Monday, June 20, 2011

Let These 'Ah Long' Do Their Work

Loan Sharks Listen To Man’s Wife

GEORGE TOWN: A group of loan sharks, in a rare show of diplomacy, sat down with the wife of a man who had borrowed money from them and listened to her side of the story.

The woman, a marketing and sales executive, who only wanted to be known as Lim, said the men were not aggressive towards her and only said they would wait for her husband to return after learning he was not in the country.

She said the loan sharks who came to her apartment in Tanjung Bungah had actually shown some empathy, unlike others she had read about who use ruthless means to get their money back.

Lim, 37, said her husband left her a note on March 1 to say he was leaving for China to start a business there to settle his debts.

She said the Ah Long had told her that her husband had borrowed RM14,000 from them.

She learnt that her husband had initially borrowed RM30,000 from the same people but the amount was settled by his parents.

“I was surprised they understood my situation and told me they would wait for him (Lim's husband) to come back,” she said at a press conference at the MCA public complaints bureau here yesterday.

“All I want is for my husband to return to pay off the debts and the housing loan payments that had not been paid since last October,” she said, adding the apartment was about to be sealed off by the bank.

The bureau's deputy chief Lim Thoon Deong said Lim's husband told him that he needed more time to save up enough money to pay off the debts.

Source: The Star - June 17, 2011


For every RM10,000 that My 2 doors away neighbour Laila* borrowed, before she get the money, RM3,000 will be straight away deducted.
With registration fee of RM25.00, Laila will only receive RM6, 975.

With that capital, Laila rolled to finance her evening food business, and feeding her family.
Every night after closing shop, the money lender will collect some money until the capital of RM10,000 was paid.
The RM3,000 earlier deducted was for the loan interest.

I was initially shocked when Laila detailed me her loan.
Two families sat together discussing ways for them to save on Ah Long interest.

Since the husband had promised to turn over a new leaf, and we wanted the family to save the RM3,000, we came up with fresh capital hoping that their food business, since starting afresh with interest-free capital, will bring greater fortune to the family.

The husband was initially ok, kept his promise, woke up early to go to the market.
Thus they were able to leave their house at 3pm, selling their arrays of dinner varieties of fish, meat, vegetables and their speciality, Laksa Kedah, earlier than usual at Sentosa.
They wrapped up early too, already home before midnight.

Laila had regular customers, mostly Chinese, as she cooked to their likings.
Occasionally I dropped by her working place early, just to see her customers already waiting for her to arrange the cooked food.
She had no problem having her cooking soldout every night.

Things went well initially, and Laila managed to put aside some money with Me when she made part-payment of the capital.
She knew business can flourish to the next level, if her husband manage the time well.

But when good money was rolling in, Laila was ashamed to tell Me that her husband bet more money in his 4D.
Things came back to square when rain never seem to stop and their customers were restricted to eat only at the 5foot way of rows of closed shops, not on closed car park.

Those were the days when she saw money depleting fast.
Even her saving with Me which she intended for her yearly trip up north to Kedah that usually cost her RM3,000 with 7 children tagging along, to visit her in-laws were taken too.

Big brother, Ah Long, came back into the picture.
Unlike the red paint splasher we used to read on papers, these Ah Long would sit and advice Laila on how to keep her family intact.

Yes, these Ah Long are intimidating people, but only to Laila's husband, to make him realise his duty as the head of his family.
He would use harsh words, showed his gangster way in front of Laila's husband and full of threat towards him.

But other than that, the Ah Long would bring gift of health tonic and food for My elderly neighbour, whose house the money lender would occasionally visit.
It was from where he observed that Laila's husband ran his duty.
Funny it may seem, but some men just prefer brutality than compassion.

It was after one of those 'Aidilfitri break some years ago.
After another fresh RM10,000 loan had just been made, Laila's husband sold the house and uprooted his family to Kedah.
The Ah Long was surprised at the silent move, the husband short term thinking for easily giving up good business premise and crowd of customers. 
Regular customers (My Family too), really miss Laila's cooking.

The Ah Long managed to track them, that sent shivers to Laila's husband, who had since become a lorry driver.
The Ah Long reminded the husband that if ever he heard that Laila had difficulties feeding her children because of the husband being lazy, he will not think twice to send men to chop his (Laila's husband) legs off.


MushroomCute@Mariea said...

Bagusnya Ah Long strategy untuk tarik lebih ramai peminjam ker? mcm2...

Ummie said...

These money lenders, they are family men with children too.
Maybe because one of Laila's son is handicapped, they viewed her case differently.
Lending money just happened to be their occupation.

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