The dramatic slide in the ringgit yesterday left parents, who have children studying overseas, wondering just how they are going to cope.
Jeya Sandrasegaran said he was already reeling from last year’s slump and now was unsure if he would be able to support his daughter who was studying in London.
“It was bad enough when the ringgit was at RM4 to a US dollar in September last year. It looks like things will only get worse,” he said.
Jeya said while he had this semester covered and had sent his daughter the necessary funds, it was the months to come that had him worried.
“She finishes her studies in 2018, but if the value of the ringgit keeps falling, I will have no choice but to bring her back to complete her degree locally,” he said.
Yesterday the ringgit fell to RM4.68 to the US dollar, the country’s worst performance in 18 years, before settling at RM4.38.
Capital outflow, a sluggish economy and gloomy forecasts on the economy were cited as reasons for the underperforming ringgit.
Engineering student Deevagar Sathaanadan, 18, who is currently in Moscow on a five-year degree programme said he was shocked to learn of the lower exchange rate.
“I have only been here for a month and things are already not looking good,” he said.
“Daily living expenses are already high and they are likely to go up even more. I will try to save where possible,” he said.
Deevagar said he did not want to burden his parents and would have to take up a part-time job.
“I do not want my parents to fork out extra money to support me,” he said.
Student Ng Lin Yee, 24, who studies software engineering in San Francisco in the United States, said her parents would support her through her studies whatever the cost,” she said.
“But if the ringgit rose to RM5 to the US dollar, I am going to be practical and return. My parents have done enough and I do not want to tax them any further.”
“How can this be happening to us? I have only another year to go and this awful news is getting me and other Malaysian students down,” she said.
Source : JONATHAN EDWARD AND MURALI ARUMUGAM@The Malay Mail Online