Monday, December 16, 2013

How To Check Your EPF@KWSP Number?

If you had forgotten your EPF@KWSP number and you need it urgently, you just need to make a phone call to EPF Call Management Centre (CMC) or Pusat Panggilan KWSP at 03-89226000 (operation hour: Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm). I had done this before. The CMC staff is very helpful, friendly and most importantly efficient and provide me with accurate information. When I called them to inquire my EPF number, the call was picked up in a few seconds. When I told them I need to check my EPF number, the staff asked for my IC  number and my name for verification. Once verified, he gave me my EPF number accordingly. All this just take less than 2 mins.

Of course, other than calling the EPF CMC, there are other ways to get your EPF@KWSP numbers:

1) If you had i-Akaun, just log in to your i-Akaun and from there you'll get your EPF number;
2) Ask for your EPF number from your existing employer Human Resource Department;
3) If you had keep a proper filing for the yearly EPF statement, you can get the EPF number on the EPF yearly statement too;
4) Go to the KWSP offices nationwide to ask for your EPF number;
5) Go to your nearest KWSP Kiosk

But, I find the easiest and fastest way is by calling EPF CMC number at 03-89226000. EPF CMS also provide multiple services to all EPF contributors in Malaysia. For other services provided by EPF CMC, feel free to visit EPF CMC page.

For the details location of EPF branches and EPF Kiosk throughout Malaysia, feel free to visit KWSP website.

Hope the above helps :)

Friday, December 13, 2013

How To Renew Your Malaysian Passport in Kuching?

Today I am taking the day off to renew my passport.

Below are some quick information if you're planning to renew your Malaysian passport in Kuching. This is the requirement as at 13 Dec 2013 as it might change from time to time:

Bring along:
1) Your IC
2) Your old passport
3) 2 recent passport size photo (must follow the recent requirement - white background, not teeth shown...)
4) Your cash (RM100 for 2 years international passport and RM300 for 5 years international passport)

1) Go to Level 2, Bangunan Sultan Iskandar at Simpang Tiga.
2) Proceed to Counter 1 to get the queue number. The officer will check whether you had your IC, old passport and recent passport size photo with you. Once completed, the officer will give you a queue number. Wait for your queue number to be called.
3) When it's your queue number, go to the respective counter. The office will serve you - ask whether you would like to renew for 2 years or 5 years, verify your personal details and if there's any changes, then verify your left and right thumb print. Then, the officer will print out the renewal form where you put down your right thumb print. The officer will ask you to sit down and wait for your name to be called from the payment counter.
4) When your name being called from the payment counter, proceed to the counter and bring along your cash. After payment made, the officer will provide your an official receipt with remark - time and date to collect your new passport. Mine was to collect 2pm in the afternoon.
5) To collect the new passport, make sure you show the officer at Counter 14 or Counter 15 the official receipt. The officer will give you a new queue number. Wait for another 10 or 15 mins (depends on the crowds), when your number being called, the officer will show you the new passport, ask you to sign on the form to prove you've taken the passport. Then, the officer will ask you to double check the personal detail on the new passport. Once confirmed, the officer will ask you to sign on the passport. She'll pass back to you your old passport and it's done.

Important note:
1) Try to arrive as early as possible and preferably in the morning. I arrived at around 8:30am and was given number 66. They serving counter was 16. And most importantly, the queue number counter was closed at around 9:30am today. No more queue number given. Means that you'll need to come back at 2pm and queue for your number. In the afternoon, I saw a very long queue at the front of the office for the queue number. At around 2:30pm, there's an announcement that no more queue number to be given for that afternoon. So, you better arrive as early as possible. The official operation hours is available on Immigration Department of Malaysia.

My Suggestion to improve the Service at Kuching Immigration Office:
1) Ensure more counter are serving during operation hours. Today, at around 9am, only 2 counters are serving. At round 10am, about 5 counters are serving. Total, there's 15 counters (registration counter, including payment counter, 2 collection counters, a special counter). Imagine  if 10 counters are serving from 7:30am till 5:30pm. I am very sure there's be many happy citizen walking out from the Kuching Immigration Office.More counter meaning less waiting time and highly effective operation.
2) Dont close the number counter so early. Can you imagine those applicant come as far as Serian and have to wait till 2pm to get her queue number? How about someone with young kids?
3) Have a special counter for senior citizen, woman with young kids or those with special needs.
4) Have separate counter for renewal and for new application. Renewal of passport will be faster. This will speed up the process and reduce the stressful waiting time.
5) Get better seat for the crowd. I think average waiting time will be around 2 hours for each applicant. The seat looks quite old and not comfortable. Some are standing because not enough seat available. 
6) Install a tv so that there's light entertainment while the crowds are waiting

Overall Service Experience
Other than the above suggestion, I would like to say that I am pleased with the service provided by the officers at Kuching Immigration office. They are friendly, pleasant and helpful. My hope is that the procedure will be smoother and faster. It is important to respect others' time as I think it's not right to have to wait for hours just to renew my passport. I hope the service will be further improved for the benefits of all Kuchingites :)

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Good Financial Consultant...

This article published today on The Star Online caught my attention. After finished reading this article, the first thing in my mind is I wanted to share it here on my blog. 

I believe some of us have been approached by many financial consultants especially recently, due to the introduction of Private Retirement Scheme (PRS). The 3 main points mentioned in the article is quite true especially the second point. 

I still believe we need a good financial consultant to maximize the return from our investment. We all should invest and most importantly, invest wisely. Do not rely 100% on our financial consultant. We all must know where does our hard earned money goes to - the name of the fund, the target group, the risk, the time it take before we can see some return... The more you understand your own investment, the more likely you have confidence in your own investment.

I am sure there are still many good financial consultant out there... 

Happy investing...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Are You Paying Your PTPTN Study Loan?

Today's news on The Star Online published that Perbadanan Tabung Pendidikan Tinggi National (PTPTN) loan defaulters to be put on bad credit list. I am proud to say that I had paid 85% of my PTPTN study loan. I paid my first study loan exactly as written on the PTPTN study loan agreement. And since then, I diligently pay my PTPTN study loan every month. Occasionally I checked my PTPTN account statement through their epay services. I did received the hardcopy of account statement through mail but I still find the most convenient way is through the epay services.

I think the amount of the loan repayment is not a problem for most working graduates. Just that, these working graduates must understand and take the initiative to make the payment accordingly to the agreement. Just like when you're purchasing a new car, you need to pay the loan repayment on monthly basis, according to the hire purchase agreement. The difference is that, for hire purchase agreement, if no payment received certain period of time, the car will be taken away from you. In term of the amount, I believe the PTPTN loan repayment amount is much lesser that the monthly payment a new graduate is spending on his/her new car.

It's important for us, the 'customer' of PTPTN to pay our  monthly study loan accordingly so that the younger generations which might be our younger brothers, sisters or our nieces, nephews or even our kids to enjoy this PTPTN facilities and so that they can have financial assistant in their tertiary education. Isn't it one way for us to be thankful to PTPTN for giving us the opportunity to complete our desired diploma/degree/master degree is to pay back the study loan? 

If you have not started pay your PTPTN, take the initiative now. It's never to late. Whatever we borrow, we must pay back.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Preparing for our retirement...

Retirement... sounds like a wonderful destination for us, the wage earner. When he heard of retirement, we imagine of happy and joyful seniors enjoying their life after many years of hard labor.  These seniors will have plenty of time to do things they love. For example, go yamcha (tea drinking session) with friends, travelling to new places they wish for, spend time with loved ones and many more...

But, are we prepared for our retirement? Will our EPF savings be enough to fund our retirement years? Will we be able to maintain our current lifestyle when we retire? These are among the critical questions we need to ask ourselves so that we can better prepared ourselves for retirement.

Today's articles on The Star Online gave me some additional information about preparing for retirement by investing in Private Retirement Scheme (PRS), a voluntary long-term investment scheme designed to assist individuals to accumulate savings for retirement. You can read the full article here

PRS is something new. So, I don't really have much information. I do really hope that PRS offer some help for us to prepare for our retirement. Share with me what you think.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Life After SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia)

My eighteen-years-old nephew who got his SPM result last month was asking me for some advice about 'life after SPM'. He's asking which college he should go to, which course he should be taking, whether he should go to Form Six for 2 years, and many more questions. In return, I ask him what's his interest and from there to see what are the plan to meet his interest. I've also shared with him the followings:

1) Do some reading and research on different disciplines. I think other that that special gift or talent that we have, what we enjoy doing is very much link to our knowledge and our life experience. If the father is a doctor, very likely one of the children will become a doctor. If the father is a lawyer, very likely his children will become a lawyer. If the father is a businessman, very likely his children will also become a businessman. If the father is a successful athlete, very likely his children will excel in sports too. You see, there is really a link somewhere. So, since not all of us are lucky enough to have doctor father, a lawyer father, a successful business father or a successful athlete, the least we can do is do some reading and research on different discipline. In this way, we can expose ourselves so that we can have more choices.

2) Do something you enjoy doing. After working for many years, I realized that the most rewarding job is the job which you enjoy doing. What we enjoy doing might change from time to time, but, deep in our heart we know best what we enjoy doing. Maybe your father is a doctor and he wants you to become a doctor. If you know your interest is not in medicine, but in arts, you should really follow your heart. But of course, the best would be if your family background is in medicine and you have interest in medicine, then you'll really be a successful and happy doctor.

3) Do not follow your friends. We all have good friends and some friends who might influence our decision. It is important not to follow friends. If your friend wants to study engineering, it is not wise to follow him to study engineering while your interest is in arts. If your friend wants to go to Kolej A, it's not wise to follow him to Kolej A just because you're afraid you could not find new friends when to go to Kolej B. You will find and make new friends no matter where you go. Follow  your own path and do not let yourself drift away  with others path which might not be the best for your.

4) Believe in yourself and fight for yourself. If there're limitations of the number of students  in certain course, do not just accept it. Try to appeal or look for other alternative somewhere else. 

Most probably he'll go to Form Six. Mainly because with STPM, he will have higher change to get a place in local university. The other reason is, Form Six is the most cost effective way. I really hope that he'll find something he enjoy doing. And for the rest who's in the same boat with him, I also wish you all the best in your future undertakings. Some say, real life start after SPM :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

EPF@KWSP - EPF Declares 6.15 Percent Dividend Rate For 2012

Wow... News on last Sunday 17 Feb 2013 announced that EPF@KWSP declared 6.15% dividend for 2012. Such a good news for all EPF@KWSP members :) When I checked my i-Akaun that night, I saw the dividend has been credited to my account.

Keep up the good work, EPF@KWSP. And of course we hope for better dividend for coming year :)

The full news can be reached here or here.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Things to consider before quitting your job

It's February and still in early 2013. Some may find that this is a good time to quit your current job and go for your dream job or just to take some break from the hectic work schedule. I listed below, some of the things to consider before quitting your existing job:

1)      Your current financial commitment
Housing/car loan, monthly utilities (water, electricity, phone, cable tv), groceries, insurance, kids expenses, tuition fee and many more. Unless you have other sources of income, you are likely to have to use you savings to cover your expenses and financial commitment while you are out of work. Make sure you have enough to cover your expenses until the next pay cheque. And you must be aware that, while you don’t have your regular income, you are also spending your savings.

2)      Your new employment
Sometimes you just feel like you want to quit and don’t want to think about other things. I can understand that. But, in real life, you should really think and plan for your next step.  So, when you are really stressed out  and really cannot go on, take a deep breath, perhaps apply for a few days leave and spend some time alone. Think and I really meant think hard and plan for your roads ahead. Try to 'survey' around for a new employment before throw that quitting letter to your boss.

3)      Staff benefits that you  might missed out
Some employment come with additional staff benefits such as insurance coverage, medical fee, optical and dental benefits, company share benefits, lower interest rates (banking sector), petrol allowance, company transportation. If you are really planning to quit, make sure you include the above expenses in your budget.

Well, another benefit would be company bonus. So, plan your quitting will be more justified for you. If you know your company is giving away bonus, try to plan to quit after your bonus. Unless, you really don’t care about the bonus (which I think most of your would really care) :)

4)      Your reason for quitting
You can just tell others (your spouse, your parents, siblings, kids, friends, relatives, neighbors,  your customer, your business associates) you quit your job because it’s too stressful, or you can’t take it anymore. It does not sound cool for you. Find an alternative way to describe why you quit. So, getting a new employment is really a more professional way to tell others why you quit :)

5)      The unattached period
If all this while you’ve been occupied with your work, it is going to be tough for you to just sit around doing nothing. Perhaps for the first few days or perhaps weeks, you’ll be feeling so happy that you can wake up at anytime you wish, you no need to see your boss face, no need to face those difficult colleague/customers. But, as the time goes by, you’ll start to feel stress for being to free and have nothing to look forward to. So, it important to know what you want to do during your unattached period. Maybe cultivate some hobbies or visit some friends/relatives which you’ve wish you can do but could not make it previously due to your busy work life.

Don’t be surprised if you started to miss your work or your stressful time, a few months after you quit. Unless you can find something which you really enjoy or something better, you are likely to miss something.

Feel free to add in any other things to consider before quitting your job. I would love to add them to the list :)

Cheers and all the best always!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Financial Responsibility & Money Managers

I came across this wonderful article on The Star Online published on last Saturday - 'Creating a financial future through wise financial management today'.  I think this is a great article on financial education. Though just in 9 paragraphs, but almost all important points about money management are mentioned (differentiating needs and wants, setting financial responsibility, saving a certain portion of salary, creating emergency fund, creating & sticking to budget, resisting impulse buying and using the credit facilities wisely). This article is easy to understand and with consideration of 'modern life' which make it more 'real life'.

I love the 2 words used in this article: Financial Responsibility and Money Managers. A person who is financially responsible mostly will not be miserable when come to money management. That is an important part of life. Money Managers - everyone is a money manager himself/herself. So, I am a Money Managers too :) 

You can click here to read the article. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I do.