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Malaysian father disowns gambling-addicted, debt-ridden son after loan sharks hound family

A 67-year-old Malaysian man had to disown his son due to his gambling addiction and debt.

Retiree Wong Yock Sang said his 35-year-old son is a chronic gambler who borrowed from loan sharks to fund his lifestyle.

“I exhausted my life savings to settle his 240,000 ringgit (US$51,129) debt in 2019 because he promised to change.

“I even had to find work as an e-hailing driver as my savings are gone,” he told a press conference organised by the Malaysian Chinese Association’s public services and complaints department head Michael Chong in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

Wong said that shortly after the debts were paid, his son went to a rehabilitation centre for gamblers and appeared to turn over a new leaf.

“However, on June 2, I discovered that someone had posted a photo of me and my wife on Facebook, with the caption ‘wanted’,” he said.

“I also received a call from my other son, telling me that an ah long (illegal moneylender) had contacted him, saying his brother had a 12,000 ringgit debt with them. The ah long threatened to hire a gang to come after us if the debt is not settled,” Wong said.

Wong said another ah long sent him a WhatsApp message, saying the same son owed them 1,200 ringgit.

“Honestly, I don’t know how many ah long he owes money to. It is tough to sever my relationship with my son. It breaks my heart, but I had to do it,” he said, adding that he has since lodged a police report on the threats.

In another case, single mother Chai Siew Won, 34, had to leave in fear due to her ex-husband’s debt.

“We were divorced in 2022 after about 10 years of marriage due to his drug habit and family neglect.

Ah longs started harassing us in April this year, saying my ex-husband owed them more than 5,000 ringgit.

“Even after I explained