Budget 2023: “Kill switch” policy to combat online scams, fraud

BANK Negara Malaysia (BNM) will enforce a “kill-switch” policy for all banking institutions in light of the growing number of cases involving online scams and fraud in the country.

This will allow account holders to take immediate action to freeze their own bank accounts – including ATM cards – should they come across any suspicious activities.

According to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in his tabling of Budget 2023 in Dewan Rakyat today, more than 25,000 of such crimes were recorded with a loss of RM850  mil for 2022 alone.

Despite the establishment of a National Scam Response Centre, there has yet to be any uniform policies to deal with this issue as each banking institution has its own respective set of guidelines.

To strengthen the role of NSRC in the country, Anwar, who is also the Finance Minister, said that a total of RM10 mil has been allocated.

Meanwhile, he also announced that that people who are declared bankrupt are entitled to and will be given a second chance

“The government will amend the Insolvency Act 1967 so that bankruptcy cases can be released automatically in a short time,” he said.

“Pending the amendment, small-scale cases that owe less than RM50,000 who meet the conditions will be released [from bankruptcy] immediately starting March 1. The government aims to release 130,000 people from the bankruptcy status with the passing of the amendment.”

As of January 2023, more than 260,000 bankruptcy cases had been recorded, including among the youth, the majority of whom are Malays who have potential to contribute to the national economy, he added.

The prime minister further mentioned giving a second chance to inmates – to facilitate their reintegration into society, inmates will be given sufficient training through the “Skill for Inmate” programme.

Employers are further encouraged to hire former inmates, including those from the Henry Gurney School.

Anwar also announced that the agro-prison programme for inmates engaged in agricultural activities carried out on 70 hectares of prison land will continue to be strengthened with an allocation of RM10 mil. – Feb 24, 2023


Main pic credit: Bernama

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