Covid-19 highlights importance of financial literacy — Mohd Shahar

KUALA LUMPUR: The assimilation of financial literacy elements in lifestyle and day-to-day affairs is now becoming increasingly important in the era of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Deputy Finance Minister II Mohd Shahar Abdullah (pix).

He said Covid-19 has had a clear impact on global life around the world, further emphasising the importance for the people to take precautions in managing finances amid the pandemic.

“There are those who take wise steps by re-evaluating their financial position by looking for alternatives in navigating the new norms.

“However, it is regret that there are also vulnerable groups who are not financially prepared to face this unexpected situation,“ he said during a webinar held by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) entitled “#BePrudent: Take Control of Your Finances” in conjunction with the Financial Literacy Month 2020 today

The Financial Literacy Month 2020 was launched by the Financial Education Network.

In another development, Mohd Shahar said household debt had reached 87.5 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), while statistics from the Malaysian Insolvency Department showed that 11,800 out of 46,760 individuals, or 25.2 percent, of bankruptcy cases from 2017-2019 consisted of young people aged below 35 years.

“This situation is very worrying amid the Covid-19 pandemic,“ he said.

Hence, he said it is the priority of the Perikatan Nasional government to improve the quality of life of the people, while ensuring the prosperity and well-being can be enjoyed together.

Quoting a Malay proverb which means working together through thick and thin in facing the pandemic, he urged FEN and its partners from the public and private sectors to mobilise their energy to realise the goals of the National Financial Literacy Strategy 2019-2023.

“Our responsibility to increase the level of financial literacy among the community will be continued with a firm commitment to empower the people with financial knowledge and skills,“ he said.

The Financial Literacy Month 2020, which was inaugurated on Oct 6, 2020, is part of the ongoing FEN initiatives to increase the level of financial literacy in all walks of life

“I am confident that the knowledge gained from various programmes related to financial education through talks, webinars, quizzes, competitions, discussions and exhibitions online during this Financial Literacy Month would educate the community in making wise financial decisions,“ he said. — Bernama