When bad can also be good

By Gerald Ambrose, CEO, Aberdeen Islamic Asset Management

Things look bad in Malaysia. In fact, things haven’t looked this bad for quite a while. Cheap oil has slashed revenues from crucial oil and gas exports while awkward questions over the inner workings of a government investment fund have further damaged investor confidence. The stock market is down, as is the ringgit, and capital has flowed out of the country.

Some pundits blame today’s woes on Malaysia’s failure to fix its problems after the Asian financial crisis, when the country introduced capital controls to keep money within its borders. They say complacency has led to a loss of competitiveness and a tendency to close ranks when challenged.

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