If you ever read the news or an article that is available online, surely you’ll come across with low saving amount and low saving rate among Malaysians. To put the matter into the worst state, our saving is not enough for short, medium and long term. Some said that our saving is not even sustainable. To the extent that we cannot afford to lose a career/job!
Is this really true? We shall find out below.
At this point of time, according to BNM  as of December 2021, we can see that equity holdings are very low. In facts in negative territory. Therefore, Malaysians equity holding still servicing its debt. For instance like a mortgage loan. Basically, equity holding means, any equity or sum of assets that you are holding at any particular time. This asset can be your your saving, investment or property alike.
So, as of December 2021,
- Equity holding
- EPF savings
- Unit trust funds
- Insurance policies
On the side note, if we scrutinise even further, there is a glimpse of hope. For instance:
- Households debt – RM 1,374.7 billion
- Households financial assets – RM 2,971.7 billion
- Households liquid financial assets – RM 995.2 billion
- Households debt to financial assets ratio – 46.26%
- Households liquid financial assets to financial asset ratio – 33.5%
- Total deposits and investment in Islamic banking – RM 826.2 billion
- Total deposits and investment in Islamic conventional banking – RM 1,365.3 billion
- Total deposits and investment in Islamic and conventional banking ratio – 60.5%
Meanwhile, according BNM , Economic & Monetary Review 2021, it shows that on national level, as of 2020, our gross national saving rate is at 24.5%. It looks like very promising at a 1st glance. Read on our article to get to know more.
As you may see from above, it is very clear to see where our savings lies. Most of households assets are in the form of aforementioned only. These assets were heavily placed in Deposits. Perhaps in a saving account or fixed deposit account. The next biggest savings is in the form of Employees Provident Fund. It is a the 1st pillar of pension system framework set forth by the World Bank. Which stated:
Mandatory contribution linked to earningsThe World Bank Pension Conceptual Framework 
Therefore, without ‘force saving’ by the government, Malaysians do not have any savings at all!
Breakdown of EPF saving
As of December 2020, they are 6,758,700 EPF’s members. This is active members. Currently there are 16.25 million  labour forces in the market. Thus, making only 79% of labour forces is actively contributing to their savings. EPF mandates is to:
An Act to provide for the law relating to a scheme of savings for employees’ retirement and the management of the savings for the retirement purposes and for matters incidental thereto.Act 452, Employees Provident Fund Act 1991
By looking at this figures, you can see that only 21.5% of active contributors  meet the basic saving rate. This basic saving rate normally may be adequate to meet your basic needs for yourself once you are retired from employment.
EPF withdrawal since 2020
Majority of the respondents who had made i-Lestari and i-Sinar withdrawals are:
- Aged between 31-45 years (66.8%).
- The highest proportion of withdrawal were made by:
- Malays (73%)
- Bumiputera Sabah & Sarawak (14%)
- Indians (6.5%),
- Chinese (5.4%)
- Others (0.5%)
- 76% of married couples
- 69% residing in urban area
- No income – 23.9%
- Less than RM 1,000 – 18.0%
- RM 1,001 to RM 2,000 – 31.8%
- RM 2,001 to RM 4,000 – 18.5%
Withdrawal through i-Lestari, i-Sinar and i-Citra amounted to RM 101 bilion. This do not include special withdrawal of RM 10,000 which amounted to RM 40.1 billion. Therefore in total RM 141.1 billion has been withdrawn to assist impacted depositors.
Tabung Haji saving
Apart from EPF, the next saving medium for Malaysian muslim is Tabung Haji. There are 8.41 million members with saving amount equivalent to RM 83,336 millions . Average saving in Tabung Haji then make up to RM 9,910 per person. This amount is just the right figures for its depositor to perform a hajj.
Amanah Saham Bumiputera saving or investment
Amanah Saham Bumiputera, ASB is the most sought after saving and investment tool for Bumiputera. As ASB offer capital protected by the government as well as guaranteed income. During its inception, PNB task is to to mobilise the savings of the Bumiputera community. Sekim Amanah Saham Nasional, ASN was launched on 20 April 1981.
The Bumiputera masses at the time were generally risk averse. Given their small capacity to save, let alone invest. Most had limited understanding of savings, investment or unit trusts. Favouring instead hard assets such as physical cash, land or farm animals. Therefore, ASN was designed with a host of unique features unlike any other unit trust scheme .
Albeit of this features, there are still gap and void left by Bumiputera. Based on products offered in Permodalan Nasional Berhad, PNB, it shows that the biggest unit holders are in the region of 5,000 units and below. Therefore, making their saving ranging from RM 144.51 and up to RM 1,174 only. Depending on the PNB’s product, depositor placing their saving or investment into.
- World Bank
- Tabung Haji