For Malaysia’s sake, consumers group seeks to save civil servants trapped in debt
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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 3 — A non-governmental organisation has taken on the job of rescuing civil servants crippled by debt.
The Malaysian Muslim Consumers’ Association (PPIM) conceded that some of its moves fall outside legal means, but believes it is fighting to protect the country from being potentially held to ransom by loan sharks.
“We are worried that they are civil servants. Some of them are from the Customs and members of the Road Transport Department.
“When they borrow from ‘ah long’ and can’t afford to pay, the ‘ah long’ can ask whatever they want such as confidential information,” PPIM chief activist Datuk Nadzim Johan told Malay Mail Online’s sister publication ProjekMMO.
The word ‘ah long’ is a colloquial term for illegal money lenders.
“[The civil servants] can then sell those information. We don’t want civil servants like these,” he added.
To tackle the problem of high-interest loans, PPIM has formed a grassroots special taskforce led by activist Yusuf Azmi.
Just last week, PPIM said the taskforce had solved a car repossession case, and fighting for 15 petrol station operators that were facing imminent closure.
Nadzim also explained that PPIM chose to work outside the legal system, such as snubbing filing a court case, pointing to the high cost of resources needed to do so — such as expensive, lengthy court cases.
“Like the case of an auctioned house, to get a lawyer is not easy. It would need RM10,000 just to open a file. What more if the case fails to be solved.
“The end is uncertain even for years. The cost would be huge. So we have to find creative solutions,” Nadzim told ProjekMMO.
He said PPIM will continue fighting for the oppressed, even if its decisions do not receive the blessings of some in the public.
PPIM was recently slammed by some for its alleged thuggish behaviour, when it “raided” the office of automobile dealer AGR Auto Trade Holding Bhd in Seri Kembangan last week demanding the return of several repossessed cars.
“We want to send a signal to some, don’t swindle because it is not worth it. We can do anything. Negotiate with the Employee Provident Fund or Baitulmal. We use the Blue Ocean Strategy.
“Some problems can be solved with just a phone call, it is not that arduous,” he claimed.