Many find it hard to cope with increase in food prices

(The Star) KUALA LUMPUR: Ninety-five per cent of families in the country are finding it hard to cope with the rise in food prices.

National Population and Family Development Board director-general Datuk Aminah Abdul Rahman said this was revealed in an opinion research survey conducted in 2008 on the impact of inflation on families.

“Some 44% of women in the lower-income group also said that misunderstandings arose over finances due to the increase,” she said in her speech after launching a family finance management programme here yesterday.

Aminah said there were also complaints of harassment from loan sharks and bank warnings issued to families for failing to pay their loans just because they did not know how to manage their finances.

Participants of the programme learnt to differentiate between their wants and needs when managing their household budget.

Family Development Department head Fauwas Hasbullah said the programme was organised to educate the public on how to live within their budget without having to borrow from loan sharks.

“Through interactive activities, participants get to play the role of a family member and learn how to manage money as a family,” he said.

The programme will be held nationwide until the end of this year with the help of Bank Negara’s Counselling and Credit Management Agency.

A participant, Syahizwan Osman, 25, said the programme taught him how to manage his income in an orderly manner.

“It will take some time for me to change but this programme is a kick-start for me to make changes in my lifestyle one step at a time,” he said.