In Ipoh, residents start pawning jewellery to make ends meet

People queue up at a pawnshop in Ipoh May 5, 2020. ― Picture by Farhan Najib
People queue up at a pawnshop in Ipoh May 5, 2020. ― Picture by Farhan Najib

IPOH, May 5 — After losing their source of incomes for nearly two months due to the moment control order (MCO), people here have begun to pawn their valuables to make ends meet.

Long queues were seen at a few pawnshops around Ipoh yesterday and the crowds remained the same today.

A nasi lemak seller, who only wanted to be known as Sarimah, said that she pawned her gold ring to try and restart her business.

“I couldn’t open my nasi lemak stall due to the restriction previously. But now the government has allowed all the economic sectors to operate.

“So I decided to pawn my gold ring to buy essential items to prepare nasi lemak as I don’t have any cash with me at the moment,” she told Malay Mail when met at the Ban Loong Tong Pajak Gadai here.

The 45-year-old said that she pawned her gold ring for RM300 for a period of six months.

A 32-year-old man, who wanted to remain anonymous, said that he pawned his wife’s gold chain after losing his job as his company has shut down permanently.

“I worked at a travel agency here, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic the tourism industry suffered various losses and we lost our job too.

“I’m jobless at the moment and I need to feed my two children. That is why I decided to pawn my wife’s jewellery,” he said.

Another man, who wanted to be known as Kumar, said that he came to the renew the pawn period as it already expired three weeks ago.

“I’m not going to retrieve the pawn today as I have already used the money. Planning to extend the pawn for another three months,” he said.

When approached by Malay Mail, Kumar said he had been queuing for about 20 minutes and was still nowhere near to the shop.

Malay Mail could not speak to the pawnshop owners as they were too busy entertaining the customers.

Most of the pawnshops here placed workers at their entrances to check customers’ temperatures before allowing them to enter. Some also provide hand sanitiser. 


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