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Malaysia facing severe investor confidence crisis, says Ismail
Published on: Tuesday, October 24, 2023
By: FMT, Ainin Wan Salleh
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Malaysia facing severe investor confidence crisis, says Ismail
Former prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob says the government must act promptly to ensure the economy gets back on track. (Bernama pic)
PETALING JAYA: Ismail Sabri Yaakob (BN-Bera) has sounded the alarm on the state of the economy, saying Malaysia is facing a severe investor confidence crisis.

The former prime minister cited the ringgit’s fall to its lowest level since the Asian Financial Crisis as a sign of investors’ poor confidence in Malaysia.

“The ringgit continues to weaken, reaching its worst performance in 25 years.

“The Bursa Malaysia index remains at around 1,400 points. Both of these indicators show that Malaysia is facing a very serious investor confidence crisis,” he told the Dewan Rakyat during the debate on the 2024 supply bill today.

He urged the government to act promptly to ensure the economy got back on track.

On Oct 19, Bloomberg reported that the Malaysian currency dropped by 0.3% to 4.7635 per US dollar, the weakest since 1998. It is the worst performer in Asia this year after the yen.

Today, the ringgit stood at 4.7680 against the US dollar.

MyCC action on five chicken cartels

Ismail asked the government to explain the outcome of the Malaysia Competition Commission’s (MyCC) action against five companies accused of forming a “chicken cartel” to fix prices.

Previously, it was reported that MyCC would issue a verdict on the five companies by the third quarter of 2023.

“What is taking so long and what is the outcome?” he said.

In August last year, MyCC revealed that the companies involved were Dindings Poultry Development Centre Sdn Bhd, FFM Bhd, Gold Coin Feedmills (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, Leong Hup Feedmill Malaysia Sdn Bhd, and PK Agro-Industrial Products (M) Sdn Bhd.

Investigations found that the companies, the country’s biggest chicken producers, had violated the Competition Act pertaining to agreements between businesses with the goal or effect of preventing, restricting or distorting competition in any market for goods or services.

The firms were said to have agreed to raise the price of poultry feed, which then led to higher chicken prices.

Monsoon aid for rubber smallholders

Ismail also urged the government to review and continue providing the monsoon season aid to help rubber smallholders and Felda farmers. He said the 2024 budget announced recently was silent on this matter.

The programme, which provides RM800 to rubber smallholders and Felda farmers during the monsoon months, was initiated during Ismail’s leadership and had been maintained under the government led by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim in the 2023 federal budget.

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