Grieving family harassed by loan sharks


  • Nation
  • Sunday, 09 Nov 2003

BY MARSHA TAN

JOHOR BARU: The family of Chek Yok Ying, who took her own life on Thursday, is grieving over her death but loan sharks are still making persistent telephone calls demanding for money. 

Chek’s sister-in-law, Tan Mui Hiang, 46, said the family got more than 10 calls from different moneylenders made to the dead woman’s mobile telephone throughout Friday until midnight. 

“We do not know how many ah longs she borrowed from or how much she had taken from them because this was done without anybody’s knowledge including her husband’s,” she said.  

The body of Chek, 37, was discovered by her husband Tan Boon Heng, 40, hanged at the staircase of their house in Taman Desa Jaya at 10pm that day.  

Family members believed that Chek had committed suicide out of distress following a sharp drop in their koay teow soup business when their shop was relocated from Jalan Ungku Puan to Pasar Bakti three months ago. 

She left a note, apologising to her husband that she had to go as she could no longer take the stress and asked him to care for their three children aged between five and 12.  

When met at the funeral parlour here yesterday, Tan said the loan sharks did not believe that Chek had died. 

“We told the ah longs to leave us alone as Chek is already dead and asked them to come to the funeral parlour if they do not believe us,” said Tan. 

She said motorcyclists were spotted around the funeral parlour at two different times on Friday, adding that she believed they were the moneylenders coming to see for themselves if Chek was really dead. 

The ah longs, who sounded stern over the telephone, had not made any calls yesterday, she said. 

Chek was believed to have borrowed money from loan sharks to help make ends meet as she and her husband earned only about RM70 daily at the new location compared to RM200 a day at Jalan Ungku Puan. 

Tan said when her brother Boon Heng discovered the body, he saw that Chek’s handphone had already registered more than 10 missed calls. 

 

“I hope these people will have compassion towards us, especially Chek’s three children, who have lost their mother,” said Tan, weeping. 

Tan said her brother (Chek’s husband) only found out that his wife was in debt a day before she committed suicide. 

 

“She confessed the matter to him, saying that the ah longs had allowed her some time to settle her loans,” she said. 

Yesterday, Chek’s fellow hawkers closed their shops for the day to pay their last respects at the Tiong Hua Association funeral parlour at Jalan Ngee Heng.  

 

Also present were DAP secretary-general Kerk Kim Hock, state DAP Youth Chief Dr Boo Cheng Hau and Johor Baru DAP vice chairman Gobind Singh Deo.  

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