Financial literacy lessons for kids, athletes

“The best way to teach our kids about taxes is to eat 30 per cent of their ice cream.”

That was a joke that made its round on WhatsApp last week. While funny, it does make sense.

As the adage about education goes: “Tell me, and I forget; teach me, and I may remember; involve me, and I learn.”

While usually credited to Benjamin Franklin, the saying has roots in China as far back as 2,300 years ago.

Regardless of who first said it, involving your children in something is the best way to teach them.

The home minister and I follow that advice, especially when it comes to financial literacy.

Although we do not give our kids an allowance per se, they know how much they can spend each month, and it is their job to not burst the budget.

Our son, Owen, who is 19, had planned to get a part-time job during his semester break to “make more money”, but has yet to find one.

We are lucky he is not a spendthrift.

The reason why financial literacy is becoming increasingly important is apparent in the sad story of former national squash player Kenneth Low, who is now working as a cleaner to make ends meet.

The former national champion, once ranked as high as world No. 38, is suspected to be suffering from a stroke-induced impairment, reduced coordination and motor skills, cognitive disability, and short-term memory dysfunction.

Low’s fall from a national hero who drove flashy cars, to cleaning floors, mirrors, doors, tables, and chairs, is a stark reminder to all of us to be careful with our money.

Another Malaysian star to fall on hard times is former national footballer Khalid Jamlus, who in 2020, sold the Golden Boot he won as the top scorer, after helping Perak win the 2002 Super League title.

They are not the first athletes to fall on hard times. It was reported that 80 per cent of retired American football players go broke in their first three years out of the National Football League.

To counter this, the National Basketball Association holds financial seminars for rookies who go from college kids to earning millions of dollars in the blink of an eye.

The NBA also has financial consultants to help players manage their money.

Shaquille O’Neal, one of the game’s biggest stars, now owns 155 restaurants and 40 car washes. He is unlikely to go broke any time soon.

Some national sports associations do call in government agencies and private institutions to provide financial advice to athletes. But perhaps such engagements are not enough, and should be carried out actively, and regularly.

Many athletes come from disadvantaged backgrounds and may not know how to handle going from the B40 (low-income) to the T20 group.

By giving them investment advice or wealth-management training, the athletes could perhaps safeguard themselves, should an injury curtail their career.

It is also time for the Education Ministry to follow the example of some international schools in the country, which provide financial literacy classes from the primary school level.

For instance, schools could teach children about opening bank accounts, the differences between debit and credit cards, interest on loans, and the different types of loans.

Later on, they could talk about property investments and the pros and cons of investing in the stock market, or what type of savings offers the best returns.

It may not prevent anyone from going broke, but giving children the tools to handle money from an early age, will benefit them in the long run.

And perhaps, we won’t read too many sad tales of former national heroes toiling away to earn a living in their twilight years.


Kuala Lumpur City Hall is organising a series of free Chamber Concerts on Aug 8, Sept 19, and Nov 7, at Panggung Bandaraya, Jalan Raja.

Listen to classic songs from Tan Sri P. Ramlee and music from Beethoven.

All performances will feature a variety of professional orchestral groups, such as the Kuala Lumpur DBKL Orchestra, Istana Budaya National Symphony Orchestra and the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Petronas Philharmonic Hall.

Please register at the following link:

For more information, email Isabella Pek at:


#RUNwithOLYMPIANS #RUNforOLYMPISM is a team-based running event co-organised by the Malaysia Olympians Association (MOA) and Malaysian Olympism in Action Society (MOiAS).

Teams can consist of five, up to 15 runners. The registration fee is RM55 per runner.

The run is open to Malaysians from all socioeconomic backgrounds, genders, races, ethnicities, and age groups, to encourage them to live an active and healthy lifestyle.

Through this event, the organisers would like to educate the public about the spirit of Olympism and how we can build a better Malaysian society through sport. This year’s theme is ‘Be active and leave no one behind’.

For more information, click here.


‘Bubbly Sunday Brunch’, in collaboration with Wuff and Wok Restaurant, returns on Aug 20.

For only RM100, you can enjoy a delicious buffet spread while listening to melodies sung by the talented Donne Ray Radford. SPCA Selangor will receive fifty per cent of the proceeds.

For more information and bookings, kindly WhatsApp 017-2653899.


Those using the Kuala Lumpur-Putrajaya Highway can pay tolls using digital open payment systems (OPS) such as Visa and debit cards, and prepaid cards.

The MEX Highway is the first in the country to offer a variety of open system facilities other than Touch ‘n Go, as part of the progressive process or pilot stage for the OPS implementation at all 12 highways in the peninsula in September.


Want to know how to turn any cocktail slushy without a blender? Click here.


Speaking of drinks, here is a funny ditty from John Prine to close out this week’s Diary.

Until next week, stay safe.

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