Anwar: Ringgit performance concerning but overall situation needs considering

by AUFA MARDHIAH / pic TMR FILE

THE ringgit performance is concerning and the government is looking into it, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

However, he suggested the people look into the overall situation as it has strengthened a little.

“Investment is growing, inflation and unemployment are down and growth has sustained compared to our neighbours — so look comprehensively at the country’s capacity for growth.

“To me, what is assured is the investment figures. We always compare the situation to 1998 during which the ringgit was down, inflation and unemployment were up, and there were no investments.

“Of course, we have assigned Bank Negara (BNM) to monitor, but this is affecting all countries. What is important is for us to focus on what we should do on a daily basis,” he told the media after the launch of Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) International Financial Centre (IFC) in Kuala Lumpur today.

He assured that the government is not taking the issue lightly.

When asked about the contingency plan for ringgit, he said there is none.

“I am not saying that it should not be monitored by BNM, but exports are good. When I meet with exporters, they are very happy but prefer for the ringgit to be controlled.

“As I have mentioned, currently our investments are the highest in Malaysian history. If confidence is lacking because of the ringgit, this will not be the case.

“We will continue to monitor every day, including the cost of living. In any discussion, we should focus on the impact on people’s lives,” he added.

On the resignations of Armed Forces Fund Board (LTAT) top positions, he said the agency is currently being managed by the defence minister and will be reported to the Cabinet.

On the launch of the TRX as the country’s IFC, Anwar believed it is a step forward in the long and proud narrative of Malaysia, reflecting the country’s rich history as a trading nation.

He stated that Malaysia occupies a strategic geographic location, situated along vital trade routes and serving as an integral component of diverse global supply chains.

“Already, TRX is home to major financial players,” he said during his speech at the launch.

Furthermore, he said the government has provided a slew of incentives for companies moving their base to the IFC such as an industrial building allowance, tax exemption on 70% of the statutory income for a period of five years for property developers, and stamp duty exemption on loan and service for TRX eStatus Company.

“With the Madani Economy, the nation has embarked upon building a new architecture for a more open, transparent and competitive Malaysian economy,” he said.

Anwar added that the launch of TRX also represents a milestone forward in the government’s mission to renew the country’s economic and financial architecture.

As the cornerstone of the government, the Madani Economy framework represents a value-based, holistic approach to tackle the social and economic issues that have long plagued Malaysia.

“Our renewed financial and economic architecture is being built upon a solid foundation, the first extended political stability Malaysia has experienced in years,” he added.

Also present at the event were Finance Minister II Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan, international delegates, industry leaders and government officials.

TRX investment partners include the Lendlease Group of Australia, Mulia Group of Indonesia, HSBC Malaysia, AFFIN Group, CORE Precious Development Sdn Bhd, Veolia, IJM Group and Prudential Malaysia.

With over 30,000 employees, including 20,000 knowledge workers, TRX is expected to drive economic growth and innovation while creating job opportunities.

TRX City Sdn Bhd (TRXC), a subsidiary of Minister of Finance Inc (MoF Inc), is the master developer behind the TRX District.