The woes of credit cards and integrity,11.1.2007.
DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw urges the public to be cautious in using credit cards so that they would not incur huge debts, resulting in financial difficulties or even bankruptcy.
The Government must have strict control over credit cards. This must be a step in the long-term strategy to promote integrity in Malaysia.
Dr Tan took part in the Great Debate, RTM1, Angkasapuri, on 9 January, 2007. The theme was: When does a gift become a bribe?
It was the first programme of a series on Integrity. Participants were: Dato' Dr Zambry Abd. Kadir, Perak Exco, Dr Chandra Muzaffar, President Just World and Dr Tan Seng Giaw.
Since the arrival of men on earth, they have always had good and bad behaviour. One of the bad behaviour is corruption, to give and to receive bribe.
The Government must have the political will to take effective action to find the evidence so that corrupted leaders can be prosecuted. The salaries of workers in public and private sectors such as the police must be reasonable. Today, a constable receives a salary of RM 650 a month. This is too low, especially in towns. The Government must increase the pays of police, creating a conducive atmosphere for integrity.
On the other hand, people in public and private sectors have to be cautious about the misuse of credit cards, otherwise outstanding debts will land them in a dire state. They may be susceptible to irregularities such as corruption.
Now, foreign and local companies have total creditline extended RM 49.8 billion. By May, 2005, the total outstanding balance amounted to RM12.6 billion. The current outstanding balance for the credit of less than three months is RM1.4 billion, between three to six months RM346 million and over six months RM299 million. The outstanding balance for over six months is stable at between RM300 million to RM350 million.
Credit card holders must restrict themselves in using the cards for goods and services within their ability. Those with platinum cards can obtain credit for goods and services overseas. This is even more risky. Once a cardholder runs into trouble, it would be more difficult for him or her to uphold integrity.
Tan Seng Giaw