Monday, May 21, 2007

Ah Long problem

According to this article in TheStar, the government wants to solicit help from the people in order to contain the problem with Ah Long (loan sharks) in the country. The Deputy Minister of the Internal Security Ministry says that the sourge is escalating. These Ah Long are obviously evil parasites who prey on the weak for their own profit.

The weird thing is the way in which the government plans to track them down. They're asking the public to report in the numbers used by the Ah Long so that the people can be tracked down. However, they do realise that there is one problem with this because the Ah Long aren't honest enough to have given their real information when registering their prepaid phone cards. [Duh! - Ed]. So, they had spent a lot of time and money getting people to register their personal information, based on the pretext that they can then track down people who break the law. Doesn't seem to be working at all.

The government is also surprised that not many people have come forward to make police reports on the Ah Long menace. [2x Duh! - Ed]. It's obvious to the rest of us that the reason people aren't coming forward is because they and their families are threatened with bodily harm if they do. When politicians talk like this, I really wonder what they had been sniffing just minutes before. Maybe the minister can learn a thing or two from the instructional video below.

Now, the important question is to ask why the Ah Long are flourishing. The answer is simple. The economy isn't doing as well as the government thinks. The cost of living is rising each year without an equivalent rise in income. So, as time goes by, people get into debt. So, in order to fix the Ah Long problem, the government will first have to fix holes in the economy. Only desperate people go to them. The central banks might also want to loosen up the requirements for taking out small loans.

In other news, god forbid that the price of roti canai rises with the price of flour. We would all be doomed if that happened. The economy would be severely affected if the mamak stall raises their price of roti. Also, our government is raising the pay for civil servants between 7.5% and 35%. This means two things to me: (1) my parents will get a raise in their pensions (2) the cost of living in Malaysia will also go up between 7.5% and 35% this year.

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