PUTRAJAYA, June 1 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has brushed off a PAS MP's proposal for the country to have a full-time finance minister to focus on ringgit's depreciating value.
Anwar, who also holds the finance portfolio, said Bachok MP Mohd Syahir Che Sulaiman should instead review more economic and financial reports rather than just relying on reports by his Islamist party.
"I haven’t heard about it yet, but the matter has to do with policies and global constraints.
"That person who made that suggestion, ask him to read the economic and financial reports don’t read PAS reports,” Anwar told reporters after the key presentation ceremony to Malaysian Civil Servant Housing owners here.
Syahir studied economy and was in corporate before leaving Sime Darby Property Bhd to become PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang's political secretary.
He reportedly said in a statement last night that ringgit’s depreciating value and Malaysia's other financial woes are indications that the country is in need of a full-time finance minister who can focus on turning the situation around.
Syahir added that more explanations were needed on the challenges that Malaysia is facing in light of goods and raw materials prices rising due to the increased costs of importing them.
He also suggested that Anwar instead appears to be having difficulties juggling between the two portfolios he currently has.
In the Ministry of Finance, Anwar has Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan and Steven Sim as his deputies.
Last week, Bank Negara Malaysia said the sharp depreciation of the ringgit versus the US dollar was in line with a larger decline of regional currencies against the greenback.
Already among Asia’s worst performers, the ringgit fell to a six-month low of 4.6385 to the dollar revisiting a low not seen since before the 15th General Election, and closed at 4.6010, down sharply from this year’s peak of 4.2440 in January.
Earlier today, the ringgit traded higher against the US dollar in the early session following the positive developments of the United States debt limit negotiations.