So my dad is the man. I just found out today when he gave me this financial lecture.
Apparently he wrote the program that decided the currency exchange rate. (Dad; that was who I got my programming start from.) He was the one to say RM3.80 for 1 US Dollar, and the number got passed upwards. No, he did not work in Cyberjaya and drive a Mercedes. He was in a government office so unknown (but not confidential), all we see is an octagon and a circle in our Kemahiran Hidup (Living Skills) textbooks. He drove a rustmobile until it was decommisioned, and so we had to wait for my mom to fetch us from the LRT station until he retired.
Three reactions came to me:
“Really?” (Okay so my dad isn’t one to make up stuff like this.)
“Shiiit how cool is that. You have dulled every habitual shopper’s purchasing power.” (I’m not talking about grocery shopping, I’m talking about imported CDs, clothes, handphones, cars, etc… everything we deem as a cool want.)
“Why the heck did you put it so high?”
He answered the last question, saying that it was the rate then. Oh, how I’d wish it would be RM2.50 per US Dollar so I could afford to buy more stuff online. Who the heck would benefit from such a high rate anyway? Pegging sadly accelerated inflation. The pros and cons of such a number (and the pegging and unpegging) would be coffeeshop controversial and so I shall not disclose that part of the conversation. Or maybe I just didn’t understand enough to convey it here with the strength to defend my claims the way some popular Malaysian bloggers have.