Report Wrong, More Than 90% Malaysians Have Savings, Says Zeti

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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 27 – Bank Negara Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz today clarified that more than 90% of Malaysians have some form of savings. She described “as partial information” a recent report on household income, which revealed that more than 80% Malaysians had no savings.

Speaking at a media workshop organised by the central bank, she said the report did not really reflect the entire perspective of the population and could be described as “misleading”. “They (the report) probably looked at savings in the banking system but they don’t look at savings (in the non-bank financial intermediaries) like Tabung Haji and Koperasi,” she said.

The central bank’s data covers the overall financial inclusion, she said. The report also revealed that nearly 90% and 86% of rural and urban households, respectively, had no savings. It also showed 57% of Malaysian households reported zero earnings from investments, with the figure for urban households at 50% and rural households at 66%.

Zeti said people would surely have savings or would save when they have purposes, such as pilgrimage in Tabung Haji and MBSB. However, she said, because of the recent hike in prices and rising cost of living, people have been tapping into their savings. The governor said for almost 20 years, the central bank has been promoting the importance of savings among Malaysians, but it could not be realised if people still had bad spending habits.

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