“Malaysia Madani must include efforts to rid the country of banking scams”

Editor’s Note: The quotes attributed to the netizen have been edited for clarity purpose.

A RATHER miscued reply to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Facebook (FB) post of his afternoon tea meeting with members of the All-Malaysia Hindu Temples Committee over the weekend – which would typically be ignored – would as much shed light into a long-standing problem plaguing the country’s financial/banking sector.

Its author YYee Chan appealed to Anwar who is also the Finance Minister to act, protect Malaysians and to stop fraud cases from happening in in Malaysia.

The netizen shared that he has a florist friend whose shop address was used by a fraudster to scam potential customers but he was disappointed as to how the bank reacted to his good intention of wanting to help his florist friend.

“(The) scammer sold cheaper flowers for Valentine’s Day (which falls on today), asked interested buyer to deposit their orders into his/her bank account and collect the flowers from my friend’s shop,” revealed the netizen who is believed to be residing in Johor Bahru (according to his FB account).

“Many of them were being cheated by the post. I contacted the CIMB bank, lodge complaint to the bank and requested the bank to freeze the account, yet CIMB Malaysia told me that since I’m not the victim, I have no right to report and ask to freeze the account (of the scammer).

“So, does that mean that only the victim has the right do make a report while the bank totally has no responsibility to stop the fraud case?” asked YYee Chan without elaborating as to why his so-called florist friend was unable to lodge a complaint to the bank personally.

But he may be right to suggest that the said bank could have taken steps to temporarily freeze the bank account of the fraudster to prevent the scam from continuing.

“Come on. Malaysia Madani is not only a slogan. And Malaysia is not heaven for scammer,” he berated. “The bank should bear full responsibility and has the right to stop the transaction or temporarily suspend the suspicious account.”

Added YYee Chan: “Nobody is so free to contact customer service and requested to freeze an innocent account. The individual must surely be someone with solid evidence on hand to lodge this complaint.”

Likewise, the netizen suggested that if the freeze is misplaced, the account holder could furnish evidence to the bank to lift the temporary freeze action.

“All banks provide disclaimer to push away their responsibility. Banks have totally no responsibility when their (customers’) account are being used to facilitate fraud,” he lamented.

“So, banks are seen here as continuing to generate profit by facilitating scammers and allowing financial fraud to continue … if that’s the case, should customers sue their banks as the culprit for fraud cases? Can Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) do something?”

Although the issue raised by YYee Chan is nothing new, the very fact that he chose to escalate the matter to the ‘highest financial authority’ in the country with vigour is itself testament of the adage “friend in need is a friend indeed” while in the bigger picture, a wake-up call for the Malaysia Madani administration to seriously look into addressing the issue of ‘petty’ banking scams/thefts and the failure of the banking system to detect or eradicate them effectively.

Food for thought indeed insofar as the revelation of YYee Chan is concerned for the flower business is sure booming with today being the day to commemorate romance and love. Little wonder many scammers are lurking to milk the flower business. – Feb 14, 2023

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