Strong Sing dollar mainly benefits those who work here and remit their money back home, convert to their home currencies and spend on things that are cheaper due to their lower cost of living, buying properties, cars, and whatever. The Malaysians working here are the biggest beneficiaries to the strong exchange rate. So are the Indians, Chinese, Myanmese, Pinoys, Bangladeshis and others.
How many Singaporeans really benefit from the strong Singapore dollar? If they spend their money here, actually their money is getting smaller and smaller, not bigger. When citizens of other countries could buy a car for $10K or $20k equivalent, Singaporeans need to pay more than $100k to buy a car, a few hundred thousands to buy a bigger car. This is how small the Sing dollar has become to the Singaporeans. And this same principle applies to all other purchases. A $500k ringgit is good enough to buy a landed property of more than 2000 sq ft in Malaysia. A $500k Sing dollar could only purchase a 4 or 5rm HDB flat at most, for 99 years. That is the purchasing power of the Sing dollar. Don’t be conned, the Sing dollar is losing its value at home. A Sing dollar today is worth very much lesser than yesterday in purchasing power. A $1 bowl of noodle is now $3.50. Public transport used to be less than a dollar, now $2 or more daily. Taxi fare used to be less than $10, now can be $50 or more.
This is how big the Sing dollar has become. So, are Singaporeans benefitting from the strong Sing dollar? Only if they spend it outside Singapore. The majority of the average Singaporeans are not benefitting from a stronger Sing dollar but a Sing dollar that is losing its purchasing value.
So, should Singaporeans be happier with the higher income they are getting today? It used to be pretty comfortable living with a $1000 household income. Today, a twin income of $4,000 is struggling to get by. Definitely cannot afford a car, maybe a bicycle for the new quality lifestyle.
While the paper income is more, but the purchasing power is so much lower today than yesterday. Imagine a $3,000 pm income and how much luxury the family could afford to buy then and how a $3,000 income today is making ends meet?
Is the Sing dollar bigger or smaller today?
Now the Malaysians would be laughing and saying, my $500k ringgit can get me a landed property, what can your $500k Sing dollar get you? My $30k ringgit can buy a car, what can your $30k Sing buy, a motor bike? Can’t even buy a piece of paper called COE.
Singaporeans who can afford it, would enjoy a few trips overseas to spend their strong dollars but will return home to spend their shrinking dollar at home for the rest of the year.