PETALING JAYA: In response to the thousands of queries about unclaimed money, a new app will be launched to ease the process for people to trace and reclaim their funds.
Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan said the process to claim the money may be tedious but was vital for security reasons.
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Sharing his own experience of being a victim, Ahmad said there were 14 attempts by fraudsters to grab his unclaimed funds.
“Previously, when I was the deputy finance minister during the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), my identity card was made viral because there were many people who were upset with me.
“This created an opportunity for these ‘Ahmad Maslan’ posers to use my IC information to retrieve my unclaimed money. The money was from a bank account I had opened some seven years previously,” he said.
Now, the public has to go through the website (https://egumis.anm.gov.my/) to retrieve their unclaimed money.
“We understand that the public want a more seamless experience, hence an app is in the pipeline,” he told The Star when asked if a different mechanism could be used to credit the unclaimed money into an individual’s bank account, similar to how cash aid is channelled to the public from the government.
Ahmad maintained that no agent or any third party could be used to retrieve the money.
Since the announcement that there is about RM11bil in unclaimed money belonging to the public as of March, Ahmad said they had received some 50,000 queries via the website.
“The biggest portion of the unclaimed money is from dormant bank accounts. A lot of the time, people tend to change their addresses and phone numbers, and they become untraceable for the bank to remind them about money in their accounts.
“However, rest assured that the unclaimed money is kept safe because it is our responsibility towards public trust.
“The Accountant General’s Department (AGD) officers are nationwide so everyone can have access to information and how to go about it,” he added.
In order to create more awareness of the unclaimed money, the AGD will set up booths to answer queries and assist the public.
The AGD, said Ahmad, was also looking to amend the Unclaimed Money Act 1965 (Act 370) with the aim of improving the unclaimed money process, including lowering the period of transfer from the current 15 to 10 years.
Last week, he announced that out of the RM14.1bil received by the AGD from companies or firms in accordance with Section 8 of the Act from 1977 until last month, about RM3.2bil – in savings accounts, insurance and deposits – had been refunded to their owners.