Friday September 21, 2012
Hawkers seek easy loans and insurance
By WONG PEK MEI
PETALING JAYA: Petty traders and hawkers are hoping for easy access to loans and insurance from the Government in Budget 2013.
Federal Territories Malay Hawkers and Small Traders Association president Datuk Bahrin A. Razak said he hoped that the Government would approve its appeal for an insurance scheme, which was first proposed in 2004.
“We applied to the Government for RM500mil worth of coverage for the half a million of us nationwide,” he said.
“We put in a lot of effort to draw up a comprehensive scheme including benefits such as compensation in case of property loss, accident, death and also education for our children,” Bahrin said.
He said there were cases of traders who had died or were unable to work due to accidents, leaving their families in financial difficulties.
“With an insurance scheme, there would be a safety net for the families.”
Jothy Appalasamy, president of the Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya Indian Petty Traders Association, hoped that the Government would revive a loan fund that was given to its members in 1996.
He said Credit Guarantee Corp (M) Bhd's Loan Fund for Hawkers and Petty Traders provided ready loans for hawkers and petty traders, but this was withdrawn.
“Because of this, most of them have resorted to borrowing from loan sharks and are suffering as they are unable to pay them back,” he said.
Jothy said most of the traders could not get loans from banks as they did not have qualified guarantors.
Chow Kit Petty Traders and Hawkers Association advisor Edwin Choo hoped that the Government would renovate the Chow Kit market or lease it to a developer to ensure proper management and maintenance.
“Locals and tourists have a bad perception of the market,” he said. “They regard it as being dirty and smelly.”