Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Othman Aziz said most Malaysians did not save up enough for a rainy day and would face a bleak future if they lost their jobs.
“Based on a study, only 6% of Malaysians have savings to last them six months.
“This would mean that they will be facing a bleak future six months after becoming unemployed,” he said to a question by Anuar Abd Manap (BN-Sekijang) in Dewan Rakyat.
He blamed low financial management literacy and poor saving attitude as reasons why most Malaysians lacked sufficient savings.
“It boils down to attitude as most are unable to differentiate between needs and wants.
“They get wide-eyed and end up spending whatever money they have without thinking about the future,” he said.
To help overcome this, Othman said Bank Negara, in collaboration with several agencies and the Education Ministry, had launched the Financial Education Network to expose Malaysians to matters related to saving and investment aimed at teaching them to better manage their finances.
He said financial education was also introduced at the primary school level in 2014 which will be expanded to cover secondary schools by 2021.
However, Datuk Mahfuz Omar (PAS-Pokok Sena) got the House in stitches when he said there was no point teaching Malaysians to save when most had no money to save in the first place.
He said this could be seen from some 3.6 million packets of instant noodles consumed daily by low-income group and students.