KUALA LUMPUR: As of June 30, Malaysians had yet to collect RM5,779 million in unclaimed money.
Deputy Finance Minister Othman Aziz said it involved 55 million records with unclaimed money since 1977.
He said this in reply to Mohd Zaim Abu Hasan (BN-Parit) in Parliament.
Zaim had asked about the steps and strategies taken to tackle the issue of unclaimed money.
Media reports had previously reported many of them were beneficiaries of life insurance policies.
Othman explained that even though the Malaysian population is 31 million, there were 55 million case records as one person could be holding multiple accounts.
“There may be a balance of RM10 to RM15, but it is unclaimed money. It needs a separate record,” he said.
The unclaimed money has three classifications.
The first is money that is to be lawfully paid to an individual within a year but remains uncollected, like salaries, bonuses and commissions.
The second is money in an account untouched over a seven-year period in savings accounts.
The third is money in a commercial account without any transactions over a two-year period.
“A complete register detailing the unclaimed money accounts are gazetted, and a print copy is kept in the National Library, as required by the law.”
He added the government, as a trustee of this unclaimed money, is responsible for the money and will ensure it is safely kept until they are claimed by the rightful owners.
Othman added the government has 25 National Audit Department counters nationwide for this – 13 in Peninsular Malaysia, seven in Sarawak, four in Sabah and another to be opened soon in Putrajaya.
“They need to produce the completed form and other relevant documents, and pending other issues, they should be paid within a month of submitting their claims,” he explained.