Wednesday, July 24, 2024

‘Breaks my heart’: Malaysian dad hounded by loan sharks disowns debt-ridden son

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“I even had to find work as an e-hailing driver as my savings are gone,” he told a press conference organised by the Malaysian Chinese Association’s public services and complaints department head Michael Chong in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

Wong said that shortly after the debts were paid, his son went to a rehabilitation centre for gamblers and appeared to turn over a new leaf.

“However, on June 2, I discovered that someone had posted a photo of me and my wife on Facebook, with the caption ‘wanted’,” he said.

“I also received a call from my other son, telling me that an ah long (illegal moneylender) had contacted him, saying his brother had a 12,000 ringgit debt with them. The ah long threatened to hire a gang to come after us if the debt is not settled,” Wong said.

Wong said another ah long sent him a WhatsApp message, saying the same son owed them 1,200 ringgit.

“Honestly, I don’t know how many ah long he owes money to. It is tough to sever my relationship with my son. It breaks my heart, but I had to do it,” he said, adding that he has since lodged a police report on the threats.

Victims of loan shark harassment at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday. Photo: The Star

In another case, single mother Chai Siew Won, 34, had to leave in fear due to her ex-husband’s debt.

“We were divorced in 2022 after about 10 years of marriage due to his drug habit and family neglect.

Ah longs started harassing us in April this year, saying my ex-husband owed them more than 5,000 ringgit.

“Even after I explained that I was no longer married to him, the ah longs refused to accept it and threatened to harm me and my two daughters,” she said.

She said the ah long even left letters stating her ex-husband’s loan in her postbox and that of her neighbours.

“I have lodged a police report on the matter,” she said.

This story was first published by The Star

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