KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 19 — DAP national chairman Lim Guan Eng today said chairman of the Task Force on Jihad Against Inflation Tan Sri Annuar Musa has failed in his role due to a depreciating ringgit and higher interest costs.

The current decline of value of the ringgit against the US dollar is not temporary when the ringgit has weakened by almost 9 per cent this year from RM4.17 at the end of 2021 to the current 24-year low of RM4.54, said the Bagan MP in a statement.

“Annuar’s ignorance and ostrich-in-the-sand approach about the decline in the value of our ringgit as temporary shows that he does not know what he is doing.

“This level of incompetence is prevalent amongst the Cabinet and has only compounded the hardship of the rakyat and businesses demanding leadership to help them deal with soaring prices, stagnant wages, severe labour shortages and poor governance,” the former finance minister said.

He added that the ringgit’s decline in value was not only against the US dollar but also the Singapore dollar, which saw the ringgit dip to a historic low of RM3.26 against, and Indonesian rupiah, which appreciated by more than 4 per cent this year against the ringgit.

Lim was responding to Annuar’s statement that the government views the current decline in the value of the ringgit against the US dollar as only temporary.

He also said that since Annuar became the chairman of the inflation task force in June, inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), rose from 3.4 per cent in June to 4.4 per cent in July whilst food inflation rose from 6.1 per cent in June to 6.9 per cent in July.

He added that this had caused Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to raise its overnight policy rate (OPR) to 2.5 per cent this month.

Lim then compared Annuar to Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, saying that they were both “delusional and disconnected from the real lives of Malaysians by putting their own selfish political interests ahead of the rakyat”.

This is because of Ahmad Zahid’s vow that BN is prepared to wade through floods to campaign if GE15 is held during the monsoon season, which Lim contrasted against Annuar’s statement of the ringgit’s decline in value being temporary.

He said Ahmad Zahid’s vow was not only “irresponsible, selfish and cruel, but a betrayal of the people’s trust to put their interests, safety and lives first ahead of political interests.”