According to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, a review on whether to raise the bankruptcy threshold has been planned. He said that the government is worried about the current rate of bankruptcy cases, particularly among young people, and whether the number will keep rising.
Ismail Sabri stated that he would speak with Tan Sri Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus, the governor of Bank Negara Malaysia, about how to address the situation.
To study pertinent legislation, discussions will also be held with Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar of the Prime Minister's Department (Parliament and Law).
"I am concerned about the latest statistics on bankruptcy among youths, and I am also worried that the numbers will rise further.
"The government has previously increased the threshold. We also delayed legal action concerning bankruptcy during the pandemic… the future of youths is a priority agenda," Ismail Sabri said.
The government amended the Insolvency Act in 2020, raising the bankruptcy threshold from RM50,000 to RM100,000. With the economy facing adversity due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the government raised the threshold in an effort to help people better manage their finances.
Malaysia's decreasing unemployment rate
Ismail Sabri said that Malaysia's economic recovery phase, which he stated is currently in positive momentum and has decreased the country's unemployment rate, beginning with the country's transition to the endemic phase starting on April 1.
According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) latest data, the unemployment rate was reduced to 3.9% as of April this year, compared to 4.6% for the same month in 2021.
The prime minister said that the unemployment rate has now fallen below 4% for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic, and the number of unemployed people has decreased for nine consecutive months.
After the nationwide implementation of the Movement Control Order in 2020 and 2021, the unemployment rates reached their highest levels of 4.5% and 4.6%, respectively, changing the nation's employment landscape.
According to Ismail Sabri, the country's unemployment rate rose to 5.3% in May 2020, the highest monthly rate ever recorded due to the shutdown of various economic sectors.
Government-organised career fairs
In response, Ismail Sabri said the government has been hosting job fairs since October 2021 as a part of its initiatives to ensure the future of Keluarga Malaysia (the Malaysian Family) and that they have better lives after COVID-19.
He stated that under the Malaysian Family Job Guarantee initiative, the government aims to provide up to 600,000 potential jobs this year with a budget of RM4.8 billion.
He said that based on the DOSM Labour Force Survey Report, around 2,750 graduates had found employment thanks to the Ministry of Higher Education's Career Enhancement Programme.
In addition, he said that 2,479 youths had found jobs via guaranteed job incentives provided by the Works Ministry and the Human Resources Ministry in conjunction with the Youth and Sports Ministry's National Apprenticeship Scheme.
"Up to May 8, MyDigitalWorkforce Work in Tech had successfully placed 649 participants out of 3,596 applicants, including youths, in technology- and digital service-related jobs.
"Apart from that, until April 30, a total of 2,060 graduates had been placed under the Professional Training and Education for Growing Entrepreneurs initiative through the Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development Ministry to implement marketability improvement programmes and promote entrepreneurial skills," he said.