In hiding due to son's debts

In hiding due to son's debts
Mum in quandary: Lum showing a picture of her estranged son.

As the season of hope and love approaches, an elderly woman will have to spend her Christmas in hiding after loansharks drove her away from her home due to her son's debts.

Lum Kwai Thai, 73, fears returning to her Setapak home after being harassed, locked in and doused with paint by loansharks since last month.

They have been harassing her in the hope of collecting her son's debts.

Her son vanished leaving behind a letter to Lum with the contact details of the loansharks he owed money to.

This was not Lum's first run in with Ah Long this year.

In October, 24 loan sharks visited her home, demanding that she pay back RM30,000 (S$9,706.72) that her son had borrowed to gamble.

She settled that payment but found herself being harassed again just a month later - this time by five loansharks.

She faced the press yesterday to publicly disown her 41-year-old son.

"I do it with a very sad, sad heart.

"But I want to tell the loansharks not to come for me. I am already very old.

"I have nothing. Please find my son," she told reporters at the MCA Public Services and Complaints Department.

Lum said she had to call police to free her from her own home after Ah Long chained her grilles.

The incessant harassment forced her out of her home and to seek shelter with other family members.

MCA Public Services and Complaints Department chief Datuk Seri Michael Chong said the party received 624 loan shark cases involving RM58mil in unpaid debts this year.

Out of the 624 cases, 530 of them involved debtors who passed the buck to their families and disappeared, he said.

"What kind of a son will let his old mother deal with this?"

Loan sharks, he said, should spare the innocent family members.

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