KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 — The Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK) today revealed that two out of 10 Malaysian working adults were unable to save a single sen in the last six months.
Nearly three out of 10 had to borrow money just to buy essential items. That’s 28 per cent out of 3,540 people between the ages 20 and 60 surveyed by AKPK in its Financial Behaviour Survey 2018 conducted from May to August.
More than half, or 53 per cent of those polled, earned less than RM2,000 and could not afford RM1,000 emergency expenses.
“According to the survey on financial wellbeing, we found that on average, the Malaysian working adult has not reached the comfortable level of wellbeing,” AKPK chief executive Azaddin Ngah Tasir said during the launch of the survey report at the inaugural Financial Literacy Symposium here today.
He said the agency’s research also showed another two out of 10 working Malaysians saved less than 5 per cent of their monthly income.
Azaddin said the AKPK survey focused on two groups: the self-employed and those earning below RM2,000 monthly.
“These are the most vulnerable as they are most challenged in terms of financial wellbeing,” he said.
He said those employed in the agriculture sector and those who worked for the armed forces, police and other law enforcement agencies were among those who scored the lowest in its financial security checks.
“There are people who managed to save but only a minimal level of 5 to 10 per cent of their monthly income,” he added.
Consumers with very little understanding of their personal finances and exhibited inappropriate financial behaviour would continue to suffer financially in the long run, Azaddin said.
“A lot of research has stated that financial education is responsible in producing good financial behaviour.
“Hence, to ensure that knowledge is translated into desired behavior it is imperative that we understand the current landscape of financial behavior of consumers,” he emphasised.