PETALING JAYA: Three out of 10 working adults have had to borrow money to buy essential goods in the past six months, a survey by the Debt Management and Counselling Agency (AKPK ) has found.
The survey also found that one out of five working adults did not manage to save money in the last six months.
AKPK CEO Azaddin Ngah Tasir said that the majority of those in these categories earned less than RM2,000 or were self-employed.
AKPK's inaugural financial behaviour survey report, which took place from January to July this year, involved more than 3,500 Malaysian working adults.
The survey engaged six advisors from public and private institutions of higher learning.
The survey report was launched on Thursday (Nov 15) by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail during AKPK'S inaugural Financial Literacy Symposium 2018.
"As shown by the survey, the financial well-being of the respondents was at dismal levels.
"Many do not set aside money for emergency needs and medical expenses, and they would not be able to cover three months' expenses if retrenched," said Azaddin.
The survey also found that a high cost of living was the main reason why many working adults were unable to save.
It also found that government employees form the highest percentage of borrowers of personal loans.
In her speech, Wan Azizah said that as of September, there were 13,338 Malaysians who were declared bankrupt according to the Insolvency Department.
The symposium was attended by more than 300 participants from the public and private sectors.