Be prepared for economic crisis - Raja Nazrin
Be prepared for economic crisis: Raja Dr Nazrin
Sunday, 04 January 2009 07:55am
©The Star (Used by permission)
IPOH The Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, called on Malaysians to be
prepared for a protracted slowdown due to the global economic meltdown and
severe financial crisis.
"Looking ahead at the year before us, the threat of a global economic
meltdown and severe financial crisis continues to hang heavy on all our
"Its impact on the domestic economy is inevitable and is reflected in the
anticipatory measures taken by the Malaysian government to pre-empt a deep
domestic economic plunge," he said on Saturday.
The impact on the domestic economy was inevitable and was reflected in the
anticipatory measures taken by the Malaysian government to preempt a deep
domestic economic plunge, he said in his address the 74th Rotary
International District 330 Conference on Saturday.
"It is a sign that more hardship can be expected and Malaysians will have to
be prepared should we be subject to a protracted slowdown."
Raja Dr Nazrin opened the conference on behalf of the Sultan Perak, Sultan
Azlan Shah, who is also the patron of the Rotary Club of Perak.
He also hailed the existence of charitable and philanthropic organisations
such as the Rotary Club which was vital as resources become scarcer and
confidence levels diminish in times of hardship.
"The role of Rotarians thus cannot be over emphasised. Your presence offers
an assurance to the wider community that there is a group to depend on in
times of need," he said.
He said that 25 years ago, when his father ascended the throne as Sultan of
Perak, there were only four Rotary chapters in the state but the number had
since grown to 14.
"This is very reassuring because, where on one hand we witness a world that
is becoming increasingly materialistic and individualistic; on the other
hand, we are not short of exemplary individuals and groups representing the
spirit of compassion and selfless giving.
"We look forward to the Rotary club growing further so that more and more
communities can come to benefit from your voluntarism and philanthropy," he
Wawasan 2020 masih boleh dicapai - Najib
Call to monitor ringgit speculation abroad
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 4 - Ringgit speculation abroad should be monitored so that
Malaysia does not become a victim of opportunistic groups seeking to gain
from the fall of the local currency, Datuk Muhammad Salleh Majid said today.
"Our economy is not in recession and our currency should not be lower than
those of countries already in recession," the former president of the then
Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange told Bernama.
"The ringgit has reached as high as RM3.10 to the US dollar in April last
year but now even with the American economy in recession, our currency has
weakened to RM3.51," Salleh said.
He said the ringgit, which strengthened at one stage to RM4.80 to the euro,
has now declined to the RM5.06 level.
Salleh, who is a principal fellow with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia's
Faculty of Economics and Management, said the ringgit has also dropped
against the Singapore dollar to the RM2.44 level though the island republic
was currently facing what it described as a technical recession.
"There are some who considered the ringgit's decline to be good for our
exports but in a situation of falling export volume, this does not help," he
"In fact, we will face an increase in imports because the value of our
ringgit has fallen," he added.
He also noted that during the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis, the ringgit
was at the RM2.50 level to the US dollar and "there was no problem in
selling our products at that time".
On productivity, Salleh said that it was relatively simple to overcome the
problem concerning loss of productivity.
He proposed that every worker, both in the public and private sectors,
increase their working hours by an additional 10 minutes each.
"With an estimated two million workers, 20 million minutes can be added each
day. If we set RM10 for each man-hour, then productivity is increased to
RM3.3million each daily, which works out to around RM60 million monthly and
RM720 million annually," he said.
Salleh also cited a study which showed that the productivity lost by
Malaysians as a result of traffic jams amounted to two-and-a-half days each
"It's not use talking about increasing productivity if we are able to only
reduce a little the rest hour and tea break," he said.
On the stock market, Salleh said those worried about the market
uncertainties should expect the crisis to be only temporary.
"The shares of some companies have dropped due to market sentiment and not
because of their performance. Such companies should be given the opportunity
to buy when their shares are low so as to invest for the long term," he
"Another way of looking at a crisis is to see it as an opportunity," he
added. - Bernama
Fed moves to soften recession?
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