KUALA LUMPUR (May 26): Deputy Finance Minister I Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan today said that the government will discuss strategies to deal with the falling value of the ringgit during a post-Cabinet meeting today.
Speaking to reporters at the launch of Malaysia’s Sustainable Investing Standards (SIS) document, Ahmad Maslan said that officers from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) will also be present at the meeting.
“I hope this phenomenon is temporary, because the main reason the exchange rate is like it is, is due to problems in the US, where they have not yet made a decision on (whether or not to increase) their country’s debt ceiling,” he said at the Ministry of Finance (MoF) here.
“But I am confident that their situation will be resolved, because if not, their government will be forced to not pay its debts, and there will be allocations that can’t be fulfilled… and it won’t be good for their economy,” he added.
The US, which is in US$31 trillion (approximately RM144 trillion) of debt, is currently deliberating on if it will increase the maximum amount of debt the government is allowed to take on — so that the government can fund its ongoing operations.
Ahmad Maslan said that there were benefits to a lower ringgit value, namely increased tourism and exports.
However, he noted that import costs would go up and urged Malaysians to buy local products and go on holidays domestically to save money.
“I hope that imported inflation does not negatively affect our local inflation rates,” he added.
Ahmad Maslan launched the SIS document, which outlines to government-linked investment companies (GLICs) several requirements to follow when investing.
This is in line with sustainability-related goals under the Twelfth Malaysia Plan.
The production of the document was a joint effort between MoF, GLICs, the Securities Commission, and the Institutional Investors Council Malaysia. — Malay Mail