A panel discussion on the importance of financial literacy took place at Sunway University, drawing a diverse audience of finance professionals, academics, students and individuals seeking to enhance financial well-being. Titled About Money: Navigating Uncertainty Through Personal Financial Resilience, the event aimed to provide invaluable insights and personal financial strategies to rise above today’s economic challenges.
The event, organised by Sunway University Press, began with a Welcome Address by Chief Executive Officer of Sunway Education Group, Professor Dato' Elizabeth Lee. She emphasised the importance of financial literacy among the young, stating it can provide “young people with the knowledge and skills to manage financial resources effectively for a lifetime of financial well-being.” She added, "The sooner they learn about financial literacy, the better.”
An engaging panel discussion moderated by Dr Joyce Nga from Sunway Business School then followed, featuring a distinguished panel of financial experts who shared views on saving incentives, smart consumer practices, retirement savings, and financial communication.
Professor Yeah Kim Leng, Professor of Economics and Director of the Economic Studies Programme at Sunway University and Member of the Advisory Committee to the Finance Minister, underscored the importance of inculcating robust saving habits. “From a policy perspective, we need to create conducive conditions to motivate people to save enough to protect against lifecycle risks,” he said. “At an individual level, people can strive for higher income to have greater flexibility to save and explore investment opportunities.” He also highlighted the need for progressive forms of social assistance at a national level.
Secretary General of the Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations, Dato’ Dr Paul Selva Raj, meanwhile shared that costs of living are the top concern for 86% Malaysians. With rising costs in food, healthcare, childcare and transportation, he stressed the need for structural changes to empower consumers. “We need regulatory changes to realistically address issues faced by consumers,” he remarked.
Encik Nurhisham Hussein, Chief Strategy Officer of Employees Provident Fund (EPF), shed light on the lack of contributory coverage faced by the informal workforce who does not have avenues to contribute to retirement savings. He shared there will be significant changes in EPF schemes over the next few years. “EPF is gradually shifting away from being just a savings institution to one where we foster a relationship with members over the course of their lifetimes, whereby money can be managed to last as long as possible.”
Dr Desmond Chong, Deputy President of the Malaysian Financial Planning Council and Financial Trainer at Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency, stressed the importance of open communication about financial matters and the need to stay informed about one's financial standing. “Save, always know your financial status, and be sure to have a six-month emergency fund,” he offered.
The event then segued into the book launch of Personal Financial Planning: A Comprehensive Guide to Personal Financial Planning in Malaysia, authored by Dr Joyce Nga and published by Sunway University Press. The book was introduced by Professor Graeme Wilkinson, Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah Distinguished Professor and Adviser to the President of Sunway University, who praised Dr Nga's expertise and commitment to educating individuals on personal finance. In his speech, he said, “The book is extremely comprehensive and timely, and should be compulsory reading for every adult in the country.” The event ended with a speech by author Dr Nga, who expressed her gratitude and shared her motivation behind writing the book.
The event is yet another initiative by Sunway University Press to support Sunway University’s mission towards advancing United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth in promoting financial resilience and well-being as key pillars for sustainable and equitable development. Sunway University Press extends its appreciation to all involved, including Sunway’s AKPK Club, for making the event a resounding success.
For inquiries or further information, contact Sunway University Press at @email.