Time to awaken — Sin Chew Daily

NOVEMBER 1 — Chinese national Zhang Jian, founder of the controversial YSLM multi-level marketing business and self proclaimed “future richest man in the world,” was recently arrested in Thailand, together with his wife and assistant. The Thai police also seized cash in various currencies worth nearly one million bhat (RM100,000) in total, five Phuket land sale contracts worth 22.3 million bhat (RM2.3 million), two Phuket land title deeds, a bank account with 1.5 million bhat (RM150,000) in it, and the suspects' Thai ID cards. They are expected to be extradited to China.

While clapping and cheering to hear him being arrested, many people also questioned why the Thai police was able to arrest Zhang Jian in just three months but authorities in our country had let him deceive the public for nearly two years and failed to bring him to justice?

Zhang was wanted in China after suspected to have involved in fraud and he fled to Malaysia in 2013. Engaged himself in high profile activities, the self-proclaimed “world's future richest man” made headlines in Malaysian media in early July when billboards of him appeared in Penang. He also awarded his lucky “distributors” with luxury cars. It was said that he had cheated RM300 million after operating his pyramid scheme business for about two years in the country, defrauding over 80,000 people. He fled to Thailand after DAP Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng reported him.

Zhang Jian played the same old trick in Thailand. He drawn attention of the Thai police after showing off his wealth and arrest operation was launched rapidly. In contrast, our police and the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism had allowed him to operate the illegal company for two years and still did not address it seriously even though it was reported and widely covered by the media and until today, YSLM-related shops and companies are still operating. Even worse, some individuals and organisations still could not resist inducement and accepted donations from YSLM, causing today's embarrassing situation.

The police and the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry have their own say on it. The police said that the ministry is fully responsible for the investigation over YSLM while the ministry said that it would arrest him once he was found. However, after Zhang Jian was arrested in Thailand, the ministry said that it has no power to bring Zhang Jian back to Malaysia for investigation as the power to extradite the suspect rests with the police. The move of passing the buck to each other has given Zhang Jian an opportunity to flee, and illegal pyramid scheme businesses continue to operate in the country.

Although the ministry has made it clear that YSLM is an illegal company, while the CDTUP International Sdn Bhd, which is said to be linked to Zhang Jian’s ‘get-rich-fast’ scheme, also has its direct-sale licence revoked in September, if the YSLM really no longer exists, then why could it still recruit, hold high-profile activities and make huge amounts of donations in the country? Why could it still be engaged in cosmetics, nutrition, restaurant, electronics investment, clubs and other businesses in the name of YSLM? It has not only reflected that our law controlling pyramid scheme businesses is relatively lax compared to Thailand, but also showed that our efficiency of law is more sluggish than Thailand.

It is a foregone outcome that Zhang Jian has been arrested and it is an indisputable fact that the YSLM is an illegal business group. It is time for those who had joined YSLM activities to see the true face of Zhang Jian and awaken from the get-rich-fast dream. It is most frustratingly painful that some local vested interest individuals or groups in cahoots with Zhan Jian are actually still making the final struggle.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail Online.