Loan shark threat to kids

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 17 Feb 2004


SHAH ALAM: Kidnappers are not the only ones preying on schools for an easy target here. 

Loan sharks are also said to be getting into the act by threatening to kidnap children of debtors and keep them until all dues are settled, according  

to MCA Public Service and Complaints Department chief Michael Chong. 

“Affected parents have come seeking my help. Not only are they harassed by the loan sharks for repayment, they also have to worry for their children while at school,” he said in an interview. 

Chong said this was a worrying trend, as the children would be going through a traumatic experience if this happened. 

He said there were also cases of pupils being taken away from schools by parents who were separated. 

“Headmasters have informed me of cases where one parent would take the child away without first informing the other who was supposed to take the pupil home. 

“When the parent cannot find the child, he or she assumes the pupil is kidnapped and lodges a police report,” Chong said when asked to comment on recent attempts to abduct students from schools. 

When school reopened in January, a kidnap case involving a pupil from the Lick Hung Chinese primary school in Subang Jaya had all quarters calling for tighter security at schools. 

There were also attempts to abduct students from three Chinese primary schools in Klang, where the kidnapper had posed as a teacher. 

Asked about the fears expressed by many middle-class parents who felt kidnappers had moved away from the dangerous business of kidnapping rich victims and were instead targeting easy-to-get ransoms of between RM5,000 and RM10,000, Chong said there was no clear pattern established yet. 

A headmaster for a Chinese primary school in Subang Jaya said the Education Ministry had a school safety guideline which included the advice to lock the main gate during school hours. 

“We need the parents to help us promote safety in schools. Some parents are upset when they are not allowed in during recess,” he said.  

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