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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Ah Long The Menace

Kota Kinabalu: Sunday, April 19, 2009. The DAP claims residents here are upset over City Hall for not doing anything to stop Ah Long (illegal moneylenders) promotion activities in the city.

Sabah DAP local government and housing bureau chief, Edward Ewol Mujie, said city dwellers were growing angry towards City Hall for not putting an end to the promotional activities, pointing out they were free to distribute name cards, paste stickers on walls, hang banners and advertise in newspapers, among others.

"Some people had brought the cards and stickers to the DAP office requesting us to do something about it. They said the cards always appear on their car window and windscreen, and that the stickers are difficult to remove.

"The Ah Long activities are getting out of hand and it is about time City Hall take action to stop all those promotional activities," he said.

Two days later on Tuesday 21, 2009, the Police believed they have smashed several syndicates involved in illegal moneylending or ah long activities in Sabah, with more than 10 people detained so far, including in a raid over the weekend.

Sabah Commissioner of Police, Datuk Noor Rashid Ibrahim said they raided an office in Penampang following an extensive surveillance and found four men, three of them Sarawakians and one from Johor, aged in their 20s, inside.

"We seized 20 boxes containing documents including customer loan cards, advertisement items and name cards, among others.

"We believe they were carrying out money lending activities without a licence," he said to reporters after the monthly police assembly at the State police headquarters in Kepayan, here on Monday.

He said the documents would help investigations against the men, framed under Section 5(2) of the Money lending Act 1951 for illegal money lending, which provides for a maximum jail sentence of five years or fine of not less than RM20, 000 or not more than RM100, 000, or both on conviction.

To a question, he said none of these men was being investigated for harassment, as police did not receive reports pertaining to the matter against them.

"Only if someone comes up and reports he or she had been (specifically) harassed or roughed up can the police come in and take immediate action (against the culprits)," he pointed out. 

Meanwhile, in Singapore Island, Straits Times RazorTV's i-Witness is in collaboration between The Singapore Police Force and The Straits Times RazorTV and brought to you by The National Crime Prevention Council with the support of Shaw Foundation and Shell Petroleum.
"O$P$" or "Owe money, pay money". It is the mark of the loan sharks which is sometimes scrawled on the walls of apartment corridors. Such harassment by illegal money lenders terrorise debtors and sometimes other innocent people.

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