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Anwar says don’t politicise ringgit decline
Published on: Saturday, February 24, 2024
By: FMT
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Anwar says don’t politicise ringgit decline
Anwar Ibrahim said last year saw the highest level of investment recorded in history, despite the fall in the value of the ringgit. (Bernama pic)
PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has reminded all parties not to use the drop in the value of the ringgit as a political tool, especially without any facts to back it up.

Anwar, who is also the finance minister, said the government is constantly seeking ways to address the issue, including introducing the Madani Malaysia framework to strengthen the country’s economy, Bernama reported.

He said last year saw the highest level of investment recorded in history, despite the fall in the value of the ringgit.

“Sometimes, people just want to attack us. If the world did not have confidence in us, investments would have slowed down. But investors have shown they have confidence in us,” he was quoted as saying.

“That is why we recorded the highest investment amount in Malaysia’s history (last year). Inflation and the unemployment rate decreased, and economic growth was maintained in a sluggish global economic environment.”

Anwar was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Restu Global Quranic Arts Festival 2024 at the Nasyrul Quran Complex here.

The prime minister said the strengthening of the US dollar was manageable given that Malaysia’s trade with China, Indonesia, and Thailand uses local currency values.

“Malaysia’s biggest trade is with China, which is 25% of our trade, using the ringgit and renminbi. Also, 18% of our trade is with Indonesia, using the ringgit and rupiah, while 20% is with Thailand using ringgit and baht. So, the dollar issue has no effect.

“We are concerned that if the ringgit falls, inflation will rise, growth will be stifled, and investments will not come. That is our concern. Currently, all economic figures and data indicate that we are on the right track,” he said.

Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin and his deputy Ahmad Faizal Azumu have blamed Anwar and the current government for the ringgit’s record decline.

Muhyiddin was reported to have said, in a Harian Metro report, that the government must take full responsibility for the fall of the ringgit’s value.

He condemned the government for failing to manage the country’s economy, being dishonest, not fulfilling its promises, and being unable to reduce the price of goods.

“The issue now is that the government is no longer trusted or believed to be capable of managing the country economically and in terms of import-export,” Muhyiddin said.

Faizal, on the other hand, pointed out that the last time the ringgit suffered a record drop was when Anwar was finance minister in the 1990s.

“Once upon a time, an ambitious finance minister spoke about an ‘Asian renaissance’. At the end of his tenure as finance minister, the ringgit fell to the lowest ever recorded. The name of that finance minister was Anwar,” he told FMT.

“Today, the ringgit has once again fallen to its lowest in more than two decades. And our finance minister is Anwar. Coincidence?”

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