DATE OF RELEASE: 12 OCTOBER 2020
PRESS RELEASE: FOMCA ANNUAL CAMPAIGN - FINANCIAL LITERACY MONTH
October marks the “Financial Literacy Month” in Malaysia. The on-going event is organised by Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association (FOMCA). Having been first organised in 2011, the event is currently in its ninth year. The theme chosen is “Financial responsibility begins with me.”
The main emphasis of the event is to highlight the importance of financial literacy and teach households how to establish and maintain healthy financial habits.
Furthermore, it promotes national awareness and engagement campaigns through various community events.
The Covid-19 and Movement Control Order (MCO) has since been extended to December 2020 and with no ending of the MCO in sight. Workers are losing their jobs and are unable to find new jobs, having their incomes reduced and facing a bleak economic recovery in the future, especially for families facing the crisis with limited means and not having a clear picture of their employment future.
Many consumers might even have to dig into their personal savings or make borrowings from informal sources to meet their basic family expenses. They would probably be from the low-income and the unskilled, this would put tremendous pressures to meet their financial obligations.
While the government must take measures to reduce the cost of living, more must be done to raise financial literacy among the young.
The high cost of living and poor money-managing habits both contributed to financial woes. Greater effort is needed to help young Malaysians manage their finances better. FOMCA has since 2011 been advocating for stronger policy and initiatives towards empowering young workers and consumers through financial education.
Based on the FOMCA survey, it was found that many consumers, especially young workers, have very low savings, high credit and not managing their finances responsibly.
Although the government launched the National Strategy for Financial Literacy (2019-2023) programme back in July 2019, FOMCA strongly believes that more needs to be done. If financial education is not carried out on a major scale reaching the young lower and middle income workers, the situation will get worse.
FOMCA suggests that the government focuses on financial literacy programmes and matches the policy recommendations by the World Bank, which suggests raising awareness among citizens on their rights, duties and accountability in financial management.