VP Jusuf Kalla urges public not to splash cash on Ferraris and Hermes bags due to sliding rupiah

Stacks of the Indonesian rupiah next to stacks of the US dollar.
Stacks of the Indonesian rupiah next to stacks of the US dollar.

This is not the time to live ostentatiously, according to Indonesian Vice President Jusuf “JK” Kalla’s statements regarding the rupiah’s dramatic slide against the US dollar.

Speaking to the media yesterday, JK said he hopes the public will refrain from purchasing imported luxury goods and focus on saving amid troubling times for Indonesia’s currency.

“There’s no need for Ferraris, Lamborghinis to be imported into the country. There’s no need for big, fancy cars and expensive perfumes. Hermes bags. Even though they don’t contribute that much, don’t buy luxury goods like those during this difficult situation,” he said, as quoted by Liputan 6.

Though a decrease in imported luxury goods alone probably won’t fix the rupiah, JK said he hopes that the public will do their part, however small, to contribute to the stabilization of the currency.

The rupiah on Monday fell to IDR14,777 to the US dollar, its weakest level in 20 years and a 8.93 percent drop since the start of the year. This morning, the rupiah fell even further to IDR14.953 per US dollar according to currency converter website xe.com.

Luxury goods aside, the Indonesia Retail Association (Aprindo) warned that the rupiah’s slide will likely drive up prices for imported staple goods such as rice, sugar, beef, milk, as well as electronic goods.

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