The Star, Tuesday April 26, 2011
PETALING JAYA: The strengthening ringgit is not doing parents with children in Australia any favour.
Although the ringgit was at 2.99 against US$1 yesterday, it stood at 3.22 against A$1. Teacher Carey Lee, 54, now had to fork out around RM20,000 more a year compared to 2009 when the exchange rate was 2.9.
She said she might consider bringing her son back to Malaysia if he did not do well. Lee is paying around RM100,000 a year for his studies there.
Banker David Chan, 54, said there was little Malaysian parents could do. “It's painful that things cost the same on a dollar-to-dollar basis. For example, a plate of noodles costing RM5 is also A$5 there. That's RM16 after conversion,” he said, adding that his son still had four years to go in Adelaide. Accountant Thomas Wong said he was amazed that the Australian economy was still strong despite the massive floods and fires there. He said his son's school fees had jumped from RM28,000 per term to RM32,000 in the 18 months he was there.
Writer P. Steven, 43, said his burden was eased slightly after his daughter got a partial scholarship this year.
“She also moved out of the campus residence to a house. That's cheaper. She also uses a bicycle to get to campus,” he said, adding that the exchange rate was a continuous worry. It was reported last month that there are some 23,000 Malaysian students in Australia.