Malaysia outperformed many commodity-driven economies despite price slump

Lim Sian See

Although efforts are being made to change this, the first thing you have to acknowledge is that Malaysia’s economy is still significantly dependent on the export of commodities – petroleum products and palm oil.

Secondly, you have to acknowledge that global commodity prices have slumped badly since 2014. Although there is some recovery but it is still not back to the highs of a few years ago.

Thirdly, you have to acknowledge that Malaysia is one of two net petroleum exporters in the region (the other being Brunei but they peg their currency against the SGD) – therefore a drop in petroleum prices negatively affects Malaysia while other countries in the region which are net petroleum importers will benefit.

Taking all those into account, although the Ringgit had weakened when global commodities prices have plunged, Malaysia still outperformed many similar commodity-dependent countries.

And this is a fact.

When commodity prices recover, the Malaysian Ringgit will also strengthen – just like how it strengthened from RM3.73 vs the USD in 2009 to USD2.96 vs the USD in 2013.

And finally, Pakatan people should realize that under their Chairman Mahathir, Malaysia’s Ringgit dropped 60% from RM2.40 to RM3.80 – compared to the 12% drop from RM3.73 in 2009 to now in the face of a slump in commodity prices.


Under Mahathir, the Ringgit had never appreciated against the USD (or the SGD) in any significant manner.

Since our currency is weaker at the moment, Malaysia is doing its best to take advantage – that is why the tourism and our exports have boomed with both experiencing double digit increases leading to the World Bank repeatedly raising our GDP growth forecasts.

Simple. Like this you also do not understand?


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