More than 80,625 bankruptcy cases in the last 5 years

Those aged between 35 and 44 reported the highest number of cases at 35% over the 5-year period

pic by HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN

MORE than 80,000 bankruptcy cases were recorded by the Department of Insolvency Malaysia (DIM) in the last five years from January 2015 to August 2019, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law) Datuk Liew Vui Keong.

Official data showed that those aged between 35 and 44 reported the highest number of cases at 35% or 28,296 cases over the five-year period, followed by the 25-34 age bracket with 20,461 cases (25.3%).

A total of 10,415 cases, representing 13% of the overall total, were reported among those over 55, while 476 cases or (0.6%) involved those aged 25 and below.

By gender, nearly 70% of the total were men with 56,173 cases. Women made up the remaining 30%. By race, Malays made up over half of the insolvents with 45,147 cases, followed by Chinese with 20,914 cases (26%), and Indians with 9,127 cases (11.3%).

“The government has put various efforts in place to reduce the bankruptcy rate in Malaysia. It is undeniable that today’s youths are influenced by the latest trends causing this group to spend beyond their means.

“The administration is now working to help this group by providing awareness and understanding of the risks and consequences of bankruptcy,” Liew told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

The minister was responding to a question by Willie Mongin (Pakatan Harapan-Puncak Borneo) on the number of Malaysians who have been declared bankrupt since 2015 until August 2019 and the government’s strategy to help them.

In total, DIM has resolved about 30,000 cases to-date, bringing the overall number of cases down to 300,908 cases as at August 2019. It was reported earlier that the number of bankruptcies in Malaysia as at end-2018 stood at 303,415 cases.

“I think this is a good indicator,” Liew said.

In August, The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) reported that uncontrolled credit card usage and excessive personal loan borrowings were the causes for thousands of Malaysians, many of whom are married, to fall into bankruptcy.

DIM statistics showed over 95,000 individuals have been declared bankrupt between 2014 and 2018 after failing to honour their borrowings with lenders. Among the main causes that dragged them into insolvency were personal loans (27.76%), hire purchase (24.73%), housing loans (14.09%) and credit card (9.91%).

Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency, the agency which mediates the resolutions for individual debt management, said credit card loan accounts for 55% of its total debt portfolio, while personal loan makes up 33% of the total value.

The agency under Bank Negara Malaysia is said to be restructuring unpaid debts worth RM35.2 billion.