Singaporean shoppers having a field day in Johor

Singaporean shoppers having a field day in Johor
Branded goods: Malaysians and Singaporeans visiting the Johor Premium Outlets during the Aidilfitri holiday.

JOHOR BARU - Hari Raya shopping was made sweeter for Singaporeans as more crossed over to enjoy the "cheap ringgit".

Singaporean Michael Tong, 46, said the Goods and Services Tax (GST) implemented in April did not affect his spending power as the weakening ringgit meant he could buy more than usual.

"GST here does not affect our buying power because the currency exchange gap has widened in the past several months," he told The Star at the Johor Premium Outlets (JPO) here yesterday.

Chinese national Xing Chong, 32, who has been working in Singapore as an IT executive for the past four years, said that it was normal for those working in the republic to do their shopping in Johor.

"It is much cheaper here in Johor," she said.

"We often come to Malaysia during short holidays to do some visiting and shopping but the weakening ringgit prompted us to visit JPO for the first time as branded goods are aplenty here," she added.

Singaporean R. James, 42, said he visited Johor Baru twice a month to stock up on groceries.

"I usually buy fresh vegetables, fresh milk, canned food and daily products in Johor, and can save at least 50 per cent of what I spend on the same items in Singapore," he said.

Meanwhile, Malaysians were also taking advantage of the long weekend holiday to do some shopping.

Business acquisition manager Camelita Mohd Zainol, 32, said she could still afford to go on shopping sprees despite the GST.

"I think many are learning to accept the GST and moving on," she said. "We cannot just dwell on the downside of the tax regime."

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