Budget 2023: More needed to educate people about scams and financial literacy, says Fomca

PETALING JAYA: While the establishment of the National Scam Response Center is a good thing, there is still work to be done to educate people about scams and financial literacy, says Malaysian Federation of Consumer Associations (Fomca ).

“There is a need to raise awareness and educate people of all age groups on the different types of scam tactics,” said Fomca Secretary General and Managing Director Datuk Paul Selva Raj.

“Financial education is particularly important for young people, as they are more likely to accumulate high debt and spend beyond their means,” he said.

Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz had announced in his 2023 budget speech that a national scam response center would be established and begin operating this month, acting on reports received by blocking accounts and taking action against the perpetrators.

He also said a platform would be created for the public to report any accounts or numbers suspected of being used by scammers.

Meanwhile, Paul said the Jualan Murah Keluarga Malaysia, a program to sell essential goods and groceries at lower prices, should be expanded to more places, including urban areas.

“It is especially important to include urban areas, where the cost of living is high and people’s incomes are low. If people can buy raw materials and cook their own food, it would help them with their finances,” did he declare.

Paul expressed hope that the health sector boost would make the health system more accessible and efficient, as the system is currently overwhelmed.

Tengku Zafrul announced that the Ministry of Health will receive an allocation of RM36.1 billion next year, up from RM32.4 billion this year.

Louis R. Hancock