PETALING JAYA: Former Prime Minister Najib Razak said today that the reason for the concern was the reduction of the central bank's international reserves in the 14.1 general election to $ 101.7 billion (GE14).
The highest finance minister, Najib, who is also the former minister of finance, previously said that the international reserves of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) were rising.
However, due to further leakage of foreign assets, it is decreasing, he said.
"Before that, it has increased. Our reserves have been reduced by $ 8.3 billion ($ 35 billion) since mid-April," said Najib, who is MP Pekan.
Najib responded to a statement made by BNM today when he said that his international reserves since October 31 experienced a fall of $ 1.1 billion from just two weeks earlier.
The main components of the international reserves were foreign exchange reserves (USD 96 billion), reserves of the International Monetary Fund (USD 900 million), special drawing rights (SDR) (USD 1.1 billion), gold (USD 1.5 billion) and other reserve assets (USD 2.2 billion).
The Central Bank also said that the reserves are sufficient to finance 7,5 month delayed imports and 0.9 times the short-term external debt.
Najib said he was concerned about the latter, and underlined that before GE14 he never saw this figure fall below the threshold of 1.0.
He said that it was usually 1.1 and more.
"0.9, which is less than 1.0, means that our reserves are insufficient to pay for all short-term external debt, if required, and pose a new risk to the country.
"This means that we owe foreigners $ 100, but we only have foreign currencies of $ 90 to pay them.
"Guan Eng must pay attention to this," he said, referring to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.
On April 30, BNM's international reserves amounted to 109.5 billion dollars.