PETALING JAYA: Malaysians need to arm themselves with greater financial literacy on important matters such as writing wills, keeping financial records and naming nominees for their savings, experts say.
Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) education officer NV Subbarow said even in making financial claims, many remain quite ignorant of the process.
“They usually just let go of their small balance when they close an account in a particular bank.
“Writing a will is also unpopular among Malaysians because there are not many campaigns for this.
“Even for the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), which sends out annual statements of account, there are those who never claim their money.
“It is time we simplified these processes,” he said when asked to comment on the government’s recent announcement that there was some RM11bil in unclaimed money.
Subbarow added that a lot of people tend to complain about making claims or requests involving financial matters because they found it tedious.
He suggested that a special department or division be set up and tasked with sending out reminders to all those with unclaimed money.
The department, he said, should also inform the next of kin about unclaimed funds.
He also said quite a number of people had never nominated anyone for their savings accounts.
“The wives may not even know how much money their husbands have or in which bank the money is kept and the account details. Same goes for the share market,” he said.
Economist Datuk Jalilah Baba agreed that Malaysians needed to improve their knowledge of financial matters.
She said most were put off by the process.
“I have gone through it and it is not as tedious as people make it out to be.
“As far as I am concerned, the requirements of the Accountant General’s Department are valid because it needs to make sure the money is returned to the rightful owner.
“This is why we need to understand the procedure,” she added.
In Malaysia, there were still people who had not nominated anyone for their EPF savings, got their will done or appointed someone to handle their estate and finances upon their demise, said Jalilah.