RM5.7b in unclaimed money with Finance Ministry

KUALA LUMPUR: The Finance Ministry has some RM5.779 billion in unclaimed money the Dewan Rakyat was told by deputy Finance Minister Datuk Othman Aziz (pix) today.

He said the sum for the unclaimed money goes back to 1977 and it is currently held by the Registrar of Unclaimed Money.

Othman Aziz said the money is mainly from inactive bank accounts, unclaimed fixed deposits, trading account, insurance payouts and interests.

However, Othman said it is the responsibility of the account holder or the heir of the account holder to make the claims.

He said it is not the responsibility of the Registrar to inform or trace the account holder.

As of June 30, from 1977 there are over 55.3 million case records of unclaimed money with the Registrar.

He said over this period RM1.579billion had been paid to claimants.

Othman explained that in some cases the money could belong to the same person with different accounts.

"For example, some accounts could hold a minimum of RM10 but this is still money unclaimed," he said.

The unclaimed money is being held in trust by the Registrar in the Accountant-General's Department.

Othman said the government has set up 25 counters nationwide – 13 in Peninsular, seven in Sarawak, four in Sabah and one to be opened in Putrajaya soon – to allow Malaysians to claim the money.

"Those who want to claim the money need to be present at any of the nearest counter to submit the forms with supporting documents.

"If there is no issue with the application, the office will give its approval and remit payment within 30 days from the day of the application," he said.