The US dollar is facing an imminent collapse and the global economy will suffer a "catastrophe" when it is rejected as the currency for trade, former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad said in remarks published yesterday.
Mahathir, who famously ignored International Monetary Fund (IMF) advice and instead chose to peg his country's ringgit to the US dollar during the Asian financial crisis, said a standard gold currency was now the best alternative for world trade. The dollar was retaining some value because of fears of a global economic catastrophe if it was rejected, he told a conference of some 650 chief executives from 30 countries at a conference in Kota Kinabalu on Borneo island on Tuesday, The Star newspaper reported.
"But the catastrophe will come one day because even the most powerful country in the world cannot repay loans amounting to US$7 trillion," Mahathir said.
The former premier said he believed central banks worldwide were reducing their US dollar reserves and he suspected that Malaysia was also switching to other currencies.
Telling reporters that he was giving his personal views, he warned that "unless [the Americans] change their president and have a more responsible president who will try to reduce the deficit, they will have serious trouble with the US currency."
Mahathir told the CEOs it was doubtful that the sliding dollar could regain its old strength as the administration of US President George W. Bush did not consider deficits worth reducing.
The huge deficit meant that the dollar had no backing but it continued to be used internationally because some people still accepted payments in dollars.
"But there will come a time when we will switch away from the dollar and we have suggested the use of gold for international trade," he said.
Meanwhile, if companies did not want to be "short-changed" they should insist on payments in alternative currencies such as the euro or be paid in US dollars but at euro-equivalent value, he said.
Mahathir, who was widely condemned internationally for imposing capital controls and pegging the ringgit to the dollar during the Asian financial collapse 1998, has since won plaudits for his handling of the crisis. He created a stir in January when he joined a chorus of calls for Malaysia to review the currency peg of 3.8 to the dollar given the US unit's decline in value.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) removed former minister of foreign affairs Qin Gang (秦剛) from his post after an investigation concluded that he had conducted an affair and fathered a child while serving as ambassador to the US, the Wall Street Journal reported. Top officials were told in August that a CCP inquiry into Qin uncovered “lifestyle issues,” the newspaper reported yesterday, citing people familiar with the situation that it did not describe. That phrase usually means sexual misbehavior of some type in the parlance of Chinese officialdom. Two of the people said the affair led to the birth of a child in
GUNNED DOWN: The Canadian PM said there were credible allegations that India was connected to the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey on June 18 India yesterday dismissed allegations that its government was linked to the killing of a Sikh activist in Canada as “absurd,” expelling a senior Canadian diplomat and accusing Canada of interfering in India’s internal affairs. It came a day after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described what he called credible allegations that India was connected to the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, an advocate of Sikh independence from India who was gunned down on June 18 outside a Sikh cultural center in Surrey, British Columbia, and Canada expelled a top Indian diplomat. “Any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a
LOST BATTLE: The Varroa mite, which Canberra has called the ‘most serious pest’ to face bees, would cause serious economic damage, an ecologist said Australia yesterday abandoned its fight to eradicate the destructive Varroa mite, an invasive parasite responsible for the collapse of honeybee populations across the planet. Desperate to keep Varroa out of the country, authorities have destroyed more than 14,000 infected beehives since the tiny red-brown pest was first detected north of Sydney in June last year. The government said its US$64 million eradication plan could not stop the mite from spreading, and the country’s beekeepers should now prepare to live with the incursion. “The recent spike in new detections have made it clear that the Varroa mite infestation is more widespread and has
SECURITY: Wang met with the US national security adviser in Malta over the weekend, with the US side noting the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) yesterday headed to Russia for security talks after two days of meetings with US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan over the weekend in Malta. China’s top foreign policy official will be in Russia until Thursday for a round of China-Russia strategic security consultations, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a brief statement. The US and China are at odds over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. China has refrained from taking sides in the war, saying that while a country’s territory must be respected, the West needs to consider Russia’s security concerns about NATO’s