Dec 16, 2006

Malaysia Should Work Towards More Transparency, Says Soros

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 16 (Bernama) -- Billionaire and philanthropist George Soros said Malaysia was not a victim of the "resource curse" like other countries such as Angola or Sudan where "the government was corrupt" and where there were tribal wars.

He said Malaysia had a stable government, mirrored by its economic performance.

However, the country should work towards transparency and accountability initiatives, he added.

"Transparency initiatives in Malaysia would be of considerable benefit to the country as a whole," he said during a dinner talk organised by the London School of Economics and Political Science Alumni Society of Malaysia here Friday.

He said the people of Malaysia have the right to demand for transparency and accountability from the government.

This demand, he said, if met, could be a major contribution to the future of the society.

Soros was in Malaysia to launch his book "The Age of Fallibility" and he had earlier Friday met with former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who once blamed him for the currency attack during the Asian Financial Crisis 1997/98.

However, the former premier said he had accepted Soros' explanation that he was not personally involved in the devaluation of the Asian currencies especially the Ringgit.

At the dinner, Soros said he was involved with the Ringgit and Thai baht speculations before but after January 1997, he had not traded in both currencies.

Meanwhile, the dinner was also attended by Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop and the Alumni's president Datuk Dr Munir Majid.

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