Don't use ringgit's depreciation as political tool, says PM

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has reminded all parties not to use the depreciating value of the ringgit as a political tool without any factual basis.

Anwar, who was also the Finance Minister, said the government was constantly seeking ways to address the issue, including introducing the Madani Malaysia framework aimed at strengthening the country's economy.

ALSO READ: Malaysia's ringgit fall is concerning but economic fundamentals strong, PM says

He 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.

"Sometimes people forget, when it becomes a political issue, they just want to attack. If the world doesn't have confidence, investment will slow down.

"The world and investors do have confidence (in us), so we recorded the highest investment in Malaysia's history (last year), inflation decreased, the unemployment rate decreased and economic growth could be maintained in a sluggish global economic environment," he said when speaking at the opening ceremony of Restu Global Quranic Arts Festival 2024 at the Nasyrul Quran Complex here, on Saturday (Feb 24).

Anwar said the strengthening of the US dollar could be managed given that Malaysia's trade with China, Indonesia, and Thailand used local currency values.

"Malaysia's biggest trade is with China which is 25% of trade using ringgit and the Chinese currency (renminbi), 18% with Indonesia using ringgit and rupiah, 20% 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.

Meanwhile, Anwar said the Madani context aimed to uplift the economy while empowering arts and culture, but at the same time, values and ethics were still instilled in every facet of development.

"What is the meaning of developing sky-scrapers, while the people are oppressed and neglected? What is the meaning of having great factories and buildings but the workers inside are oppressed with low wages," he said.

ALSO READ: Ringgit ends lower vs US dollar, rises vs major currencies

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister also called for the culture of reciting, understanding and appreciating the Qur'an to be expanded to cultivate a Qur'anic generation.

"This Qur’anic generation recites, understands and practices (the teachings of the Qur’an). If not, we have a gap or difference.

"We talk about justice, but we compromise with corruption, oppression, and bribery.

"My stance in the Madani Government is that I do not want to compromise any more on the principles of good governance, and to cleanse the country of corruption," he said.

The Restu Global Quranic Arts Festival 2024 themed 'Islamic Lifestyle' takes place from Feb 23 to March 3 and aims to promote Islam as a part of lifestyle while encouraging a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Quran through the medium of art.

At the event, Anwar also launched the 'Mushaf Al-Ummah,' which aimed to revive the tradition of copying the text of the Qur’an as had been practised throughout Islamic history.

Anwar also launched the Adab Madani Book to revive the culture of transcribing and writing in the community, encouraging positive writing so that positive elements were highlighted in community life, while fostering good morals across all ethnicities and social classes.

Also present were Restu Foundation deputy chairman and trustee Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan and its executive chairman Datuk Abdul Latiff Mirasa. - Bernama

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Anwar Ibrahim , Prime Minister , Ringgit , Politics ,


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