Currency, External Debt, 1MDB's Singapore parking explained. I ended up getting myself a Note 4 Edge yesterday. I had wanted to buy the iPhone 6 Plus but the Apple guy told me the price had just gone up by RM400! Why? Because the ringgit had dropped against the US dollar. Really, ah, existing stock also price can go up just like that? So I went next door and bought the Samsung, instead. Lucky the ringgit didn't weaken against the won, uh?
Profiteers don't need a good reason to cut your throat; they just need you to be gullible enough. To most of us who had gone through the 97 crisis and saw how we fixed it with our own recipe of blind faith and currency controls, the US dollar even at 3.80 should not be too much a concern. To quote a friend, "It just makes Ford Mustang more expensive, and of course single malts and cigars!".
Still, some quarters had no qualms using the depreciating ringgit to put pile up the pressure on Najib Razak and demanding that the Bank Negara governor steps down.
Our country's external debt is another one. My friend Bujai wasn't the only one who might have misread the situation (External Debt "Success") .
As HishamH observes in Explaining External Debt (Economics Malaysia, 12/3/15),
"... the reporting on this has been deplorable, and not just from the local media (sorry guys, it has been pretty bad), but from the foreign media as well. One joker speculated that with external debt so high, Malaysia might have trouble “servicing” it, because the foreign exchange reserve cover was low. Hah!"
Read also Malaysia's External Debt by Mat Rodi's Bringing Sense Back, 12/3/15
1MDB's decision to park the money it brought back from Caymans to Singapore sent Najib's critics into a new frenzy. The PM should thank Hantu Laut ("this is not in support of 1MDB but since they are keeping their inelegant silence ..") for helping explain, simply and convincingly, Why 1MDB parked its money in Singapore.
The point of this posting is to tell the Najib Administration that it needs to explain things better. People are running down the country. Politics aside, we should not set fire to the house because we don't like the persons sharing the home with us. Unfortunately, there are people who do.
Secondly, I wanted to note that the Samsung is definitely the smarter phone.