KPKT to 'rebrand' money lending licence to curb Ah Long problem

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PETALING JAYA (Jan 10): Housing and Local Government (KPKT) Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said the ministry is working on “rebranding” the money lending licence to encourage public to borrow from legitimate money lenders instead of 'Ah Long' (loan sharks or illegal money lenders).

“We will rebrand the money lending licence and organise programs to educate the rakyat that if they want to borrow money, even at a small amount, they can go to the licenced money lenders under KPKT and borrow money safely [while] being protected under the laws,” she told reporters at a press conference in Putrajaya today.

“If they go to 'Ah Long', they are not protected [under the laws] and might face dangers like extortion. So in order to solve the social issues arising from this, we will reposition the name of this licence to a more friendly name [for] the rakyat, so that they know they can also borrow under this mechanism,” she said.

This is also an effort by the ministry to assist the B40 group to solve their financial problem amidst the rising cost of living, she said.

“I also understand that this money lending licence which is being issued by KPKT is perceived as 'Ah Long' [business], so we want to change that,” she elaborated.

Zuraida noted that there are allegations that some are conducting 'Ah Long' business and claims that they obtain the money lending licence from KPKT.

“We are trying to snuff [out] this if there is any [such activity]. So far we don’t have any complaints but we will investigate this,” she said.

“I was briefed by the money lending department that [the rebranding exercise] can be executed as soon as possible within six months, subject to my approval on the new name of the licence, so I have requested this to be executed by June this year,” she added.

Zuraida said currently, there are more than 3,900 licenced money lenders under KPKT. —

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