PUTRAJAYA, 26 May (Bernama) — Bank Negara is looking for an appropriate solution to shore up the weakening ringgit, a phenomenon that is expected to continue if the US government’s request to raise its national debt ceiling remains unapproved, said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan.

“We leave it to the wisdom of Bank Negara Malaysia. I am sure they have a solution because they have the expertise and are more knowledgeable about the matter,” he said at a press conference after launching the Sustainable Investment Standards Document (SIS) at the Finance Ministry here today.

He was asked about the weakening ringgit amid the US debt ceiling impasse.

As of 9 am today, the ringgit fell to 4.6280/6305 against the US dollar from 4.6245/6285 at the end of yesterday’s close, the lowest recorded in six months.

Ahmad said that on the flip side, a weak ringgit could help promote the country’s export and tourism sectors.

“The advantage is that I can see our export sector improving and the number of international tourist arrivals will also increase because they (will be able to exchange their currency) for more ringgit.

“(Nonetheless,) I hope this phenomenon is temporary and that the ringgit will stabilise to a more reasonable rate,” he added.

Ahmad, however, also voiced his concern that if the situation were to prolong this would make imports more expensive, which would increase the inflation rate and burden students studying abroad.

On whether the situation would impact the overnight policy rate (OPR), Ahmad said it is up to Bank Negara to resolve the matter.


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