Firms slammed for not caring

  • Nation
  • Friday, 09 Jul 2004

At the Dewan Rakyat

CORPORATIONS and financial institutions that fail to fulfil their social obligations came under fire from several backbenchers during the tabling of an amendment to the Housing Loans Fund Act. 

Leading the attack was Datuk Badruddin Amiruddin (BN – Jerai), who said corporations should be made to contribute a percentage of their profits to projects that benefited the people.  

“The Government should make it compulsory for companies, especially the foreign ones, to take part in helping the people or the less fortunate,” he said when debating the amendment. 

If foreign companies refused to do so, he said, they should “take their business elsewhere”. 

Echoing his sentiment was Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (BN – Kinabatangan), who pointed out that there were 37 palm oil plants in his constituency, which raked in profits by the millions. 

“But when we had the flood problems, none of them showed up to offer any sort of aid,” he said. 

He acknowledged that the companies had provided ample employment opportunities for people in the constituency but argued that they should have also helped those who suffered losses in the floods. 

Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar (BN – Santubong) said that regardless of whether companies were owned by bumiputras or not, a mechanism should be set up to channel some of their profits into projects for the people. 

“We should not wait until the Government forces or arm-twists these companies into being more responsible to the people,” he said. 

Badruddin also said financial institutions were not caring enough when dealing with loan applications from public servants or those from the lower-income group. 

“Their repayment schemes must be flexible as these people do not earn much,” he said. 

The Government, he added, should work with financial institutions to set up flexible loan schemes that would not overburden house-buyers. 

He said amendments made to the Act should work for the people and not against them.  

Mohd Said Yusof (BN – Jasin) said civil servants should be given the chance to take a second or third housing loan. 

“The Government should ease conditions to allow a second loan as these people may need to purchase bigger homes to accommodate growing families,” he said.  

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