Bandar Seri Begawan - Many people in Brunei Darussalam, who are burdened by uncontrolled debt, would often turn to the government in hopes that they would "bail them out" by helping them solve their financial woes.
With an increasing population and finite resources, there are, however, limits as to what the government can do. This is why the responsibility of spending wisely and making it a habit to save has to rest on the shoulders of the people.
This observation was made by Pengiran Hajah Sarah binti Pengiran Hj Kamaludin, the Acting Director-General of Education at the Ministry of Education yesterday, as she highlighted the importance of inculcating the culture of saving among the youth, particularly young children, during a prize presentation ceremony of the "Save and Build Campaign: My Ambition" organised by Standard Chartered Bank (SCB).
"As we know from past experiences, there are sadly many Bruneians who have not adopted the habit of saving regularly," she said, adding that they also do not ask questions about fees or interest rates.
According to her, the time is ripe for Brunei's young children to be taught the importance of adopting a savings culture and spending money in a responsible manner.
Given that Brunei has an aging population and that life expectancy is increasing, it has become even more pressing for one to have adequate savings for the future, she said, noting that it is "never too early to start training our youth to think for the long term ... (and) to learn the difference between a 'need' and a 'want'."
According to her, the Ministry of Education is a strong supporter of any financial literacy programmes that are geared towards the younger generation.
"We at the Ministry of Education support-any effort to educate our students to manage their money responsibly," she said, adding that "as bankers, teachers and parents, we all bear the responsibility of preparing the youth for what is an increasingly complicated financial world".
The more complicated it becomes, the easier it is to encounter pitfalls, she observed. "Therefore, there is definitely a growing need for this kind of financial literacy education."
Commenting on the theme of SCB's competition, which was "My Ambition", Pengiran Hajah Sarah said that it was a wise choice, as it highlighted the fundamental principle that we should think about the future, plan realistically for it and above all, work for it.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin