Depreciation of ringgit not an issue for Australian investors: PM Anwar

The Prime Minister said there were temporary measures in place to strengthen the ringgit through Malaysia’s biggest trade partner China which was using the ringgit for 25 per cent of the trade.


File photo of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim. PHOTO: THE STAR

March 7, 2024

KUALA LUMPUR – The depreciation of the ringgit is not an issue for investors from Australia, since they remain steadfast to invest in Malaysia because of their confidence in the economy of the country, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar, who was also the Finance Minister, said throughout the many discussions held with business leaders and senior executives during his official visit to Australia, there was no mention of the ringgit’s performance but rather they were more interested in knowing the basic economic policies and other matters like share market and inflation.

To questions raised about the performance of the ringgit and concerns about the depreciation value of the ringgit during the Prime Minister’s meeting with the Malaysian diaspora on Wednesday (March 6), he said the factor did not affect the confidence of the investors.

“(Depreciation of the ringgit) is cause for concern, but not alarming,” he said adding that the value of the ringgit was associated with the US dollar’s interest rate while Bank Negara governor was also confident that once the ringgit appreciated, there would be a flow of investment into Malaysia.

“If that is the case (depreciation of the ringgit) we would not have seen investment of RM24.5bil from Australia..the issue of the ringgit is certainly not a concern,” he said referring to the commitment of investors from Australia during his meeting with them here.

Anwar noted that as a result, last year saw the highest level of investment recorded in history, despite the fall in the value of the ringgit.

“That would not have been possible if the investors had no confidence,” he said.

The Prime Minister said there were temporary measures in place to strengthen the ringgit through Malaysia’s biggest trade partner China which was using the ringgit for 25% of the trade.

“If we can expand trade using local currency, it will assist in the recovery. I believe with investment figures like this, the ringgit will become stronger,” he said.

Meanwhile, to another question from a Malaysian student in Australia, Anwar said approval would be given to students who were under the Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam (JPA) scholarship and had completed their studies to remain in the country and gain some working experience.

Anwar said such an approval can be given since he would be chairing the meeting.

“We will give the greenlight if there are opportunities to gain some working experience in Australia,” he said.

The Prime Minister also encouraged other Malaysian students in Australia to discuss with their respective scholarship providers to seek approval for the same purpose.

Earlier in his speech, Anwar stressed that Malaysia must be brave to embrace changes and sweep aside the old culture to ensure the country moved on to a progressive path.

The Prime Minister said such changes should not only be embraced by the government and the cabinet but the people as well.

“If there is a need for transition of power…we go ahead. If need a digital transformation, change in technology for agriculture, we will do it,” he said.

Anwar said during the duration of a year and three months under the administration of the Unity Government, not a single case had emerged whereby “minister or prime minister or finance minister who are in power” attempting to rob the wealth of the nation because of the firm approach of the government in all matters. – Bernama

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