SIMPLETONS IN CHARGE: ‘WE HAVE HUGE RESERVES – SOME US$97BIL – WE CAN WEATHER RINGGIT CRISIS’, SAYS JOHARI AS ‘LAME DUCK’ NAJIB STAYS TONGUE-TIED
KUALA LUMPUR— Investors remain jittery over a volatile market following Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the US presidential election but Finance Minister II Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani remains unperturbed.
He said the country has enough reserves to weather the uncertainty as the ringgit, together with South Korean won and Indonesian rupiah, slumped against the US dollar on Friday.
“We have seen this many times and we are not the only nation affected by such fluctuations,” he said.
“We must remain focused on managing our economy the best we can. We have huge reserves … some US$97 billion (RM427.71 billion). We are able to sustain.”
He said the ministry was confident the ringgit would recover in no time.
“This is just speculation happening in the world of forex. A country’s currency will be reflected by the fundamentals of its economy, not speculation.”
The Titiwangsa MP said Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) will maintain its existing policies on forex and the government was not going to interfere in any forex policy.
He said Malaysia remained committed to an open economy and pegging the ringgit against the greenback or capital controls were not options.
The ringgit plunged to its weakest in more than 12 years in offshore markets on Friday but slowly recovered.
Analysts said Trump’s victory caused investors to be jittery and that currencies from emerging economies, especially the ringgit, would remain volatile.
Traders and parents sending funds to their children studying abroad were among those who expressed fear the dropping ringgit would burn a huge hole in their pocket.