Friday, 30 December 2011

Jobless schizophrenic with 12 credit cards owes RM50,000




By AMANDA NG YANN CHWEN and KATHY CHIN newsdesk@thestar.com.my

KUALA LUMPUR: An unemployed schizophrenic has landed himself with a RM50,000 debt – no thanks to his 12 credit cards.



MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Michael Chong said the man, known only as Y.F. Chong, 35, had approached him for help as he was afraid he would go to jail.

“Why was it so easy for him to get so many cards when his salary was only 1,500?” he asked reporters at a press conference at his office here yesterday.

Y.F., who used to work in a milling factory, said he would apply for every credit card offered to him by promoters at shopping centres and was approved for all of them.

He said that when he lost his job in October due to his condition, which was diagnosed in 2004, he started depending on his credit cards to get by.

“Previously, I used to pay for trips to spas and a holiday in Thailand with my credit cards,” he said, adding that he even took two supplementary cards for his mother and sister.

He said last year, the banks started demanding payment, adding that all his cards have now been cancelled.

“If I still had a job, I would pay off the debts by instalment, but I am jobless now,” said YF, who because of his condition, claims somebody is following him and poisoning his food.

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterised by a breakdown of thought processes and by poor emotional responsiveness. Symptoms include auditory hallucinations, paranoia or delusions,

He claimed that when he tried to file for bankruptcy, the Official Assignee office asked him to pay another RM1,500 for filing charges.

“I couldn’t as I didn’t have the money,” he said.

Chong expressed amazement that YF managed to get 12 credit cards.

He said he had tried to apply for a Gold Card more than 10 years ago, and was rejected.

“Why is it so easy to apply for credit cards now?” he asked.

Chong added that it was not surprising that so many young people in the country were in serious debt.

“There’s something really wrong with the current system,” he said, adding that banks should have a more thorough vetting process.

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