Ex-Treasury Man Scoffs at ‘Banana Republic’ Idea to Print More Money

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Former finance ministry secretary-general Sheriff Kassim has criticised a suggestion that Bank Negara Malaysia should print and distribute money to the public, saying it is not how the central bank encourages liquidity in the economy.

Sheriff said deputy youth and sports minister Wan Ahmad Fayhsal “must have been thinking about Aladdin’s magic carpet” when he suggested that Bank Negara should print more money to be handed out to those in the B40 category to increase their spending power.

“BNM will not do that because it’s not what central banks do,” Sheriff said.

He said central banks would print money to buy up debt, in the form of bonds issued by the government or the private sector. By purchasing debt using the printed money, the central bank would then be putting more liquidity into the economy indirectly.

“Central banks around the world like BNM do not give money to the government to distribute the notes around, as the deputy minister was suggesting. No central bank prints money like Santa Claus distributes candies to children during Christmas, except for banana republics,” he said.

Wan Ahmad Fayhsal had raised the idea during an interview with BFM radio, which triggered backlash from various quarters.

Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim Chee Keong was reported to have urged Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to reprimand Wan Ahmad Fayhsal.

Sim, also a former deputy youth and sports minister, urged Muhyiddin to prevent Wan Ahmad Fayhsal from speaking on the economy. – FMT