It will take more than patriotism to save Malaysia’s currency

Malaysia wants to be great again, at least in the field of foreign exchange. The country’s currency recently approached levels that were considered near-disastrous during the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s. Authorities say the ringgit is too weak and blame foreign factors, mainly high interest rates in the United States. The treatment is modest compared to the shock therapy used decades ago.

This time, the government and central bank have been careful not to encourage discussions about reviving the radical solutions of capital controls and ringgit pegs adopted by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad a generation ago.

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