KUALA LUMPUR: The fluctuation in ringgit's worth is nothing to worry about, as it will be broached by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), says Minister of International Trade and Industry Darell Leiking.
"I think currency fluctuation is something we're not worried about yet.
"There are countries that also face the same problems, and I think BNM will have its strategies to overcome this," he said.
Leiking was speaking with The Star and several news agencies in an interview on Thursday (April 18) at the Ministry of International Trade and Industry.
Last Tuesday (April 18), it was reported that the ringgit weakened to 0.54% against the US dollar to RM4,1285, the lowest since January 25.
Leiking said weakened ringgit is not a concern at all because certain quarters prefer a drop in currency value due to their respective interests.
"It's always interesting to see how we complain about the weakened ringgit and at the same time, some people feel that when the ringgit is down a bit … it creates opportunities for them.
"I do not know why some people feel that way, but for me, if I travel a lot, I worry too, because if my ringgit is lower, it means higher exchange rates."
However, Leiking said it was vital for the government to identify which sectors of local imports had a reduction.
"If it's because of the weakened ringgit, I'm sure they (companies) have postponed their contracts and orders simply because now (ringgit) is very expensive.
"But when it's time for the ringgit to stabilize, they'll do their bidding again," he said.
Last February, it was reported that imports fell 9.4% to RM55.5 billion, the lowest value since May 2016.
Earlier, Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Ong Kian Ming said that figures in February indicated a slowdown year on year.
He noted that this year's Chinese New Year fell on a Tuesday and Wednesday, compared with Friday and Saturday last year. He added that many factories closed for a week, which caused a reduction in productivity.
Asked to comment on the matter, Leiking reiterated Ong's comments and expressed optimism that imports should recover in the second quarter of the year.
"February was the Chinese New Year, and many importers were not ordering at the time because they made advance orders and stocks.
"So, I was informed by my officials that this pattern is normal and you will see in the coming months, maybe until June, imports will increase again."