. Borrowing from moneylenders should not be turned into a Malaysian culture,” he said.
He suggested that the minimum age for those who borrow from licensed moneylenders be increased to 21 from 18 as proposed under the Bill, as those below this age should not be encouraged to borrow from moneylenders.