Thursday April 20, 2006
Open savings accounts, rural folk told
By STEPHEN THEN
MIRI: Folks in interior Sarawak must inculcate into their culture, the habit of opening savings accounts in banks to provide for their families future.
State assemblyman for Telang Usan, Lihan Jok, said it was time for rural folks to be more financially savvy and not just save their money at home for short-term use.
Rural folks must be able to plan far ahead, even towards meeting the needs of their children in the future, especially in education.
The only way rural parents can ensure enough money for their childrens education in future is to put certain amount of money regularly into a proper saving account in a bank. They need to start this habit now, he said during a visit to a remote longhouse in Marudi recently.
Jok said the habit of saving in banks had yet to become a culture among rural folk because they traditionally kept their money within easy reach in order to buy essential items on a regular basis.
He suggested that rural parents also open bank accounts for their children to have a ready source of financial funds to rely on when they grow up.
Education must be the top priority in any rural family. It is only through this means that rural folks can get out of poverty, he stressed.
Jok also called on rural families to inculcate home education programmes for their children.
They must make the longhouse conducive for their children to study, he said, noting that sometimes, rural households did not even have proper chairs and tables for their children to do homework.
Those parents who could read and write must also spend time to teach their kids after school hours, he said, adding that this would generate greater keenness among children to do well in school.