Wednesday, March 2, 2016

No data to support ‘ah long’ claims, says Ali Hamsa

Putrajaya said today it did not possess the data to ascertain the truth behind a report that thousands of government servants were taking loans from "ah long" (loan sharks). Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Ali Hamsa said if such claim were true, he would look into the matter and request help from Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs) to shed light on the matter. "This kind of statements cannot be supported by data. "But we view it seriously, we will try and get Cuepacs's help and so on. "If possible, we will undertake a survey to determine if this is really happening," he told reporters at the Malaysian International Trade and Industry headquarters today. Yesterday, Cuepacs president Datuk Azih Muda reportedly said illegal money lenders or "ah long" were operating inside the civil service, with some government staff working part-time as loan-shark agents, making it hard for the government to curb the use of such services. He said some 150,000 civil servants were clients of illegal easy credit schemes. The Malaysian Insider also spoke to some civil servants who had taken loans through such illegal means and determined that this was indeed a widespread trend. Cuepacs said the trend has been ongoing since 2012 and mostly included government officials, military personnel and hospital staff earning under RM3,000 a month. – March 3, 2016. MORE TO COME]]>

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