JOHARI MUST BE JOKING – RINGGIT FALLS WHEN OIL PRICE DROPS BUT RINGGIT ALSO FALLS WHEN OIL PRICE RISES? TONY PUA PERPLEXED BY MINISTER’S COMMENTS
KUALA LUMPUR — The government’s insistence that the ringgit’s decline was caused by low oil prices is controverted by the commodity’s increased value in current trade, said DAP’s Tony Pua.
Conceding that oil price had fallen to under US$36 in December last year when the Malaysian currency plunged to 4.3 against the dollar, the Petaling Jaya Utara MP noted that a recovery in oil prices has not resulted in the same for the ringgit.
“If the global oil price drop had been the reason why we were the worst performing currency in 2014 and 2015, there is certainly no reason why we should remain the worst performing currency in 2016 with the substantially higher oil prices,” he said in a statement today.
Brent crude is currently hovering near the US$55 mark following the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (Opec) commitment to cut production next year in order to bolster prices.
Pua then insisted that the decline in the Malaysian currency, which this week fell to lows not seen since the 1998 Asian Financial Crisis, was a result of more fundamental problems with the administration of the country.
He also criticised Second Finance Minister Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani for assuring Malaysians that the country has the “ecosystem” to ensure the ringgit’s recovery, pointing out that the currency has fallen from 3.2 to the dollar in 2014 to the current 4.5 despite repeated assurances.
Pua added that a recovery will only be possible if the government is honest about the problems confronting it and the country.