Use ringgit slump to up exports


Article taken from The Star online


KOTA BARU: The business community should view the slump of ringgit against the US dollar as an opportunity to increase exports, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong.


He said the business world is full of ups and downs as well as good and bad times.


“For example, manufacturers of latex glove and condoms are holding well despite the depreciating ringgit because the raw materials like latex and rubber are sourced locally,” he told reporters after opening the Federated Teochew Associations of Malaysia annual general meeting here yesterday.


Dr Wee assured the business community that the Government would provide financial help to those impacted by the fall in ringgit.


“We do not know how long this slump will last, but innovative ones should have time to switch over to the export sector,” he said.


In Kuala Lumpur, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Chua Tee Yong called on Malaysians to be prudent with their spending.


“One of the main problems faced by people now is the high cost of living and spending more than their means,” he said at a press conference after an official visit to Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK) yesterday.


According to AKPK’s data, 7.1% of people who have sought advice for debt problems between 2006 and July this year were affected by the high cost of living.


Chua, however, said the public did not have to totally forgo their wants such as travelling or buying branded items altogether.


“You can save a certain amount every month and when you have enough, buy the branded item or other things you want. Don’t spend first and then pay for it, as the interest element will be there,” he said.


Chua also urged the public to seek advice on financial management from agencies such as AKPK to avoid falling into debt, which could lead to bankruptcy.


“Many think that AKPK is the place to go only when they have financial crisis. But others, especially those who have just started working, can also seek advice on money management from them,” he said.