Johor Bahru-Singapore: Daily commute to work worth it
JOHOR BAHRU - The increase in the value of the Singapore dollar (SGD) compared to the Malaysian ringgit (RM) has benefit the people in this country who work at the republic country.
Approximately around 400,000 Malaysians commute from Johor Bahru to Singapore for work, either through the Johor-Singapore Causeway or via the Malaysia-Singapore Second Link (Linkedua).
Most people who work in Singapore earned a monthly income of around SGD1,900 (RM6,095) to SGD3,000 (RM9,624) and the drop in ringgit currency caused their purchasing power to increase.
It was no wonder that due to having a high purchasing power, most Malaysians working in Singapore could already afford to buy a house worth more than RM300,000 in Johor.
Marine engineer Ahmad Samion Ismail, 35, said the purchasing power of Malaysians working in Singapore was increasing due to the current exchange rate, in which SGD1 was equivalent to RM3.40.
He said these factors gave Malaysians an advantage even though in reality the income they earned was considered low compared to other positions in the country.
"For instance, a cleaner earns an average salary of SGD1,500. When converted to ringgit, it is equal to RM5,100. The value is equivalent to the salary of a manager or engineer in Johor.
"This has clearly increased their purchasing power and economic status. In fact, many are already able to buy their own house in Johor. I am also currently saving money to buy a house in Johor.
"Many people can even afford to buy superbikes to commute from Malaysia to Singapore every day," he said.
Samion who had been working in Singapore for five years now earned a gross income of SGD3,000 (RM10,000) a month.
"But it's up to you.. Ask yourself and think carefully before making a decision. If you want to earn an income in SGD, there will be some sacrifices. Such as having to wake up as early as 4am to face the traffic at the Johor-Singapore Causeway and Linkedua," he explained.
Meanwhile, Siti Nur Amalina Omar, 37, who works as a cleaning supervisor, said she earned a monthly income of SGD2,500 (RM7,500).
She said the money she earned during the five years of working in a hospital will be used to buy a house in Johor Bahru later.
"Naturally, with the high value of SGD, the purchasing power of Malaysians working in Singapore is much higher in Johor Bahru. Many people also buy houses as an investment in the future.
"But for me, it's a choice. We have to be smart in differentiating the wants and needs.
"Anway, I am grateful that the money I earned from working in Singapore can help my family in Johor," she said.