Malaysiakini Yoursay

Yoursay: Ringgit gained 5pct after falling 20pct. Look who’s boasting?

Yoursay
Published:  |  Modified:

YOURSAY | ‘The rakyat still remember the ringgit was once on par with the Singapore dollar.'

Ringgit now one of world’s ‘best-performing’ currencies, says Najib

True: Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak treats the rakyat as idiots. The rakyat know the ringgit has been sliding and falling for years, especially when the country is under his charge. Now the ringgit is up a bit and he is crowing that it is "one of the best-performing currencies in the world."

What a joke, the rakyat still remember the ringgit was once on par with the Singapore dollar in the 1980s; today it is almost RM3 to S$1.

Going to Singapore now is like going to Europe for us. Don't let Najib belittle you, rakyat, especially when GE14 comes around.

James_3392: The ringgit is the best performing currency in the world? Yes, it would be even better if the ringgit had earlier on gone down to RM5 to US$1. But we started off at RM2.5 to US$1 and was one to one with the Singapore dollar.

What are the chances of us going back to where we started?

Kneazle: I still remember sending money for college fees to US in May 2014 – it was RM3.335 to US$1 at the time.

In less than four years, it is now RM3.995 to US$1, which is a 19.7 percent drop in value. Only the naive Felda folks would believe Najib's Arabian tales.

Quigonbond: “Best-performing” is a relative term. Yes, it used to be RM2.40 to RM2.50 against the dollar. After the Asian financial crisis, it was RM3.30. We are a long way from recovery.

This means our national purchasing power remains weak. It may be good for exporters and the tourism industry, but we import a lot of things too, including foreign education. I would rather the export industry and tourism industry cool down a little if it means we bring down our daily cost of living.

Just look at Singapore. Dollar for dollar, workers there earn more than Malaysians, and at the same time they have better purchasing power on day-to-day grocery shopping because their currency remains strong. That's what matters to people.

That's what truly affects their quality of life. If Najib does not get that, he does not deserve to lead.

Ultimately: As a reality check, I have heard several times Bangladeshi and Indian workers don't want to come to work in Malaysia as the ringgit is so worthless. I wonder if that is anything to be proud of.

Clever Voter: Najib deserves to be scolded. The ringgit has been ill for a long while. The value hasn't reached its stability, but the last two years have caused a ruckus to our living costs. That's not the end of it, as debts continue to pile up.

While public servants get additional bonuses, those in the private sector face the sack and an uncertain future. The opportunity costs of leakages, mismanagement and missing money are unquantified and unreported.

If only these are translated into real value, society wouldn't have to put up with the suffering. Enough of nice headlines, it means little especially to the little people on the streets.

SusahKes: Many years ago, I bought a house at some "ulu" (backwater) place. Then the market went down due to the economic crisis. With that, property prices also crashed. My house price fell below my original purchase price.

If my purchase price prior to the crash was, say RM160,000, and as a result of the crash, it dropped to RM110,000. Then, in two years’ time, when market pulled back by improving a wee bit, and my house price went up to RM120,000, I sold it at that price.

Now, did I make a loss or profit?

Did I go to town and claim, with a Monday morning beaming face, that my house price has now performed very well since the price went up to RM120,000? But, this is the logic of Najib's – that I should be happy with that price of RM120,000, that it was a "best-performing" one.

What kind of logic is this, Mr Finance Minister? Sigh... no wonder he tells the world that he, even though is the chairperson of 1MDB's advisory board, was not aware of what he had signed off. Nor was he aware of the "donation" when it went inside his private account.

Hplooi: The ringgit is “best-performing” because, (1) the ringgit has sunk so low compared to other currencies that we are rising from a low base; (2) the US dollar is starting to lose steam. Why not check our performance vis-à-vis the renminbi?

Newday: It is plain and simple: what we are seeing is due to oil price adjustment. Just about every foreign currency is looking much better against the greenback over the last three months.

Phanga 1742: Don't be too happy – the dollar index has gone up again. Indeed, it is not that the ringgit is strong, it is the US dollar that is weak.

Crude prices are going down again, inflation in the US is going up, the US federal reserve will increase its interest rates and hot money will leave our shores.

So fret not Najib, our ringgit will go down again.

VP Biden: This is the normal crap that happens prior to an election here: our stocks and currency will rise.

But to boast about a currency that dropped over 20 percent and gained back about 5 percent is utter mathematical desperation, a kleptocrat of all people should know that.

Vijay47: I need a bigger notebook, a much bigger notebook. Let's see now: we have the best democracy in the world, the best education system, the best elections process, and now, according to the best economist in the world who is also the best prime minister, we have the best-performing currency in the world. 

Since this cannot be Singapore, I must be in heaven.

Not Convinced: Najib, wake me up when the ringgit is back to RM3 to US$1 level (I wouldn’t even dare hope that it would go back to RM2.5, like in the good old days.)

Thailand is run by a military regime and yet its baht is 20 percent stronger than the ringgit today when both currencies were on par (THB100 = RM1) in 2014.

And who was in charge of Malaysia four years ago? It’s the same man who is now boasting about the ringgit regaining its strength.


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These comments are compiled to reflect the views of Malaysiakini subscribers on matters of public interest. Malaysiakini does not intend to represent these views as fact.

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