The Malaysian ringgit fell by more than 1 per cent against the Singapore dollar on Friday (Aug 21) amid growing political concerns.
Around 1.45pm, S$1 was worth 2.9678 ringgit, up from 2.9368 ringgit late on Thursday, according to Bloomberg data. The Sing dollar traded as high as 2.9736 earlier in the session.
That’s about the price of a packet of tissue paper.
A protracted political crisis, slumping commodity prices and an investor exodus from emerging market assets have all undermined the currency’s appeal, and pressure intensified after China’s surprise yuan devaluation last week.
Former Malaysian leader Mahathir Mohamad has called for an immediate vote of no-confidence against Prime Minister Najib Razak, saying Mr Najib has made members of parliament beholden to him by giving them lucrative government posts.
Mr Najib, under growing pressure over allegations of graft and financial mismanagement at debt-laden state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), in August sacked his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin, replaced the country’s attorney general and transferred officers involved in the 1MDB investigation.
Dr Mahathir, Malaysia’s longest-serving prime minister, has become Mr Najib’s fiercest critic and withdrew support for him last year after the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition’s poor showing in 2013 elections.
“A vote of non-confidence is necessary now because Najib has made BN members of Parliament beholden to him by giving them lucrative posts in the Government,” Dr Mahathir said in a post published on his blog late on Thursday.