KUALA LUMPUR: After winning RM80,000 in his first try at gambling, Ooi Kok Jian went on a path of no return that ultimately led to him being disowned.
Tired of being hounded by loan sharks, his father, Ooi Inn Chiang, 55, took out an advertisement in a newspaper on Dec 24, 2016 to disown his son.
However, despite of this desperate course of action, the family is still being harassed by Ah Longs (loan sharks).
“Because of his bad habit, my family is shattered now. We had no choice but to disown him,” Ooi said while sobbing.
The 24-year-old was a good and hardworking child until he became a habitual gambler a few years ago, related Ooi.
He added that his son was influenced by a primary school friend who committed suicide a few years ago due to heavy debts.
“Our family is not at peace. We fight a lot nowadays.
"My other sons dare not even come home, as Ah Longs have threatened to harm us,” the furniture manufacturer said.
Ooi’s wife, who was also at the press conference called by MCA Public Services and Complaints Department chief Datuk Seri Michael Chong, was sobbing all the while.
Chong appealed to the loan sharks not to disturb innocent parties, especially family members. He said they should only target those who borrowed money from them.
He added that the problem of gambling debts was getting more and more serious among the Chinese community.
Of the total of 291 cases he knew of, they made up around 80%, he said.
Ooi lodged a police report on being harassed by loan sharks on Sept 24 at the Kuala Mudah police station.