Amid the rupiah’s recent plunge, Indonesian domestic workers in Singapore were seen queueing outside remittance shops in Paya Lebar on Sunday, hurrying to send their wages home.
On August 31, the Indonesian rupiah fell to its lowest mark – to the 1998 crisis level – against the US dollar in 20 years as investors grow increasingly weary of holding emerging market assets, The Shin Min Daily News reported.
In the City Plaza shopping mall, dubbed Little Indonesia and home to more than 10 remittance outlets, there were long queues of people. Each shop had more than 100 Indonesian woman sending money home over the weekend.
Christina, the branch manager of Ameertech Remittance & Exchange Services, which opened in the mall in November last year, told reporters that the number of customers has been on the rise since the fall of the Indonesian currency in the past two months.
More than 1,000 transactions were handled during a single Sunday, most of which were domestic workers, she added.
A 28-year-old Indonesian told the local newspaper that since the drastic fall of the rupiah she had been saving as much as she could so she could send more money home.
Another worker, 53, who had been in Singapore for eight years, said she had just sent the required sum, S$200, as usual as she feared the more she sent, the more her family would spend.
In order to attract customers, the remittance shops were offering customers half-price service charges as low as from S$5 to S$9 when their applications were filed and done on Sundays.