Starting next week it will take just a few touches on the smartphone to check whether one is a bankrupt, as continuous efforts are made to ease the public’s dealings with government offices.
The MyDI application, to be available from May 11, is one of the many transformation measures involving the Insolvency Department that Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said has set her mind on.
The application, said the minister, will be useful, especially for those who want to know if they have been listed as a bankrupt.
“This facility will also be useful for those who wish to do a background check on their prospective employees. In fact, a father can also use the application to check if his future soninlaw is a bankrupt,” she quipped.
Speaking at the launch of the MyDI application, Azalina said the next step would be to ease the process of being discharged as a bankrupt by getting the person to fill in his application via online.
“For this procedure to be done fast, we need to shift some of the administrative ‘burden’ to the bankrupt by having all the forms filled before they meet with an officer from the department. This will significantly cut the processing time as well as red tape,” she added.
A roadshow will be held nationwide to educate the public not only on the services provided by the department but also the recent changes made to the Bankruptcy Act 2016, especially to prevent those who act as social guarantors being declared bankrupt if borrowers fail to repay their debts.
Social guarantors are defined as those who do not profit and essentially provide a guarantee for an education loan, hirepurchase transactions for personal or nonbusiness use, or a housing loan for personal dwellings.
“We need to help those who act as social guarantors as they can’t be made responsible if the person does not pay up their study loan.
“Also, by providing automatic discharge for a person declared bankrupt three years after declaration and upon filing the statement of affairs, we are helping these people to start afresh,” said Azalina.
Existing law allows a bankrupt to apply for a court discharge only if five years have lapsed from the date the bankruptcy order was made and that, too, is subject to the creditor’s appeal.
As of February, the Insolvency Department was administrating 292,086 cases of bankruptcy.
Azalina said amendments to the Act, which took just about one year from draft to being passed by the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara, became a factor that brought together politicians from both divides.
“The Government received support from the Opposition when the amendments were tabled and debated,” she noted.
The amended Act is expected to be enforced in June.
Source: The Star (03 May 2017)