On Monday (15 Jan), the Ringgit traded below RM3 to the Singdollar for the first time since October 2016. The currency was lifted by higher exports and rising global oil prices, with analysts predicting continued strengthening at least until Malaysia’s General Election on 24 August.
Now, while Malaysians might be celebrating more affordable imports, if you are a Singaporean, you are probably somewhat disappointed.
|Gone are the days where money changers would hand you a 10 ringgit bill for three $1 Singapore coins and a bit of spare change|
Here are 3 ways a stronger Ringgit could affect you:
1. Shopping in JB becomes more painful
|…especially with Chinese New Year coming up.|
An occasional trip to Malaysia for goods and grocery shopping might be commonplace for Singaporeans, perhaps more frequent last year with the inner kiasu in us coming out when we heard of the low exchange rate.
Well, those days are slowly slipping away.
You might want to think twice before crossing the border for your cheaper handbags or groceries, and might want to simply consider a local masseuse for a massage.
2. No more cheap petrol/ car servicing in Malaysia
You might have heard of the announcement of removed toll charges at Woodlands’ Checkpoint and might be thinking of dropping by JB for a cheap car wash, servicing and pumping petrol. Well, now with increased relative prices, the trade-off of having to wait hours on the causeway may not be worth it after all.
On the bright side, the causeway might be less crowded in the next few months
3. Your Malaysian relatives/ friends will get revenge for you ‘suanning’ them in the past
Lastly, the most personal. For those of you who have been teasing our friends/ relatives from the other side, karma has finally come full circle. Be prepared for their payback as the Ringgit continues to appreciate till August.
For those visiting relatives for CNY this year, you might also feel quite the pinch after last year’s ridiculously cheap prices.
Some food for thought: maybe there isn’t that huge of a concern. After all, before mid-2013, the Ringgit traded at less than 2.5RM to SGD, and we still all went to Malaysia when we wanted to anyway. So perhaps it’s still all good.