KUALA LUMPUR: A total of RM5.96 billion has not been claimed by Malaysians as at Oct 31, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
The unclaimed money, said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Othman Aziz, is mostly made up of inactive bank accounts, unclaimed fixed deposits that have expired, insurance payouts and interests.
He said the government has raised public awareness on unclaimed money through the print media and talks.
“Besides that, we took part in exhibitions to provide an explanation to visitors.
“Activities were also held with various agencies and departments and regular awareness briefings are held at all state accountancy offices,” he said in reply to Datuk Ahmad Fauzi Zahari (BN-Setiawangsa).
The deputy minister added that beginning 2018, the Electronic Government Unclaimed Money Information System (E-GUMIS) will be activated to assist Malaysians in checking the status of their unclaimed money.
In simple terms, he said, unclaimed money is money that has failed to be given to its rightful owner.
Under Section 8 of the Unclaimed Moneys Act 1965, when an account has been dormant or inactive for more than seven years, the balance in the account is classified as unclaimed money.
The unclaimed money will then be surrendered to the Registrar of Unclaimed Money under the Accountant-General’s Department in a consolidated trust account.
He said under Section 11(3) of the Act, owners will not earn interest for any unclaimed money and the original sum will be refunded to them.
The largest amount refunded to an individual was nearly RM6mil while the smallest sum was 39 sen, he added.
Members of the public can check for unclaimed monies from the Accountant-General's Department.
Those who have unclaimed money are required to submit forms with supporting documents, which will be sent to Putrajaya.