Third of ruling party backbench MPs are credit risks
Baradan Kuppusamy in Kuala Lumpur
A minister has inadvertently provided ammunition to the opposition by revealing that one-third of the government's 60 or so backbench MPs have been blacklisted as credit risks by a nationwide database.
M.Kayveas, deputy to Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, was trying to highlight what he said was the unfair use of the blacklist. The list of high credit risks is run by CTOS Ltd, a private company set up by all Malaysian lenders in the mid-1980s. Lenders refer to the CTOS list before approving credit of any kind.
'There are too many people blacklisted in the database,' Dr Kayveas told The Star newspaper yesterday. But opposition lawmakers jumped on the statement and said that inclusion on the list could make the MPs unfit to hold office.
None of the 16 opposition lawmakers are known to be on the list.
'The database is a list of individuals who have defaulted on loans, are considered credit risk and some are even undischarged bankrupts,' said opposition lawmaker Murugesan Kulasegaran.
'The people should know the financial standing of their representatives. No member of parliament should be on the list.'
But Dr Kayveas said the CTOS list was doing a disservice to the country because it 'blatantly' listed MPs, community and corporate leaders.
'If we are not careful, the economy can be affected when banks and credit providers tighten credit facilities based on CTOS records,' he said.
Several government lawmakers contacted yesterday confirmed their names were on the CTOS list.
'I can't even get a hire purchase loan to buy a car because I am listed,' said a lawmaker from Selangor state.