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Anwar defends ringgit performance

The prime minister says its value is still higher than that of other currencies taken against the US dollar.

Ahmad Mustakim Zulkifli
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Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim says the ringgit is still doing well compared to other currencies.
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim says the ringgit is still doing well compared to other currencies.

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim today defended the ringgit performance, saying its value was still higher than that of other currencies taken against the US dollar.  

"Although it has fallen, it is better than it was when we took over," he said in the Dewan Rakyat, replying to a question by Ahmad Amzad Mohamed (PN-Kuala Terengganu). 

"Compared to the yen, renminbi or rupiah, the ringgit is still holding up or doing better." 

Amzad had asked about Malaysia's fiscal position following the drop in ringgit value. 

The currency fell to RM4.52 per US dollar several days ago after rising to RM4.26 in January. 

Anwar said that while the strengthening of the dollar did not affect the government's revenue or expenditure, it would have an impact on food-related expenditure, especially the import of seeds and fertiliser. 

Anwar, who is also the finance minister, added that the focus should be on economic growth, the expansion of the agricultural economy, and the introduction of new taxes to strengthen the country's fiscal position. 

The US recently raised its interest rate, causing a rise in the dollar value against other currencies. 

Bank Negara Malaysia meanwhile has maintained the overnight policy rate at 2.75%. 

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