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Engagement with the Local Community in Sarawak

Ref No : 17/11 26 Nov 2017 Embargo : For immediate release    

Bank Negara Malaysia recently held a series of dialogues with key representatives from financial institutions, the Sarawak state government, the local business community and students from institutions of higher learning in Kuching, Sarawak. Themed, “Bridging Ties, Charting the Future”, these dialogues are held in conjunction with the Karnival Kewangan Sarawak at CityOne Mall in Kuching between 23 to 25 November 2017. These dialogues were chaired by Gabenor Muhammad bin Ibrahim and provided an effective avenue for industry players and the business community to exchange views and discuss common issues.

At the dialogue with the business community, a wide range of issues was discussed including access to financing by small and medium enterprises (SME) and consumers, the importance of migration to e-payments and enhancing the inclusiveness of financial services to cover the entire population of the state. The discussion also identified adequate supply of affordable housing, imbalances in the local property market, dependence on foreign labour, improving internet connectivity and an equitable rise in income as critical issues to address in ensuring sustainable economic development for the future.

To further strengthen financial inclusion in Sarawak, Bank Negara Malaysia will collaborate with the Sarawak state government and the financial industry to extend the reach and depth of financial services to the local community and businesses. The insurance and takaful industry will also embark on an important nation-wide initiative to introduce accessible and affordable insurance protection products via the “Perlindungan Tenang” initiative.

Another key outcome of the dialogue is the establishment of a Working Group comprising the business community, the Sarawak state government and the financial industry coordinated by the Bank Negara Malaysia Office Kuching to discuss and update on the issues raised and jointly formulate potential solutions.

Bank Negara Malaysia Office Kuching will continue to effectively advocate financial consumers’ interests as well as provide advisory on banking and insurance matters. Financial education programmes reaching out to the local communities in Sarawak are presently also being intensified.

On 25 November 2017, Bank Negara Malaysia will be engaging with university students in a session to discuss their aspirations of their future career paths as well as the nation’s economy and conduct a Transformasi Nasional 2050 survey.

These engagements will be a positive force in the process of nation-building in Malaysia.

Bank Negara Malaysia
24 Nov 2017

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