After saving him from loan sharks twice, Malaysian man gives son hell money to clear gambling debts

The Malaysian man wanted to send a clear message to his son: "You are dead to me."
The Malaysian man wanted to send a clear message to his son: "You are dead to me." PHOTO: ST FILE

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - He bailed out his son twice from loan sharks due to the young man's gambling habits, but when the son asked his father again to clear his RM110,000 (S$36,632) debts recently, his father gave him hell money.

The 60-year-old retired salesman, who has been harassed, publicly shamed and had his house vandalised one too many times, wanted to send a clear message to his son: "You are dead to me."

The man, who only wants to be known as Mr Lee, asked his son's loan sharks to leave his family alone, after being subjected to torment since 2009.

"For eight years I did my duty as a parent. Any parent has to help his son. But after eight years you have to cut off. I want to tell the Ah Long, don't disturb us anymore. I am sick and I have to take care of myself. Don't disturb us anymore," he said.

Mr Lee's son Ken first came to his father with a RM150,000 debt in 2009, saying that he had borrowed money from six loan sharks for online gambling.

His father cleared the debt and as an added measure to distract his son, sent him to Australia to pursue a degree, which he hoped would give him a better future.

But Ken was back to his old ways again after graduation, borrowing another RM40,000 in 2013, claiming it was for business and begging his father to settle it again.

Through the years, Mr Lee said loan sharks have coated the front of his Subang home in red paint in an attempt to compel the family to pay Ken's debts. Flyers of his son have been distributed to neighbours and repossessors would camp outside his home.

When things became dire, Mr Lee said his son would flee and let the family bear the brunt of the harassment.

The same thing happened again in August, when his son disappeared and Mr Lee woke up to paint smears and a RM110,000 debt notice from loan sharks. That was when he drew the line.

"I don't have any more money. I only have hell bank notes. If the Ah Long still want to lend money to my son and then try and get it from me, I don't have anymore," Mr Lee told reporters at a press conference at the Malaysian Chinese Association's (MCA's) Public Services and Complaints department.

Mr Lee and Ken sought department head Michael Chong's help on the issue and the 28-year-old son once again begged his father for money. The man then gave him the hell money.

"I've been doing this for 30 years and even I was shocked," said Datuk Seri Chong.

"I asked him why do you keep doing this to your family. Ken said, 'I can only become rich when I gamble. Hopefully one day I can win and pay back all the money'. But look at what he has done," he said.

In August, MCA received 54 cases involving loan sharks, while in June the number has spiked to 69 cases, which Mr Chong believes was due to gambling during Euro 2016.

"This is killing our society and the victims are the relatives of the borrowers," he said.