KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 24 — Many people in the country aged between 30 and 45 will go bankrupt next year when most of the government aid packages end, according to the Malaysian Association of Borrowers and Consumers Solution (4PM).
Its president Rosland Mohd Arif said when loans, bank moratoriums and withdrawals from Employee Provident Fund (EPF) and the i-Sinar packages come to an end next month, many will resort to borrowing from loan sharks to survive.
“I’m receiving bankruptcy calls everyday nationwide. If 30 calls per day, that’s 900 per month and 10,800 per year. That’s just me though I haven’t included my officers yet,” he told Utusan Malaysia.
Yesterday, EPF chairman Tan Sri Ahmad Badri Mohd Zahir cautioned that the majority of its members are now at risk of falling into old-age poverty as Covid-19 related withdrawals have caused insufficient savings to live out a dignified retirement life.
The fact, Ahmad said, is that 48 per cent of EPF members below the age of 55 have critically low EPF savings.
This is a 28 per cent increase in members reaching critically low EPF savings from before the pandemic.
Utusan Malaysia reported Rosland urging the government to intervene and help those in need before they go to loan sharks for help.
“If the government is willing we can be their representative in helping solve these bankruptcy issues by being the mediator so these individuals don’t get cheated by the bank or be threatened by the loan sharks,” he added.
“I’ve received reports of people being threatened by these loan sharks who have exorbitant interest rates, as much as 6 per cent a month. They also often harass the borrower and their family.”