50,000 to be released from bankruptcy in 5 years

Kuala Lumpur: The Government aimed to release about 50,000 individuals from bankruptcy status in the next five years.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said for a start, 20,000 borrowers who had been declared bankrupt on technicality or for being a social guarantor would be free of the status in one year.

“We want to release them from the burden they had to bear as social guarantors. We want this matter to be resolved 100 per cent within five years.

“It may be laborious but not impossible,” he said while closing the Consumer Forum 2017 organised by the Malaysian Islamic Consumer Association (PPIM), here, Saturday.

Also present were Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, PPIM Secretary-General Datuk Dr Ma’mor Osman and PPIM chief activist Datuk Nadzim Johan.

Meanwhile, the deputy prime minister hoped PPIM would be inclusive of non-Muslims in their service, to reflect the beauty of Islam.

He also announced a one-off allocation of RM500,000 to PPIM for their activities.

Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, hoped PPIM would play its role in channelling directly to the police or his ministry, any information related to online gambling, illegal moneylenders, white-collar crime and banking account scam syndicates.

Earlier, Azalina said in her speech that the Government would negotiate with financial institutions on finding the best mechanism to resolve the bankruptcy issue involving 50,000 borrowers who were mainly Malay.

She said priority would be accorded to the elderly, ailing, and social guarantors.

Dr Ma’amor, meanwhile, said PPIM was optimistic that the move could be expedited as hoped by the Government.

“Indeed we are committed in seeing this issue through and with the backing of the Government, the process would surely be smoother,” he told reporters, adding that the association had been helping bankrupt individuals in settling their cases for more than 10 years.

The forum, held for the seventh time was participated by 1,200 people comprising PPIM members, non-governmental organisations, government agency representatives and students.

Two main topics were discussed, which were ‘Survival Pengguna: Mengadaptasi Kenaikan Kos Sara Hidup’ and ‘Kebangkitan Pengguna: Mencegah Masalah Ah Long dan Muflis’.

During the forum, PPIM also expressed its desire for a consumerism chair to be created in the Senate.