Stop your fake news, Daim

By
 |Sep 4, 2016
Former Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin.
Former Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin.

Dear Tun Daim:

This is my reply to you (your message in italics and mine in bold).

Just sharing a message from a friend from the financial sector….

Malaysian Currency is expected to depreciate further to RM 4.50 by end of September as Ringgit is not used as currency’s for trading in world stock exchange. Ringgit will stumbled as the govt further cut on export of crude oil due to over oversupply.

Currency go up and down.
Right now we are at USD1 to RM4 but we were at USD1 to RM4.47 at the beginning of the year.
Our lives did not change much when our ringgit depreciated from RM3:20 to RM4.00 over the past few years.
Neither did we suddenly become richer when our currency appreciated from RM3.73 to RM3 from 2008 to 2012.
Similarly, the United Kingdom also did not go bust when the UK pounds depreciated from £1 to RM6.75 in Oct 2015 to RM5.20 just recently.
In fact, a weaker Ringgit allows us to compete stronger as was evidence by our continued improvement in foreign trade and our trade surplus where our manufactured and services industry benefited strongly despite the weakness in global oil prices, which is beyond the control of Malaysia.
This will help Malaysia further diversify our economy so we will be less dependent on commodity exports.

Everyone should take precaution as this is a economy disasters as a whole. Bank Negara held reserved is only RM101 billion at this moment. But our debt has climbed to Rm 614,880,270 billion.
Which means each tax paying citizen has a debt of Rm18,835. Current advice is to stop investing in any ventures, properties or car. Cash in hand is safe as disaster is on the way.

You have the amount of our BNM reserves correct but the currency is wrong.
Our current BNM reserves is not RM101 billion but USD101 billion (or thereabouts as it fluctuates too), meaning RM400 billion.
I am surprised that a “Tun Daim” would make such a silly mistake.
As for our govt debt, don’t just look at the absolute amount but the debt to GDP ratio which means our debt compared to our yearly income.
We are at about 54% right now.
When Mahathir became PM in 1982, he ramped up this ratio from 40% to more than 100% within 5 years and we didn’t go bankrupt then.
Neither will we go bankrupt now at 54%.
In fact, according to the CIA’s world factbook, Malaysia at 54% is at 71st place in the countries with the highest debt to GDP ratio – meaning 70 other countries have to go bankrupt first before reaching Malaysia’s turn – and this includes countries such as Japan,, Singapore, UK, USA, Germany etc.
Penang has right now embarked on a transport master plan project costing RM46 billion where the state govt said they will borrow to fund the project.
Divided by 1.6 million people in Penang, this will mean RM28,750 per person and if you believe RM18,835 per person will make Malaysia bankrupt then RM28,750 per person would mean Penang will go bankrupt faster than the rest of the country.

World economic analyst predicts within the next 3 months, Malaysia economy will collapse.
Stock market & currency value will take a nose dive in a drastic manner.
This is due to world negative economic outlook for the year 2017.

I think we have heard this many times.
Which “world economic analyst” are you talking about?
Malaysia is still enjoying robust 4.1% GDP growth over the past 6 months, our stock market is still double of what it was in 2009 and our trade surplus and reserves are strong.
So, how are we going to collapse?

Crude oil will crash due to oversupply as  Americans are pumping more crude oil.
The reasons: i) to hurt Russian’s economy and her currency as Russian is world’s no1; ii) ISIS in order to finance their survival is also selling cheap smuggled crude oil from Syria & Iraq thus flooding the oil market.
Malaysia’s oil production will be hit due to this…apart from the current political uncertainty and corruption which discourages foreign investments.

Our oil production and exports were already hurt – in 2009, oil represented 44% of our govt revenues and it is only 17% last year and 11% this year.
And we still did not collapse.
Even if it drops another 11% and it goes to zero oil revenues, we won’t collapse as our other industries such as manufacturing and services and our domestic economy will continue to drive our growth.

The world has perceived Malaysia as ranking no.1 for: i) Corruption & Scandals and financial forgery in money laundering.

Actually, Malaysia is ranked at 54th least corrupt out of 179 countries in the latest Transparency International Corruption Perception Index – certainly not number one.
I am not sure who ranked us number one but it is certainly not any recognised bodies.

So my dear friends, please spend your money wisely.
Keep your money for rainy days.
As we are heading towards difficult and bumpy days.
The journey will be tough & unpredictable.
This will hit hard on all of us, regardless whether you are rich or poor.
All the best to All …………..Tun Daim

It is always good to spend where it is necessary but such fake whatsapp messages such as yours are frequently spread by sneaky opposition parties to destroy confidence in the Malaysian economy.
Therefore, the opposition frequently spread false, misleading lies such as this to destroy confidence in what is known as a “self-fulfilling prophecy”.
Imagine if everyone believe what is in this message then no one will spend and if no one will spend then all the shops will close down, the factories will also close down and then the banks will close down and et cetera.
Somewhere along the line, you and I and everyone else will also lose their jobs or business.
Therefore, spreading such lies is not helpful to Malaysia but you are harming Malaysia and ourselves.
These people don’t care what happens to Malaysia as long as they get what they want.
They think that if the economy is bad then it is easier for them to win power.
These people are despicable.
Do not fall for their lies and spread such negative messages to incite hate, create fear which will eventually end up hurting ourselves.
Stop it, “Tun Daim” and the rest of you fake hateful people.

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LSS is a prominent blogger who believes in writing truthful and constructive articles.