Where is the economic stability, asks Muhyiddin

KUALA LUMPUR: There are no clear signs that the economy is improving despite the administration's assurances, says Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

“A year and five months after the Madani government came to power, the economic data has only been deteriorating instead of improving,” Muhyiddin (PN-Pagoh) said in his speech on the motion of thanks on the royal address in the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday (March 5).

He said the people are grappling with economic challenges and rising cost of living, and questioned why the ringgit has been depreciating.

“I am not denying that (the depreciation) is also because of the US Federal Reserve's interest rate measures... (causing) the ringgit (to depreciate) against the dollar,” Muhyiddin said, adding that the ringgit has also depreciated against other currencies.

He said import costs are rising while the local currency is depreciating, with Bank Negara Malaysia’s international reserves of RM114.8bil as at January just enough to cover imports for 3.6 months, he said.

“Malaysians do not want to hold on to the ringgit out of concern for its shrinking value. Hence, they are choosing to hold on to foreign currencies.

“The question is why are they not confident? Didn’t the government give an assurance that the ringgit will strengthen?,” he added.

He noted that videos of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s remarks when he was in the Opposition had gone viral on social media.

“He (Anwar) said (to the government), 'Hang tak reti jaga negeri' (You don’t know how to manage the country).

"Now the people will tell Tambun, 'You don’t know how to manage the country',” he added.

He said Perikatan Nasional was concerned about the economic challenges and cost of living issues which will make it difficult for the economy to recover, prolonging the people's suffering.

“When Tambun (Anwar) was Opposition, he made a lot of promises. Now the people are looking for the old Tambun. They want the promises to be fulfilled,” he said.

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