Loh Seng Kok

Parlimen Malaysia

Barisan Nasional MCA

Loh Seng Kok 卢诚国
Member of Parliament for Kelana Jaya
(2004 - Feb 2008)

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Currency regime best for nation

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Dewan Rakyat: Currency regime best for nation

By : Eileen Ng
New Straits Times
7 December 2007

THE managed currency float regime which the government adopted after it unpegged the ringgit to the US dollar will remain.

Finance Ministry parliamentary secretary Datuk Dr Mohd Hilmi Yahya said the managed float gives stability and flexibility to our currency.

“This is because Malaysia has a small and open economy,” he said in reply to Datuk Che Min Che Ahmad’s (BN-Pasir Puteh) question whether the government would consider a different regime to determine the value of the ringgit.

“It is important that we have a stable foreign exchange to encourage stable commerce and robust economic growth.

“At the same time, the regime will lead to an increase in the ringgit’s two-way movement compared to the major currencies.”

He said this would give flexibility for the ringgit to adjust to structural changes that occurred in the regional and international finance and economic markets.

“The regime also gives an additional advantage to the country to absorb external shocks, such as developments brought about by the US subprime mortgage.

“The regime is the best choice for Malaysia as it is appropriate with the country’s economic progress in a challenging global environment.”

To a question by Loh Seng Kok (BN-Kelana Jaya) on the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) investments, he said as of June 30, it stood at RM301.44 billion.

Of the amount, 34.6 per cent or RM104.21 billion were invested in Malaysian government securities, 37.2 per cent (RM112.15 billion) were in loans and bonds, 19.4 per cent (RM58.64 billion) in equities, 8.2 per cent (RM24.7 billion) in financial market instruments, while the rest, at RM1.72 billion, was in real estate.

He said EPF had its own method of managing its investments, whereby all such activities were monitored by its investment panel, comprising professionals appointed by the government.

On the performance of RHB Capital Bhd, which EPF took over, Hilmi said in the first half of this year, RHB Capital net interest income stood at RM1.03 billion, an increase of 12.3 per cent or RM113.3 million, compared with the corresponding period last year.

In the same period, Hilmi said the income of RHB Islamic Bank stood at RM184.1 million, compared with RM93.2 million last year.

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Last modified:  Monday, August 10, 2009