Retiree living in fear of loan sharks, no thanks to son

JOHOR BARU - A 62-year-old retiree is constantly living in fear as loan sharks are harassing him after his eldest son disappeared with huge amount of debts.

In a desperate effort, Lau Shit Shen even placed an advertisement in a local Chinese daily stating that he had nothing to do with his son or the money that he had borrowed.

Lau, a businessman, said that the loan shark had given him until end of this month to settle the remainder of the RM27,000 (S$10,400) borrowed by his 42-year-old son Lau Kar Leong.

"I do not know what else to do. I helped my son a lot by even giving him RM40,000 to run a food shop in Taman Pelangi four months ago.

"I thought he was doing well as he had previously worked as a chef in Singapore and could cook nice dishes," he said.

He added that he was shocked to find out that Kar Leong had disappeared with his family on Jan 7.

Lau said he was shocked to find out that the loan shark had now taken control of his son's restaurant.

"Now I have been getting calls from the loan shark asking me to pay the money by the end of this month or else they will come and harass me at my house," he said, adding that he was worried for his wife and grandchildren staying with him.

Lau said he last spoke to his son on Jan 7 and he did not indicate that he was in trouble or planned to go into hiding.

"My wife is so distraught that she is crying everyday as my son also has two small children and we worry for them too," he said, adding that they have lodged at least two police reports.

Lau said he would not be able to raise the money as he had already used up all his savings to help Kar Leong start the business.

He turned to Johor MCA public complaints chief Kua Song Tuck, who said he would write to the police to ask them to help the victim and protect his family.

Johor Baru South OCPD Asst Comm Sulaiman Salleh said the case was investigated under Section 506 of the Penal Code for criminal intimidation, and urged those with information to contact the police hotline at 07-2212999.