A 46-year-old food hawker is breaking ties with her younger sister after loan sharks allegedly launched two attacks at her house in Taman Bukit Mewah, Johor Bahru, in December 2019 and again in January this year.

Lai Poh Yoke claimed the first incident saw her cars and walls of her house being covered with red and yellow paint, while on January 22 the loan sharks allegedly hurled Molotov cocktail into the house which resulted in a fire.

Lai said she believed the incident occurred because her 40-year-old sister who is working in Singapore had borrowed money from loan sharks.

Lai last saw her sister last November, and had texted her sister when the first incident happened. However, her sister had denied any involvement with the loan sharks.

Michael Tay with Lai and her brother.

In a press conference organised by Johor MCA Government Coordinating Affairs chairman Michael Tay, Lai said she received a call from the men who claimed her sister owed them SGD35,000 (RM104,009).

“As she (sister) has put my family in danger, I no longer acknowledge her as my sister,” she said, adding that the two incidents had caused her to suffer a loss of about RM5,000 on top of the psychological trauma.

“I’m only a hawker earning about RM1,500 per month.  How can I settle the loan amount?” said Lai, who has lodged a police report.

Lai has a 20-year-old son and she is also taking care of her sister’s children aged 12 to 22.

Meanwhile, on the subject of the coronavirus outbreak, Tay urged the public to have more confidence in the government.

“People should not take any news that happened in China and make it viral here.  This only instils fear and causes panic.  I hope for life to return to normal.

“Because of fear, people are not going to restaurants, and business is adversely affected.  Since there is no vaccine yet, there is only containment.

“So we should wash our hands, take all the precautionary measures, wear face masks and go to the clinic if you feel unwell.  As for food operators, they should sanitise the eatery, wear gkves and masks… take all the necessary precautions. The public should not refrain from eating out, or the whole economy will collapse if the paranoia continues,” Tay said.

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