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Mara is offering small business loans
Published on: Wednesday, September 18, 2019
By: Lorena Binisol


Mohd Yassin of Mara giving a talk on its services to 30 participants at Moyog Innovation House.
PENAMPANG: People with disabilities (OKU) are the most loyal when come to re-paying their debts, said Mohd Yassin Bin Ajum, Assistant Director (business financing), of Mara (Majlis Amanah Rakyat).

“This category (OKU) is the most faithful and have positive attitude when repayment is concerned compared to normal people.  Even executing their respective business, they showed seriousness and urgency.  Unlike normal people, some even took advantage of our facilities.  

They took the loan and “run away”. But today, we are very alert of the situation (and all the tricks) and we are able to trace who is doing business seriously and who is not,” said Yassin at a talk held at Moyog Innovation House, a move initiated by Moyog Assemblywoman Jenifer Lasimbang.

Thirty participants, including some fresh graduates from universities and colleges, came to learn about services provided by Mara and were delighted to find out there are such facilities (financial) offered by the government agency to bumiputeras interested to start a business.

Viola Livinon, 35, of Kg Sugud in Penampang, an UiTM graduate learned about entrepreneurship but did not start any business due to lack of finance. Instead, she worked in the private sector for eight years.

“In this workshop, it is very encouraging indeed to know about such facilities for people who do not have enough capital to start a small business.

 

I am now applying to get small loan to open a grocery shop in my village.

Another participant, Gerald Thomas Wong, 30 who is currently breeding a type of lobsters in his backyard in Kg Limbanak, said the business can be lucrative if done consistently.

 “I started rearing this type of lobster since two years ago from a small little pond to bigger ones now. However, it is still considered a backyard business as I haven’t had the chance to expand due to financial constraints.

Today, after meeting with Mara officers, I came to realise there are a number of schemes offered to small-time business people like me.  This is indeed a good platform to whoever wants to apply for a business loan,” said Gerald gratefully.

Yassin disclosed that in order to be eligible for any schemes provided by Mara, one needs to have a trading licence and six-month bank statement. 

 “Unlike other agencies, which require a year’s bank statements, ours is only six months. Therefore, it is easier to apply as long as they meet all the other standard requirements.

When you want to start a business, it is best that you must have the ownership and be serious about it otherwise there is no point applying in the first place.

Eventually, we will find out who ‘cheats’ and for all you know, the applicant who takes advantage of our facilities would be blacklisted from all the agencies and even banks and other financial institutions as we are all inter-connected now,” Yassin stressed.

He commended a few loan applicants who become successful today.

From a just “cottage industry” level, many had evolved in their respective businesses, said Yassin.  He said Mara has been in existence for more than 50 years and the impact is obvious.

 “In Sabah there are two people who I considered very successful after getting our facilities; one in furniture making and another one runs a supermarket chain. 

“We want to see impact from our services. This is what matters most.  While we provide all these facilities, I invite those who are really serious about venturing into businesses of their choice to come and apply with us.”

Penampang Community Development Leader Benjamin Soikun in his speech said it is time for the community to get to know the opportunity provided for the people to ease their financial burden with capital to start their business.

He said Mara in sharing their facilities being the highlights was actually suggested by Assemblywoman Jenifer who wished to see her community members have their own small business so that they have something to look forward to.

“I can see that people in Moyog are quite entrepreneur-driven, but lacking in how to go about sustaining in the business. I hope with this information gathered at this talk, everyone is more aware of such services available,” said Benjamin. 



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