Malaysians, particularly among the younger cohorts, have room to improve when it comes to financial literacy, with Personal Wealth’s most recent Young Investor Survey finding that only 7% of respondents allocate more than 30% of their monthly income towards investment.
Stepping in to address this gap, the Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK) recently launched its Pay-On-Time campaign, in collaboration with the Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM) and the Association of Islamic Banking and Financial Institutions Malaysia (AIBIM).
Designed to promote prudent financial management to society at large, the campaign creates awareness on the adverse consequences of late payments via informative but entertaining content through an eight-week period ending 12 December 2018.
“Based on findings by OECD (the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) in 2016, only 55% of Malaysians pay their bills on time. This is around 25% below the world average,” said AKPK CEO Azaddin Ngah Tasir.
“In the same survey, the financial attitude of Malaysians was also recorded below world average by 11% at just 39%.”
The Pay-On-Time campaign includes two short awareness videos as well as five infographics that highlight the effects of late and non-payments on credit card bills, and hire purchase, personal and home loans, as well as how they affect one’s CCRIS (Central Credit Reference Information System) rating.
It will also see the organisation of three live quiz games via Malaysia’s first locally developed live streaming quiz app, LitLive. By uploading the app, users will receive notifications on quiz games running on 31 Oct, 28 Nov and 12 Dec, with money prizes up to RM15,000 up for grabs.
The initiative also aims to see more financially challenged individuals make use of AKPK’s complimentary financial counselling services. With proper guidance on budgeting expenses to improve cash flow, for example, many would be able to improve their ability to pay their debts on time.
Other industry associations have highlighted the lack of financial literacy among younger Malaysians, with bestselling author Mark Chua, who is also the Senior Vice President of an international bank, saying: “Many bankrupty cases are caused by overgearing. They load up on unproductive debts like credit cards or personal loans, which are normally used for consumption purposes.”
“Hence, those with high levels of debt must practice affordable lifestyles so as not to be burdened by excessive financial commitments,” added the Malaysian Department of Insolvency, responding to an e-mail interview.