Friday September 14, 2012
1MCA scheme rekindles trader’s apam balik dream
KUALA LUMPUR: On the verge of giving up on his dream to expand his apam balik business, Mohd Fajele Saidin was told by a friend about a micro-credit scheme that could help him.
Encouraged, the 38-year-old entrepreneur applied for a RM20,000 loan from the 1MCA Micro-Credit Scheme for Youth and was excited when it was approved.
He had, for years, faced rejections by banks.
“Finally, I can fulfil my dreams of opening two more apam balik stalls,” he said during a cheque presentation ceremony of the scheme here yesterday.
He received his cheque from MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.
Mohd Fajele was among 380 recipents who were given loans totalling RM6.42mil since the micro-credit scheme started this year.
Another elated recipient, Ashvin Nair, said the RM15,000 loan he obtained would help him grow his agriculture trading business.
“This will help me buy and sell more fertilisers,” he said, adding that commercial banks do not usually give out loans to new start-ups.
He said the extra money would help him sell an average of 5,000 tonnes of fertiliser a month, compared with 3,000 tonnes currently.
Dr Chua said existing and prospective business owners aged between 21 and 45, regardless of race and religious background, were eligible for the loans under the scheme.
Managed by MCA-controlled Koperasi Jayadiri Malaysia Bhd, with the collboration of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), the scheme provides loans of up to RM20,000 and payable within five years at 4% interest.
On another matter, he chided the Opposition for criticising the Malaysia Education Blueprint.
Dr Chua said the Government had made it clear the blueprint was only an initial report and that the public could still give their feedback.
On the shortage of teachers in vernacular schools, Dr Chua said a special Cabinet committee was addressing the problem.
He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had repeatedly assured that the Govern-ment was committed to resolve the problem.
He added that this was evident from the shortfall being just 1,800 teachers last year, compared with 4,900 in 2006.
When asked on the Government's recognition of Chinese independent schools, he said: “They are recognised as private schools and the Government does give funds as needed.”