The Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) has called on the Najib Abdul Razak administration to revoke the car repossession permit policy, as it would deprive underprivileged Indian youths of jobs and send them into crime.
“The decision of the Domestic Trade Ministry to impose permits on vehicle repossessers is causing further hardship, especially for the thousands of Indian car repossessing operators nationwide,” said Hindraf’s de facto leader, P Uthayakumar.
He was responding to recent developments in the repossession laws in an open letter today to Prime Minister Najib and Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
Sinar Harian reported yesterday that the car repossessers must obtain a permit from the ministry to run their business to ensure all vehicle repossessions comply with the law.
According to the article, the ministry’s Kuala Lumpur director Abu Samah Shahbudin said there had been cases of car repossessers using violence to reclaim the vehicles, before the Hire Purchase Act 1967 (Amendment 2010) came into force in June 2011.
However, Uthayakumar (left) said the new legislation would deprive a lot of Indians who are currently in the business of a job as many would be unable to obtain the licences.
“As it stands, operators with criminal records (to us mostly innocent and forced to plead guilty in courts because they are poor and cannot afford bail and legal fees) are not allowed to engage in this business by the ministry.
“In any event where is the second chance for ex-convicts to reintegrate into society policy announced by the government?” he asked.
Uthayakumar also said that the government should instead enforce strict registration and monitoring of car repossessers who are authorised by the respective banks and financial institutions.
“Rogue car repossessers can be given warnings and then suspensions initially for one month, then a few months and finally being blacklisted in very serious cases,” he said.
“We do not condone the black sheep car repossessers who use high-handed and bullying, if not criminal, methods to repossess vehicles,” he added.
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