INTERACTIVE: The numbers behind Malaysia’s bankruptcies

  • Nation
  • Friday, 15 Mar 2024

A stressed woman is worried about her finances. — YAP CHEE HONG/The Star

PETALING JAYA: The number of Malaysians declared bankrupt last year fell 15.5% to 4,810 compared with 5,695 in 2022.

Figures from the Malaysian Department of Insolvency (MDI) also show a steady drop in bankruptcies annually since 2019.

In total, 37,461 people were declared bankrupt from 2019-2023.

ALSO READ> Budget 2024: Second chance policy on bankruptcy expanded, says PM

The majority got into trouble for the same reason, and the biggest group among them belong to one particular age group. Here’s what the numbers show:

Top cause of bankruptcy

Failure to pay personal loans are the number one reason why people fall into bankruptcy.

Nearly half of Malaysia’s bankruptcy cases (46.3%) are due to personal loans, which accounted for 2,225 cases last year.

The other leading causes were business loans at 1,051 cases (21.9%) followed by housing loans at 428 cases (8.9%).

Another form of borrowing – credit card debt – accounted for only 1.9% of bankruptcies in 2023.

The statistics show that the number of bankruptcies due to credit card debt fell by more than half last year to 92, compared with 207 the previous year.

Most common age group and gender

The biggest group of individuals who fell into bankruptcy each year from 2019 to 2023 were those aged between 35 and 44.

The second biggest group were between 45 and 54, followed by those between 25 and 34.

There were 122 bankruptcy cases involving people aged 25 and below.

More men go bankrupt than women. Males made up 72.6% or 3,492 of bankruptcies last year while females comprised 27.4% (1,306) of cases.

Top states

Selangor recorded the most bankruptcies last year with a total of 1,249 cases, followed by the Federal Territories with 626 cases and Johor with 489 cases.

A downtrend can however be seen across the board in the reported bankruptcy cases over the past five years.

To help those affected by financial difficulties, the government last year expanded its programme to help bankrupt individuals.

The initiative known as the Second Chance policy was expanded to cover those aged 40 and below and with debts not exceeding RM200,000.

It aims to release 130,000 bankrupts each year, to allow them to carry on with their lives and continue contributing to the country’s economic development.

my.Malaysia is a series of data stories that highlights interesting facts and figures on anything and everything related to Malaysia.

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