Ringgit is undervalued: Dr Mahathir

Manirajan Ramasamy, Hidir Reduan

PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said the ringgit is undervalued, due to various external factors.

In a rebuttal to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's take on the ringgit’s performance, he said one of the reasons of the depreciation was the trade war between China and the United States, which has resulted in poor economic performance of some countries.

"All the currencies around the world are experiencing deprecation. Not just Malaysia's," he said, adding that Argentina and Turkey were also facing the same issue.

Dr Mahathir said this after chairing the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia supreme council meeting at Yayasan Selangor here today.

Asked if he felt the ringgit was undervalued, he replied, "(Yes), I think it is undervalued."

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng yesterday lambasted Najib for suggesting that the ringgit’s current weakness was the result of Pakatan Harapan (PH)-led government’s policy failures.

In a post on his Facebook page yesterday, Najib had said that despite his ouster four months ago, PH has failed to "engineer" a rise in the ringgit’s value.

He also noted that the local currency has always moved in sync with global oil prices, but for some reason, this was not happening now.

Lim had dismissed Najib's claim as baseless, adding that the value of ringgit was not solely determined by crude oil prices.

Additional reporting by Mohd Iskandar Ibrahim and Lokman Ariff Abdul Karim © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd