Thursday, January 29, 2009

Avoid illegal moneylenders, public reminded

BINTULU: The public, particularly Muslims were told to avoid borrowing money from illegal financial institutions including ‘alongs’.

They should also keep off from the legal ones which claim they are using Islamic procedures and regulations but still charge higher interest (riba) rates.

That advice came from Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Islamic Affairs) Datuk Daud Abdul Rahman when asked to comment on the subject that there were financial institutions which use the Islamic law but in actual fact were like ‘along’.

Daud said any loan given by financial institutions to the public under the name of Islamic banking but carried hefty interest rate was ‘haram’ for Muslims to continue the transaction.

“Borrowing money from ‘alongs’ is ‘haram’ because they bring negative consequences to the people and the community and should be avoided,” said Daud when met after he officiated at the soft opening of Masjid Darul Falah at the Penan Muslim village at Mile 10, Jalan Bintulu-Miri.

The assistant minister hoped Muslims would not fall prey to the financial institutions that offer easy loans, adding that they should realise that loans with higher interest were a burden not only to themselves but also other family members.

“Loan schemes which are easy to get an approval for are likely the hardest ones for the borrowers to get out from and in the end, it will take them a long time to settle the amount due.”

He said the public should be aware of how the loan sharks would act if they could not settle their loan instalments, especially the interest due.

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