Skip to main content International
The Web      Powered by

Sell oil for gold, Mahathir says

Story Tools

Follow the news that matters to you. Create your own alert to be notified on topics you're interested in.

Or, visit Popular Alerts for suggestions.

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) -- Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has told Saudi Arabians they should sell oil for gold, not U.S. dollars, to avoid being "short-changed" by a decline in the U.S. currency.

"The price of oil is $33, but the U.S. dollar has declined by 40 percent against the euro so you're effectively getting $20," Mahathir told an economic conference in Saudi Arabia's Red Sea city of Jeddah on Sunday. "So you're being short-changed."

Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter, has justified higher world oil prices by saying they are necessary to compensate for the slide in the U.S. currency.

Mahathir, who retired last October, spent much of his time in office upsetting Western governments and defying their economic orthodoxies. But he became a respected spokesman in Islamic and developing states and received an ovation in Jeddah.

He suggested countries tally their total annual imports and exports and settle the difference at the end of the year in "gold dinars."

Sounding a discordant note, Mahathir also warned Saudi Arabia against rushing to join the World Trade Organization (WTO), saying it was not necessarily a positive move.

Saudi Trade Minister Hashem Yamani said on Saturday his country had narrowed differences with the United States that were holding up accession to the organization and said he wanted to join "tomorrow."

"Everybody should be careful before joining the WTO because it is not all positive. It can be very negative if you don't handle it properly," Mahathir said. "They try to impose their agenda without regard for some other countries."

Copyright 2004 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Story Tools
Click Here to try 4 Free Trial Issues of Time! cover
Top Stories
Iran poll to go to run-off
Top Stories
EU 'crisis' after summit failure

On CNN TV E-mail Services CNN Mobile CNN AvantGo CNNtext Ad info Preferences
   The Web     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.