Has Anwar exposed his ‘financial illiteracy’ by evading question on falling ringgit?

VETERAN journalist and blogger Datuk A. Kadir Jasin has apparently sparked a furore among pro-Pakatan Harapan (PH) netizens (cybertroopers) when he snubbed Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for “toying” or “fooling around” with the media fraternity recently when asked to comment on the falling ringgit.

The national journalism laureate has labelled the action of Anwar who is also the Finance Minister of pushing the question to Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) governor Datuk Shaik Abdul Rasheed Abdul Ghaffour as “a mistake” – or a PR (public relations) blunder to put it more mildly.

“His action was seen as not taking the media seriously and running away from a difficult question,” Kadir, 76, who started his journalistic career as an economic journalist penned on his Facebook page.

“That incident, however, shows that the PM is neither alone nor helpless in managing the nation’s challenging economic situation. He has a battery of ministers, civil servants, advisors, backroom operators and cybertroopers to assist him.”

While Kadir’s observation was hailed by so-called Pakatan Harapan (PH) detractors, it was interesting to observe that few netizens took the effort to defend the Madani government which thus required the former editor-in-chief of mainstream New Straits Times to diplomatically respond to them.

For example, netizen Azizan Azid stated that when PMX requested the central bank’s governor to address the ringgit’s fall, “it is because monetary policy is BNM’s autonomy”.

Then there was another netizen Nurul Ashikin who sort of accused Kadir of complicating the matter given that the BNM governor could always address the matter first “with Anwar following up later”.

Some netizens thought that the unity government which is still in its infancy is “on the right track for major reforms”.

Whatever the case is, concerted effort must be taken to prevent a potential ‘free fall’ of the ringgit which can occur should the local currency surpassed the record low of RM4.8850/US$ back in 1998 amidst the Asian Financial Crisis (AFC). – Feb 23, 2024

Main pic credit: MalaysiaGazette.com


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