OCTOBER 6, 1997
Will Malaysia ever happen?
MALAYSIA's financial problems have continued in recent days with the ringgit once again diving against the dollar as currency speculators frantically sell their ringgit. The Malaysian currency has lost around 25% of its value since the start of July and a slide in share prices has wiped 38% off the Kuala Stock Exchange. The weakening of the currency has forced the Malaysian government to cancel some of its more ambitious development schemes and Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad admits that it has set the country back 15 years.
In motor racing terms this means that if Malaysia wants to hold a Grand Prix the whole process will cost 25% more than had originally been planned and funding of Sauber Petronas Engineering will have gone up by a similar margin.
It may be that the cost of a Grand Prix and a high profile racing engine business will become too much for the battered Malaysian government to be able to justify.