Student money management programme launched

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It is important for students at universities to deepen their knowledge on credit management and financial literacy before stepping out as professionals in the working world or future entrepreneurs running their own business.

This is in view of the glaring lack of financial literacy and rise of bankrupcty among youths in the country. According to Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed AbdulRahman, around 30 per cent of bankruptcy cases registered involve people under age 30.

“The unfortunate reality in Malaysia today is that household debt is exceptionally high and financial literacy is relatively low. This must be addresssed well and early, or it will lead to a downward spiral.

“We cannot address this issue reactively. To ensure financial literacy among youths, we must begin at universities because they are where graduates and professionals will emerge from, and it is critical that we reach out to this group,” he said before launching the Kembara Bijak Wang AKPK HSBC 2019 in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) recently.

The financial literacy programme for youths is a joint effort between Agensi Kaunseling dan Pengurusan Kredit (AKPK) and HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd, with UKM as co-partner. 

About 4,000 students from 14 universities nationwide are expected to take part in the six-month programme. 

Syed Saddiq commended the collaboration between the government agency, bank and university as an ideal way to reach out to young people.

I hope university students will take this golden opportunity to learn how to manage money effectively. We  want all youths in Malaysia to start saving from today because a penny saved is a penny earned,” he said.

The first phase of the progamme will run until April. The second phase will see groups of students completing online learning modules on cashflow management, wealth management and borrowing basics in three months.

The third and final phase is in September, where 30 best-performing groups will qualify for a financial treasure hunt aroundKuala Lumpur, which will testthem on the knowledge they learned. 

HSBC Bank Malaysia deputy chief executive officer James Gossip said the bank was pleased to play a role in providing financial education to students.

“We certainly hope this programme will help Malaysian youths to acquire the skills they need to become economically independent and responsible citizens. We are looking forward to working together with our partners to boost Malaysian youths’ prospects for a promising future.”

AKPK CEO Azaddin Ngah Tasir said with financial management knowledge and skills, university students were expected to have better personal financial management and credit standing when they graduate.

“We believe there will be a multiplier effect from this programme, where students will share what they learned with their friends and family,” he said.

UKM deputy vice-chancellor (industry and community partnerships) Professor Datuk Dr Imran Ho Abdullah said having 14 universities involved in the programme was especially significant as the students would progress into full-fledged members of society when they graduate.

“We understand the programme will run for the next three years. Data gathered from the participants will be used for research by the university’s Economics Faculty team,” he said.