FOR GOD’S SAKE, DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO KEEP MALAYSIANS ALIVE: KIT SIANG IMPLORES MUHYIDDIN – EVEN AS RINGGIT CRASHES BELOW KEY 4.41 LEVEL AGAINST THE U.S. DOLLAR – WITH NO BOTTOM IN SIGHT AMID ‘RAPID SPREAD’ OF COVID-19

The ringgit opened lower against the US dollar today as investors adopt a wait-and-see attitude amid the fast-spreading Covid-19 pandemic and weakening oil prices, said dealers.

At 9.02 am, the local note fell to 4.4180/4250 against the US dollar compared with Friday’s closing of 4.3947/4012.

AxiCorp global chief market strategist Stephen Innes said investors were on the edge this morning due to the rising Covid-19 deaths around the world.

“The rapid spread has triggered unprecedented draconian containment measures and sees the world come to a standstill. All the while, the US Congress is dilly-dallying on an aid plan.

Innes said while the situation in China, South Korea, and Singapore seems to be contained, recent data suggest the virus is spreading in other parts of Asean and India.

Another dealer said weakening oil prices to below US$20 per barrel also weighed down on the ringgit.

Brent crude declined 1.66 per cent to US$28.52 a barrel at the time of writing.

Meanwhile, against other major currencies, the ringgit traded mostly higher.

It rose against the Singapore dollar at 3.0293/0350 from 3.0303/0369 at Friday’s close, increased against the Euro to 4.7131/7224 from 4.7204/7303 and advanced against the British pound at 5.1253/1352 from 5.1926/2042 previously.

The ringgit fell against the Japanese Yen to 3.9895/9973 from Friday’s 3.9811/9898. –Bernama

Kit Siang urges PM to do ‘whatever it takes’ to keep Malaysians alive in war on Covid-19

KUALA LUMPUR — The Malaysian government should now focus on making sure its citizens stay alive in the face of the Covid-19 outbreak, and should take on the approach of “whatever it takes” in the war to curb Covid-19, DAP MP Lim Kit Siang has said.

Lim agreed with economist Muhammed Abdul Khalid’s view that now is not the time for the government to be stingy with funds, as there is little point in seeing positive economic growth if citizens continue to perish, and the country in chaos.

“For this reason, I call on the Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to immediately adopt a new government motto in the war against Covid 19 — whatever it takes to save people’s jobs and livelihoods,” the Iskandar Puteri MP added.

“An order should go out to immediately increase the production of medical supplies and equipment that hospitals, health systems, physicians, nurses and all front line providers so desperately need,” he added.

In his statement, he had noted the severity of the situation with 10 deaths so far recorded in Malaysia due to Covid-19.

As of yesterday 5pm, Malaysia has recorded a total cumulative tally of 1,306 Covid-19 cases, including 139 patients who have fully recovered. – MALAY MAIL

BERNAMA / MALAY MAIL

.