KUALA LUMPUR, June 14 — The number of Malaysians seeking the services of licensed moneylenders has increased from 20 per cent to 30 per cent this Hari Raya Aidilfitri, with the collective loans amounting to a whopping RM37.5 million, Kosmo! reported today.
The Malay daily reported that its survey showed most of the loans were generally used to purchase goods to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri or for “balik kampung” journeys.
It added that the money also went towards new cars or motorcycles, without elaborating further.
The report cited the Punjabi Licensed Moneylenders Association of Malaysia vice-president Amrinderjit Singh as saying around 1,500 moneylenders in the country had approved over 7,500 new loans for Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
“On average, a moneylender has about 10 clients a month, but during the Aidilfitri period, we get another five new customers.
“This Aidilfitri, we estimate at least RM37.5 million was loaned out by 1,500 moneylender companies nationwide,” he was quoted as saying, adding that the figure was a gross estimate as there were more than 3,000 licensed moneylenders in the country.
He also said the repayment was usually over two years, with interest rates imposed on borrowers ranging from 12 per cent to 18 per cent, depending on their qualifications.
Kosmo! also reported Licensed Moneylenders Association president RC Veeraseelan as saying most of the borrowers work in the private sector.