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MORE YOUTHS IN MALAYSIA HEADING FOR BANKRUPTCY?

Malaysia can be considered a success story in terms of economic development. It successfully transformed itself from being a backwater undeveloped economy to a middle income country.
It managed to do that by transforming its resource based economy into a manufacturing economy and was also able to reposition itself by attracting much of the world's Foreign Direct Investments during the 1970s and 1980s.
However as reported recently, bankruptcy among youths below the age of 25 is increasing at an alarming rate.
From 2007 until June this year, a total of 1,940 youths under 25 years old had been declared bankrupt, about one-third (579) of whom became bankrupt in the first half of this year.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nancy Shukri, who oversees the Department of Insolvency (MDI), believes many others are on the brink of bankruptcy for "spending more than they earn" and drowning in debt.
Echoing her comments, many "experts" raised the same old arguments - our young cannot differentiate a "necessity" from "luxury", confusing their "needs" with their "wants".
Many young people, however, argue that they are not living beyond their means.
Johan*, 25, points to the economy as the reason why many young people are accumulating debt.
"Our pay is peanuts, not enough for us to have a comfortable life, especially with the unexpected price hikes. How can we pay our bills like we planned when things keep going up?
"It's like one morning you wake up and something new is now more expensive. We can only survive if every day we eat Maggi," Johan, who has been working in sales for a year, complains.
Others say that times have changed and they need to spend a lot to stay ahead of the game.
"I need a car to get to work on time and my smartphone is essential for me to stay connected and relevant.
"And these days, if you don't look or act the part, you won't become successful, so sometimes you have to meet clients and friends at that cool coffee shop,"  a 24-year-old entrepreneur, shares. 
Malaysian Employers Federation executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan thinks the young could live within their means if they wanted to.
Source: Agency
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