‘Rumour-trading’ an art in Malaysia, says Najib

MALAYSIA’S stock market is sometimes driven by rumours which could destabilise the country, warned Defence Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yesterday.

“In Malaysia, rumour-mongering, or what I would like to refer to as rumour-trading, has become an art in this country,” he added.

The minister was speaking at a two-day meeting on Malaysia’s politics, security, economy and society, organised jointly by the Malaysian Strategic Research Centre and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.

Datuk Najib said he was told that traders and stockbrokers, for example, acquired information on the stock market from “bazaars and coffeehouses” and took action without authenticating such information.

Such practices had been known to affect the stock market, he added.

“This reflects a negative trend, especially at a time when Malaysia is striving to move forward.”

Rumours also permeated Malaysian politics, said Datuk Najib who is an Umno vice-president.

“I might add that politics here is rumour-driven,” he remarked light-heartedly without elaborating.

Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad had warned party members last month not to be so keen to pass judgment and condemn others based on innuendoes and allegations.

Referring to the controversial case involving former Umno Youth leader, Tan Sri Rahim Thamby Chik, he said that those who forced him to step down from his posts were exploiting half-truths for their own purposes.

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