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Declining Ringgit: Do you have any plans in mind, Anwar asks Putrajaya

Publish date: Sun, 22 May 2022, 06:57 PM

WITH the Malaysian Ringgit heading south, Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim urged the Government to come up with a long-term plan to address the problem.  

“I urge the Government to tell the rakyat of the plan, one that is long-term and can inspire the confidence we all deserve.  

“The people’s work is must be respected and they deserve just reward for their labour,” he said, in a Facebook post.  

On May 19, the ringgit weakened further to open lower at RM4.4 against the US dollar, the lowest since March 2020 following a hawkish stance by the US Federal Reserve (Fed) to tighten its monetary policy.  

The ringgit hit a record low on March 23, 2020, when it reached RM4,447.  

Malaysia ‘s import bill is expected to balloon following the depreciation, as the country’s food import alone is at a whopping RM50 bil annually.  

Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid last week said this was a reflection of heightened economic uncertainties, which in the current context is about the prospect of higher interest rates in the US and inflation outlook.  

“Higher inflation rate is taking a toll on the consumer sector as business costs are rising, affecting their profit margin. 

“The Fed is also adamant with their rate hike campaign which could possibly stoke much slower economic activities at some point in the future,” Bernama reported him as saying.  

Touching on the matter, Anwar said that Malaysia’s economic malaise is getting worrisome, adding the people seemed to be “trapped” in a cycle where they work harder only to earn “less”, with soaring price of basic necessity making things even worse.  

Better leadership needed  

“While much of the global economic crisis of the past couple months can be blamed to COVID-19 resurgence and war in Ukraine, Malaysia’s situation remains dicey without any turn arounds in sight while others are allowed to see a return to normalcy.  

“There is more to the Malaysian problem here. The ringgit’s dissipating value demonstrates that the world has lost confidence in Malaysia. Short term solutions and quick fixes, the leitmotif of this Government will no longer work,” the PKR supremo stressed.  

Anwar remarked: We need a leadership that first must inspire confidence of the people before we can even dream of inspiring investors’ confidence. 

“A proper plan for a wholesome economic recovery requires complex thinking and an appreciation for the complexity of contemporary economics.”- May 22, 2022


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