Painting a lurid picture of Western speculators raping Malaysia's stock market and trying to set the economy back by pulling the local currency down, Dr Mahathir said "people who control the media and big money seem to want to stop Malaysia".
Dr Mahathir was speaking in Hong Kong ahead of the World Bank/International Monetary Fund conference to an audience of international financiers and government officials.
"Society must be protected from unscrupulous profiteers," he declared. "The traders apparently make billions," he said, because they were "in a position to influence currencies" and therefore could not fail to gain from their speculation. He advocated linking currencies to economic performance which would allow fluctuations "but not wild swings".
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