Malaysians working in S’pore planning holidays, home renovations as Singdollar surges to new high against ringgit
JOHOR BAHRU – Many Malaysians working in Singapore are planning holidays and home renovations as the Singapore dollar surged to a new high against the ringgit.
Mr Jason Wong, 27, said he felt that his decision to cross the border daily to work in Singapore was the right one as he now has more cash in hand due to the strong currency exchange rate of S$1 to RM3.50.
“One by one, many of my peers and relatives had gone to Singapore for work, which led to my decision to do the same. I started working there in March after finding it difficult to get a stable job in Johor Bahru.
“I start my commute at around 6am and reach home after 8pm every day. It is tiring but the exchange rate makes it worthwhile. I can give more money to my elderly parents now that I have extra disposable income,” he told The Star.
Mr Wong added that he was also saving to take his parents on a holiday for the first time next year.
The Singapore dollar shot to a new high of 3.5086 against the ringgit on Tuesday morning.
Mr Ardy Zainuddin, 33, who works as a purchasing executive in Singapore, was happy to have extra money to renovate his new home here.
“My wife and I have just got the keys to our new house and with a second baby on the way, anything extra is welcome,” said Mr Ardy, who has been commuting across the border for work for the past five years.
However, he hopes that the Malaysian government would come up with policies to strengthen the ringgit.
“The strong Singapore-Malaysia currency exchange is good for those working across the border, but I am concerned that the weakening ringgit will make things more expensive for other Malaysians.
“My relatives living in Johor and Melaka have been complaining that it is costly to eat out or even cook at home. They are also hesitant to travel overseas because of the weak ringgit,” he added.
Checks by The Star at several popular money changers in Johor Bahru found that they were well-stocked with the ringgit to cater to the expected higher demand.
A money changer who only wanted to be known as Ms Wan said: “This is the first time I have seen the ringgit dip so low against the Singapore dollar in my 10 years of being in the industry.
When the exchange rate was S$1 to RM3.41 in May, our business rose by about 30 per cent as those working across the border as well as Singaporeans rushed to buy the ringgit in large quantities,” she said. - THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK