The ringgit weakened past 4.41 against a strengthening US dollar on Monday (June 13) after the US reported last Friday that May 2022 inflation accelerated at a faster-than-expected month-on-month pace at 1%. Compared to a year earlier, US inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, rose 8.6%.
Such sentiment led to anticipation of more aggressive US interest rate hikes to fight inflation.
At the time of writing on Monday, the ringgit had weakened to 4.4113 against the greenback from the previous close at 4.4015 last Friday.
The government must pay urgent attention to the country’s depreciating currency at the risk of it falling to RM5.50 against the US dollar by the end of this year, former finance minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said today.
In a Berita Harian report, the Gua Musang MP said that the ringgit’s depreciation would have a huge impact on the people as they would struggle to purchase items.
Referring to the ringgit having fallen to RM4.40 against the US dollar two days ago, he said the situation was sure to worsen.
“If the ringgit falls we won’t be able to buy anything, it won’t have any value. For example, if one ringgit is eventually worth only five sen, what can we buy? This is a real problem.”
He called for people to be more frugal and cautious in their spending.
Ku Li, as he is more popularly known, also warned that such socio-economic issues could possibly result in demonstrations – especially involving those in the lower-income bracket.
“I’m not trying to threaten or scare anyone, but this situation will definitely happen. We only have two months’ worth of food supply compared with Singapore, which has enough food supply for six years.
“If we don’t take immediate action then we will surely run into problems, not just economic problems but social problems. Like I said, the situation could turn chaotic.”