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Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz says Bank Negara Malaysia’s monetary policy committee controls the country’s monetary policy, while fiscal policy is under Putrajaya’s jurisdiction. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, July 7, 2022.

TENGKU Zafrul Abdul Aziz said Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) Monetary Policy Committee is in control of monetary policy, while fiscal policy falls under the federal government’s purview.

The finance minister said each must act independently, in response to BNM’s move to raise the overnight policy rate (OPR) by 25 basis points, bringing the current rate to 2.25%, while the ceiling and floor rates of the OPR increased to 2.50% and 2.00%. 

“We cannot ‘coordinate’ the decision because this is against the law. This is important because it has to do with trust in the market. If there is any manipulation or government intervention in any monetary policy decision, this affects the integrity of the market as well,” he told a press conference after launching the Edotco 2021 action plan and sustainability report in Kuala Lumpur today.

He said most importantly, Malaysia needs to improve the economy and continue to monitor this matter, given that the country has seen strong first-quarter GDP growth for the year at 5%.

The committee’s decision to raise the OPR was also made taking into account the ever-increasing inflationary pressures following global inflationary pressures, said the minister.

Tengku Zafrul said the phenomenon was due to the development of global commodity prices caused by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, as well as protracted supply-related disruptions.




The committee’s decision was also to curb investment outflows from the country, which would lead to severe ringgit depreciation.

“We can see that the interest rate differential between Malaysia and the United States continues to rise. If the OPR remains, it is certain that investors will shift their investments there,” the minister said.

He also said that although Malaysia’s OPR had risen 50 basis points since the beginning of the year, other countries had seen their interest rates rise even more. 

For example, the US raised their rates by 150 basis points, New Zealand (125), the United Kingdom (100), South Korea (75) and India (90).

“Malaysia’s OPR increase is also in line with ‘market expectations’ and should be assessed taking into account the latest regional developments as well as the historical OPR.

“So far, the 2.25% rate is lower than the country’s OPR before Covid-19 hit, which is around 3.0 to 3.1%,” he said.

Tengku Zafrul said central banks around the world have made adjustments in their monetary policies to reduce the effects of inflationary pressures, and there are even central banks that are implementing the OPR revision at a faster rate. – Bernama, July 7, 2022.

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