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Malaysia to examine ringgit's fall as import costs sting: Mahathir

FILE PHOTO: Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad speaks during a news conference in Putrajaya

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia's government will discuss a depreciation of the ringgit that is making imports more expensive and raising living costs, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Saturday, addressing one of the biggest criticisms of his administration.

The Malaysian ringgit fell for a third straight week this week.

"Previously, our currency was quoted at 3.80 against the U.S. dollar, but now it is at 4.20. Due to our currency's value, everything that we buy has become more expensive," Mahathir told reporters when asked about high cost of basic necessities.

"This is one of the reasons. We will discuss this problem in the government."

The 94-year leader, who took office in May 2018 after unexpectedly winning a general election, said last week he was considering a cabinet reshuffle after the ruling coalition badly lost a by-election hit by voter discontentment over issues such as high living costs and the economy.

Southeast Asia's third-largest economy grew at its weakest pace in a year in the third quarter, hit by sharp falls in exports and mining.


(Reporting by Mei Mei Chu; Editing by Toby Chopra)