Iskandar property and Singaporean investors would always be hotly debated. Whether or not their government encouraged these overseas investments are also unclear. What’s clear would be the fact that last year, the total number of Singaporean tourists visiting Malaysia from Singapore has declined! It’s not huge but it is strange why has it declined. Actually numbers were 12,930,754 in 2015 versus 13,932,967 in 2014. This represents a drop of 7 percent and the numbers came from the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board which released it to The Straits Times. The numbers were actually expected to rise because Ringgit was the worst performing currency last year.
Some reasons put forward by travel experts including the fact that therearemany other destinations where Singaporean dollar has also risen against. Alicia Seah, Dynasty Travel’s director of public relations and communications, said travellers might be facing “fatigue” from visiting Malaysia too frequently. Haha. She said there were also fewer inquiries from Singapore schools about visiting Malaysia. They prefer China and Australia instead. (I think these would cost more but then again perhaps Singaporeans are also richer) Rupiah also dropped a lot and this made Banding and Surabaya much more attractive. They are also near enough.
Associate Professor Ang Swee Hoon from the National University of Singapore’s business school said “Singaporeans, who probably have travelled to Malaysia before, would want to take the opportunity of a stronger Sing dollar to visit countries farther away so that their money can be stretched further.” I think I do agree with his assessment because I just bought flight tickets to Hong Kong. I also prefer to visit a country further away because Singapore is just too near. Besides accommodation in Hong Kong is cheaper due to choices and AirBnB. I could also go to Singapore anytime I want as it is just an hour flight away and there are flights every hour from Kuala Lumpur.
The last reason is crime rates. To be frank, compared to Singapore, most cities would have higher crime rates. I used to travel alone to JB nearly every week for 6 months. Nothing has happened to me. Perhaps I am just lucky then. Anyway, the nearly 13 million Singaporeans who visited Malaysia last year ha shown that Malaysia is safe enough. Oh yeah, many have invested in Malaysia and I think it is a very good property investment destination for Singaporeans and even the expats and PRs too. Hopefully they do it at a time when there’s a slowdown and their currency is strong. Welcome, Singaporeans.
written on 23 May 2016
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