LIAM and AKPK join forces to empower Malaysian youths with financial expertise via Jelajah Bijak Wang
Students from 50 participating higher learning institutions to embark on an engaging journey to gain financial knowledge and wellness skills
Kuala Lumpur, 25 October 2023 – The Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM) and Agensi Kaunseling dan Pengurusan Kredit (AKPK) in collaboration with Universiti Putra Malaysia and 16 LIAM member companies today launched “Jelajah Bijak Wang (JBW)”, a significant initiative designed to empower young individuals with essential financial skills. The launch of JBW was marked by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between LIAM and AKPK, underscoring their unwavering commitment to enhancing financial literacy among the youth and all Malaysians.
The launch of JBW and MOU signing were graced by the presence of the Deputy Minister of Finance II, Yang Berhormat, Steven Sim Chee Keong at Bangunan AICB, Kuala Lumpur. Representing LIAM was its President, Raymond Lew, while AKPK was represented by its Chief Executive Officer, Azaddin Ngah Tasir.
Speaking at the event, LIAM President, Raymond Lew emphasized the importance of equipping young individuals with basic skills and knowledge on financial management to establish a solid foundation for responsible financial choices.
He highlighted statistics from the Malaysian Department of Insolvency (MDI), which reported over 280,000 young Malaysians had been declared bankrupt as of March 2022 because they couldn’t manage their loan debts due to insufficient funds. Many also resorted to taking up personal loans for quick cash. On top of that, according to RinggitPlus Malaysia Financial Literacy Survey 2022 (RMFLS), Malaysians from various walks of life are grappling with financial challenges that leave them vulnerable to financial shocks. Out of 3,144 Malaysians aged 18 and above surveyed, 70% were saving less than RM500 per month or not saving at all, while 55% were spending more than what they earned each month.
“LIAM believes that continuous financial literacy programmes for the youth are the way forward. JBW targets to reach 50 higher learning institutions nationwide, to equip students with financial management skills before they enter the work force,” Raymond said.
“The industry remains committed to working closely with the Government, Bank Negara Malaysia, and the Financial Education Network (FEN), an inter-agency platform championing the financial education agenda for the nation.
We strive to adapt to the changing preferences and lifestyles of the youth, making insurance more accessible, relevant, and engaging for them. For young adults there are comprehensive range of life insurance plans that are available online to cater to their lifestyle needs. One great option is the affordable starter pack called Perlindungan Tenang. It covers key life risks such as death, accidents, and unfortunate events from as low as RM12 per year. Getting life insurance while you are young and healthy is a smart move to ensure financial security down the road,” Raymond explained.
To support the Financial Sector Blueprint (FSBP) 2022 - 2026 agenda, which aims to elevate the financial wellbeing of households and businesses, LIAM and its member companies will continue to collaborate with key stakeholders including Bank Negara Malaysia, Malaysian Financial Planning Council, AKPK and Malaysian Insurance Institute to educate and raise consumer awareness, including dispelling misconceptions about insurance, educating on vital issues and guiding individuals to make informed decisions.
“Riding on the tagline, “Prosper Today, Thrive Tomorrow,” we hope the JBW initiative will have a positive impact on more young people in the country in fulfilling our goals of nurturing holistic well-being, foster positive financial behaviour, and ultimately elevate the financial well-being of all Malaysians,” he reiterated.
Meanwhile, CEO of AKPK, Azaddin Ngah Tasir, expressed his appreciation for LIAM’s dedication to empowering Malaysian youth with financial learning through programs such as JBW. Azaddin believes that strong financial literacy from young sets the stage for making wise financial decisions when they are beginning to earn and starting a family. Collectively, this financial behaviour would pave the way towards a financially savvy society in the country.
LIAM CEO, Mark O’Dell emphasized the industry's goal to promote a greater understanding of life insurance and elevate financial literacy in Malaysia through ongoing consumer education initiatives.
He outlined JBW’s focus on empowering Malaysian youth with the knowledge, skills, and tools to navigate the increasingly complex financial world.
“JBW is scheduled to kick off from October 2023, continuing until February 2024. It offers students an enriching mix of classroom sessions, gamification, online learning, and culminates in an exciting Treasure Hunt in 2024. Adding a futuristic touch, students will be guided by Mat Awang, a robot from the future, imparting the values we wish to see in our youth. The program will cover seven dimensions of wellness, including financial protection, emotional well-being, spirituality, career and intellectual growth, social awareness, environmental responsibility, and physical health,” Mark added.
Mark urged university representatives to encourage students to join JBW, with a chance to win cash prizes of over RM18,900. “We want JBW to inspire and motivate the young people to participate enthusiastically while enjoying the process of learning about financial planning and making informed financial decisions,” Mark concluded.