Malaysia must be ready to face a global economy: Mahathir

(Bernama) — Malaysia must be ready to face a global economic situation that is getting worse, says former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

"Malaysia will have to certainly face the effects of the world economy as it is a trading nation and its economy depends on exports. If our trading partners face economic problems, our exports will be jeopordised," he said in his speech at the entrepreneurs awards ceremony held by the Kuala Lumpur Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia today.

He said Malaysia can no longer claim that it will not face an impact as bad as other countries'.

"If they are poor, we will also be poor," he said, reminding participants at the event on Malaysia's dependency on other countries.

He said to face the current economic crisis, Malaysia could use the same measures that it took during the 1997 financial crisis.

At that time, all information and data were studied in detail and their changes checked everyday, and the best measure adopted to tackle them.

He also called on Malaysians not to be complacent as the country in reality had yet to fully recover from the 1997 financial crisis.

It would take a while to recover from an economic crisis, he said.

"We have yet to really recover from the 1997 crisis although it has been 10 years," he said, referring to the value of the ringgit which is currently at close to 3.60 against the US dollar compared with an exchange rate of RM2.50 before the 1997 crisis.