Buying his first house in Kepong was a milestone for 28-year-old mechanic Chia Wee Beng but it has put him in a predicament.
The nightmare began on May 1 when Chia came home to red paint splattered on his new house and a handwritten message in Chinese stating "borrow money, must pay" on a paper in the house compound with the name Ah Phang and a contact number.
The previous owner, who is in her 70s, told Chia that her son Goh, who is in his 50s, owed loan sharks money.
Chia then contacted Ah Phang, believed to be the loan shark or a debt collector, who gave him two choices: find out where the borrower is or settle the debt of RM29,000 (S$9,400).
"I said I did not borrow any money and I just bought the house for RM480,000 but the Ah Long said whoever is staying in the house has to be responsible.
"He said I can just pay the RM29,000 and treat it as part of my house's price," he told reporters at a press conference by MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong at Wisma MCA yesterday.
Chong contacted Ah Phang to discuss the matter and the latter agreed to leave Chia alone and would only search for Goh.
In a separate case, a 65-year-old housewife Yap Mee Yoong is afraid that she would be harassed by Ah Long due to the debts owed by her former tenant.
She said debt collectors went to the apartment and put up notices telling her to pay as soon as possible.
The tenant, known only as Liaw, 54, had been renting since 2010 before moving out on March 12 without notice. He still owed her two months' rent.
In Taiping, a 50-year-old mechanic believes loan sharks were behind an explosion in front of his house in Simpang on Sunday night.
He suffered minor injuries on both his legs due to the blast that occurred at Taman Pengkalan Setia, Simpang.
Taiping OCPD Asst Comm Harrith Kam Abdullah said investigations showed that the explosion occurred after the mechanic opened his car door.
ACP Harrith said the mechanic from Seberang Perai borrowed RM300,000 from loan sharks.
Unable to pay his debt, the victim and his family shifted to Taiping.