25 May 2023
Press statement by MCA Economic Consultative Committee Chairman Tan Tuan Peng
Market confidence dwindling; Govt needs to step up plans to strengthen economy
As shown by recent reports of the Ringgit’s downwards trend and the continued inflation of the prices of goods, many Malaysians are no doubt in dire straits, especially those from the bottom and middle-income category. In fact, the hope and optimism of the masses that the new Unity Government would strengthen the economy, have only grown dimmer each day.
The change of the government gave the people a ray of hope, especially towards the newly appointed Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim. However, the Cabinet as a whole and its Deputies have not been able to produce substantial positive change for the Rakyat’s daily life.
Therefore, I urge the Cabinet to review the current situation and swiftly implement concrete plans that can help strengthen Malaysia’s economy and lift up the people from the current economic predicament.
As we have seen previously, even with Bank Negara’s decision to raise the Overnight Policy Rate, the Ringgit remained unmoved. This shows that in order for the Ringgit to truly strengthen against other currencies, Malaysia’s entire economy has to put in work to raise our national economic strength. Otherwise, the continued depreciation of the Ringgit will be extremely detrimental to our nation and its people.
With the devaluing of the Ringgit, the prices of goods will invariably go up due to the affected supply chain. A small family with a usual food expenditure of RM2000 could end up spending up to RM1000 more for the same provisions under a weaker economy. Furthermore, the price of imported goods will rise, and inadvertently this increased cost will also be passed on to consumers.
As both the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dato’ Seri Anwar together with Minister of Economy, Rafizi Ramli needs to take up the responsibility to lift up Malaysia’s economy. If the Ringgit continues to shrink, foreign investors may lose confidence and exit, making it harder to recover and the people’s life more difficult. In such times, it would not be surprising that a poor and suffering populace would be extra critical of the government.