Monday, November 2, 2015

Feeling the heat of falling Ringgit

These days, Malaysian Ringgit is falling day by day. I talked to people around me on how the falling Ringgit is affecting them.

A confectionery vendor lamented how prices of kiwi and strawberries have gone up and increasing their cost. However, they dared not to increase their price for fear that customers will stop buying.

For me, I am badly affected. As a PhD student myself, I buy chemicals and other lab consumables for my experiments. Most of them are sourced from the US/UK and have prices quoted in US Dollars. Since the Ringgit began to weaken when I started my PhD, I have seen prices doubled or tripled for the same item. To add salt to the wound, my research grant is quoted in Ringgit Malaysia and does not get topped up under all circumstances. It is possible to manoeuvre here and there I am very sure that everyone in the research community feels the same. To be honest, I actually envy those who hold grants in US Dollars and having access to good facilities.

Whatever it is, no one is going to compromise on standards and merits whatever the circumstances is. I'll still have to complete my PhD under the stipulated time frame despite waiting weeks for my order to arrive.

This is the type of stuff I have to buy for my lab work. They're not cheap I mind you.

None of us academic foresee the worsening economic circumstances when we submitted grant applications. While my supervisor is taking all the steps to mitigate the economic situation, I am taking steps to reduce the cost of doing my experiments.

All of us want the Ringgit to go back up, aren't we? That means regaining investor confidence in our economy. I am no expert, but what I can say is, when we start to get our economy right, many issues will find their solutions. It's time that we treat people fairly and make everyone more productive.

For me... money is hard to come by. Is anyone keen to sponsor my experiments? #shameless #bold #Askandyouwillgetit

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