KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 6 — Finding spare change in your pocket is always a nice feeling. But what about hundreds or even thousands of ringgit sitting in a savings account that you've possibly forgotten?
According to the Accountant General's Department (AGD), a total of RM11.6 billion remains unclaimed despite its best efforts to return said money to the rightful owners.
"There is still a considerably large number of individuals and corporations that are unaware of the existence of unclaimed funds that are held under the Unclaimed Moneys Act 1965.
"In addition, we have also received comments from individuals who do not want to claim their money due to the small amount involved. Regardless, we have processed payments as small as RM0.01 for applicants via eGUMIS (Electronic Government Unclaimed Money Information System), which is our online portal at https://egumis.anm.gov.my/,” an unnamed spokesman from AGD was quoted saying in theSun daily.
In 2017, former deputy finance minister Datuk Othman Aziz in Parliament said that unclaimed monies totalled RM5.96 billion that year. In 2019, then deputy finance minister Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah said the figure rose to RM6.93 billion.
The funds are still available to be claimed from the Finance Ministry’s Registrar of Unclaimed Money.
By definition, unclaimed monies can refer to funds that are legally owned by the public but are unclaimed or money that has been dormant for many years.
This includes money that has been unpaid for at least a year (eg salaries, bonuses, dividends, insurance claims), money that has been idle for at least seven years (eg savings account, currency account, fixed deposit), and money to the credit of a trade account that has been dormant for at least two years (eg trade creditors account, trade debtors account with a credit balance).
According to Section 13(1) of the Unclaimed Moneys Act 1965, payment shall be made to any recipient who can prove and satisfy AGD officers that they have a legal right to the money.
The public has been urged to check if they have any unclaimed monies through the eGUMIS portal, AGD counters nationwide, or via gazetted records in the National Library. They can apply to claim money via online, counter, or registered post.