Monday, November 18

Bau Pakistani shop owner aggrieved by society’s allegations


Amir, seen here showing his legitimate business licence, regards the Bau folk as his
‘extended family’.

BAU: A Pakistani furniture shop owner is appalled by the number of baseless allegations hurled against him and his countrymen for operating their businesses here.

Met at his shop yesterday, Amir – as how he is known by the locals – laments that this is the first time he is experiencing such a situation since he first run his operation here six years ago.

“I have read and seen the photos in the news. I recognise a few of them (Pakistanis) in the pictures. All I can say is that they are operating their businesses in the Matang area, and not in Bau,” he told The Borneo Post here.

Amir’s remarks were made to clarify a report made by the Yatt Society Sarawak (YSS) on Thursday, who demanded action to be taken against the Pakistanis in this district, for intruding into the houses of villagers and persuading them into buying furniture, carpets and mattresses.

On this, Amir said he and his fellow Pakistanis here had been conducting honest business practices – they would never enter to any customer’s house even if the latter missed their monthly instalment payments.

“I understand that some of them may not be able to pay their instalments on time due to various financial reasons. At the end of the day, they (defaulters) would still need to pay their instalments in full,” he added.

Asked if he would go to the house of any of his defaulting customers to repossess the furniture items, Amir pointed out that it was not the way how he conducted his business, as he regarded the people in Bau as his ‘extended family’.

“Customers would come to my shop and buy the furniture. We do not visit the villagers to sell any of our furniture items,” said Amir, who is now living here with his wife and three children.

He said except for a local woman who manages the cash register, other services such as running the shop and handling deliveries are managed solely by him – not by other Pakistani workers as claimed by the YSS.

“I sincerely hope that the people here in Bau would not shun my shop and the customers would not start to blame me,” he appealed.

Amir also told The Borneo Post that on Thursday, Immigration Department officers came to his house to conduct checks on his documents such as passports and business licence – all of which are legitimate and in proper order.