Change Lifestyle to Curb Inflation

| 24/05/2008 | Reply

TOKYO: Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has called on Malaysians to
change their lifestyle to reduce the impact of rising inflation.

The Prime Minister said he would encourage Malaysians to save more and reduce wastage to ease their burden.

“Some
people may not think it is important but a change of lifestyle a little
bit in times of difficulty is important,” he said in an interview with
the Japanese media after attending the Nikkei International Conference
here yesterday.

Abdullah was responding to a question on the possible need for a strong ringgit to offset inflationary pressures.

He admitted that Malaysia was facing a lot of difficulties but the Government was implementing aggressive measures.

“We
are developing measures to respond to the inflation we are now
experiencing. We have to increase productivity and be more competitive.

“We are also seeking cooperation with other countries in strategic areas like food and agriculture,” he added.

Abdullah, who is also Finance Minister, refuted a report by the US Treasury that the ringgit was undervalued.

“Our
ringgit has established its true value. We do not intervene to make the
ringgit go up or down, it has established a value which we believe to
be realistic,” he said.

“There has been no serious fluctuations or volatility,” he added.

The
Treasury report issued before last Friday’s market opened said “a
persistently large current account surplus coupled with still-low
domestic investment” was evidence that the ringgit was undervalued.

Abdullah
also said that everyone, including economists, were free to express
their opinions about currencies, including the ringgit.

Later,
briefing Malaysian journalists accompanying him for his working visit
to Japan, the Prime Minister said that during his meeting with his
Japanese counterpart Yasuo Fukuda he spoke on food security and
cooperation in agriculture in view of increasing food prices.

“We need to go high-tech where food production is concerned.

“I
also said that it would be good if Japan can be involved in the halal
food industry, apart from investment in plantation, aquaculture and
manufacturing,” he said.

Fukuda, he said, responded positively by encouraging the private sector to participate.

Category: Asia

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