Banking system flawed, protects the rich, elite, says Anwar

(FMT) – The country has a flawed (western-capitalist) banking system if unsecured loans amounting to billions are given out to certain firms while the “small man” needs to pledge a collateral for even a RM20,000 loan, PKR president Anwar Ibrahim said today.

Citing the RM2.5 billion unsecured loans given out to Genting Hong Kong by three local banks, the opposition leader said this major flaw must be taken up by the youths to put things right.

“If our young people want to borrow RM20,000 for a small business endeavour without any collateral, can they get it? Try lining up at the banks. I can tell you they will not get it.

“Why? It is because the system chooses to only protect the elite and the rich. It has been the case, then and now. So, we must fight this system and right the wrongs,” he said when launching the Johor PKR Youth election machinery today.

Cruise operator Genting Hong Kong filed for bankruptcy last month, after which reports emerged saying that Maybank, CIMB and RHB Bank were among some of the company’s chief unsecured creditors, with a combined exposure of US$600 million (RM2.5 billion).

It was also reported that the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is among the major investors in these banks, with groups fearing its earnings will be affected as a result.

The opposition leader implored the youths in his party to champion the issue, among many others, without any fear or favour, even if it means questioning their own party leaders.

“I hope our Youth wing members will exhibit this fighting spirit. If certain people are uncomfortable with this, that’s fine. However, we will never compromise on this principle,” said Anwar, who is also a former finance minister.