Personal finance training for civil servants

Concerned with the alarming number of bankrupts among civil servants, the union representing over one million government staff has proposed what it calls a “personal finance management module” for new recruits.

The Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs) secretary-general, Lok Yim Pheng said the module could be included in the induction course for new recruits.

She told Bernama that it was essential to teach young recruits money management skills early in their career so that they could avoid being in debt.

She was commenting on a report that 1,086 civil servants were declared bankrupt in 2009, of whom 72.74 per cent were men.

Lok said if this was left unchecked, it would affect the efficiency and integrity of the service because the affected civil servants would not be able to concentrate on their jobs.

Being in debt could also lead to corruption, which in turn would compromise on the government’s delivery system, she added.

She said most of them became bankrupts because they were the guarantors for loans taken by their friends or relatives who had defaulted on the repayment.

“Our advise to them is to be very cautious when standing as a guarantor for anyone because once the loan applicant defaults on the repayment, the guarantor would have to settle the outstanding amount,” said Lok, who is also the secretary-general of the National Union of the Teaching Profession.

“We have cases of civil servants who are paying for the loans taken by others,” she said.

According to Lok, civil servants should also avoid taking big loans which would be difficult for them to service.

Lok warned that civil servants risked losing their jobs and pensions once they were declared bankrupts.

– Bernama