KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 19 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today revealed that the idea to use a common currency for all Muslim countries was blocked by western powers in the past.
Commenting on the suggestion made by Iran President Hassan Rouhani for Muslim countries to use unified cryptocurrency, Dr Mahathir said certain western powers are bend on the Muslim world to use the US dollar for trade.
“We in fact suggested this long time ago. We can’t always use US dollars as it makes us too dependent on the US who can at any time impose sanctions against us and it can affect our economic growth.
“This is the first time we are hearing this idea coming from Iran and Turkey, if we don’t have USD we can use our own currency or we can create a common currency if we all agree.
“We have mooted this idea a long time ago but there was a lot of effort to prevent it from being realised,” he told reporters after a roundtable discussion at the Kuala Lumpur Summit 2019 today.
Dr Mahathir also pointed out that using another country’s currency gives power to them and would not help the cause of other Muslim countries.
“Using one’s currency gives strength to that country. Actually, the United States, if we look at it, is bankrupt as there are trillions of ringgits in debt, but they don’t pay. But we still think their money is stronger.
“That is perplexing. If we have that kind of debt, our monies won’t be accepted,” he said.
Earlier in the roundtable session, Hassan suggested that Muslim nations should come up with its own cryptocurrency, saying that Dr Mahathir’s previous dream of utilising the Islamic dinar for trade can come true with the digital coin.
“With new blockchain technology, we would be able to introduce a united cryptocurrency to Muslim states with the cooperation of our central banks.
“In the past, Dr Mahathir had wanted to introduce the Islamic dinar. With such technology underway, we can set up a new currency for the Muslim world. The benefit of cryptocurrency is that it can cut through bureaucratic and market fluctuations,” Hassan said earlier.
He added that utilising cryptocurrency or national currency for trade among Muslim nations can allow these countries to further independence from over-reliance on the US.