Be prepared to face the law if you want to “sambung bayar”. NSTP file pic

IT’S an under the table practice that has being going on for decades, but continues to happen despite fervent warnings by the authorities.

Be prepared to face the law if you want to “sambung bayar”.

“Sambung bayar”, or the practise of pawning a vehicle on hire purchase from a bank, is a serious offence that may see the offender fined RM30,000, jailed three years, or both.

Last month, the Home Ministry clarified in Parliament that such cases were against the Hire-Purchase Act 1967.

However to date, it is believed that such practices are still rampant.

“Action can be taken against the owner who hands over vehicles for ‘sambung bayar’, or pawning to a third party without the knowledge and agreement from the bank,” the ministry said in a written statement, as reported by Berita Harian on Nov 16.

The ministry was responding to a question by Lim Lip Eng (DAP-Segambut).

The ministry said enforcement of the law was in the hands of the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry.

Under Section 38 of the act, errant car owners could be fined up to RM30,000, jailed three years, or both.

The problem arises when the monthly leases of vehicles sold via “sambung bayar”, or pawning, is not paid to the bank, causing the car owner to be blacklisted by the bank, the statement said.

“These cases cannot be categorised as vehicle theft as they do not fall under theft as stated in Section 378 of the Penal Code.

“Nevertheless, in police investigations, if there are elements of cheating, police will investigate under Section 420 of the Penal Code,” the statement said.

FESTIVE CHEER BRINGS ALONG GROWTH IN VEHICLE SALES

Vehicle sales for November stands at 4.6 per cent higher than October, lending further credence to the common conception that Malaysians tend to buy vehicles as festivities loom near.

MAA recorded 2,143 units higher of vehicle sales last month compared with the month before, with MAA citing year-end festive promotions as the reason for the spike.

Sales volume in November was up 0.2 per cent, or 89 units higher than the same month last year. This, together with total industry volume for year to date as at November standing at 1.3 per cent higher than the same period last year, indicate that the Malaysian automotive industry is on a slow rebound.

MAA said it expects sales volume for this month to be better than last month due to the continuation of aggressive promotional campaigns by car companies and year-end festive promotions.

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