According to Bank Negara Malaysia, 47 per cent of Malaysian youths have high credit card debts. - File picMarch 15, 2021 @ 12:03pm
LETTERS: I refer to Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz statement recently that 40 per cent of millennials spend beyond their means.

In another worrying development, according to Bank Negara Malaysia, 47 per cent of Malaysian youths have high credit card debts.

These figures are alarming and probably unprecedented in the history of our nation. It is a stark reflection of the lack of financial prudence on the part of the millennials.

Lavishing spending and high living have resulted in thousands of them, on the threshold of adulthood, already being burdened with mounting debts, unable to service their personal loans whether housing, car, credit card and many other financial commitments.

Debt is something like quick sand in that it has the tendency to draw its victim deeper and deeper. Financial prudence is not an inborn trait but a self discipline that has to be acquired.

It is a dereliction of duty if parents do not educate their children on the importance of living within their means besides nurturing the saving habit.

How a man uses money, makes it, saves it, and spends it is perhaps one of the best tests of practical wisdom. Financial institutions are also partly to blame for this deplorable state of affairs.

This especially concerns personal loans when they are granted without collateral. Similarly, credit cards are issued with the holder given high credit limit. Another reason is the easy way for one to get more than one card.

If customers source of income, spending culture, repayment pattern and unavoidable commitments are closely monitored, habitual defaulters can be detected and disciplined early.

In this way, thousands of lavish spenders could have been saved from bankruptcy long before they reach the beyond redemption stage.

We should remember that youths are the pillars of a progressive nation and should not be facing debt problems so early in life.

The government must put in place proactive measures to prevent them from ending up a bankrupt and becoming a liability to the nation and a burden to society.

S. Sundareson

Petaling Jaya, Selangor

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the New Straits Times