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    Aug 25, 2015

    Currency drop not entirely govt's fault, says Najib


    MALAYSIAN Prime Minister Najib Razak said the government should not be totally blamed for the drop in the value of the ringgit.

    He said Malaysia recorded 4.9 per cent economic growth in the second quarter of this year which, although not the highest, was also not the worst in Asia, The Star reported.

    "If our currency dropped, the same goes with Australia and New Zealand, even though they don't have the 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Berhad) issue," he said in a speech while opening division meetings in Perlis on Sunday.

    "Although I don't deny there are problems that we need to address, we need to have a perspective that the actual cause is an external factor and beyond our control," said Mr Najib.

    "For example, can we control the oil price? No!" he said, referring to Malaysia's crucial export.

    The Australian and New Zealand dollars dropped to two-year lows against the Japanese yen yesterday, reported Reuters, as worries over the Chinese economy sent investors rushing to safe haven assets.

    Malaysia's state investment arm 1MDB, created by Mr Najib, has accumulated debts totalling RM42 billion (S$14 billion).

    Admitting that there were internal hiccups, Mr Najib said Malaysians should give the government time to sort things out.

    "Like the 1MDB issue, I had said to give us six months. I'm confident that when we have the solutions, we'll inform the people of our actions in stages," said the Prime Minister.

    Meanwhile, Mr Najib's lawyer Mohd Hafarizam Harun said the Prime Minister will make a decision next month whether to sue the United States-based Wall Street Journal over its reports early last month that US$700 million (S$990 million) was deposited into the leader's personal bank accounts via 1MDB-linked firms.

    The lawyer told news website The Malaysian Insider that he had obtained a legal opinion overseas and would get another before advising his client.