Friday, September 26, 2014

Financial Problems - Among The Reasons for Divorce in Malaysia

Reading the article Serving Matrimonial Ties from The Star Online today, I am quite shocked to know that the Syariah court in Jalan Duta is handling an average of 210 divorce cases in a day which is about 30,000 to 50,000 cases in a year. That is quite a huge figure.

Towards the end of the article, it mentioned that the primary cause of the divorce cases in Malaysia is financial problems, followed by drug abuse, and mental and physical abuse. So, financial matter does really play an important role in today's marriage. 

It is better to understand your partner's financial habits before tying the knots. And please do no hide your financial problems from your partner because you won't be able to hide it forever from your partner. It is best to have a proper discussion about financial matter before entering the marriage phase - among others: who pay what,  spending habits, whether to have join finances, existing debts, to have or not to have children,  and many more. Maybe it won't assure zero financial problems after marriage but I believe it does help to provide a guideline and some expectations when the couple got married. Once married, when financial problem, it is important for both partners to 'communicate properly' to reduce the financial strain. 

Let's hope that couples in Malaysia will be able to tackle financial problem smartly. Let us use money to make our marriage stronger...

photo credit: DrJohnBullas via photopin cc

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Why SOSCO@PERKESO Is Important for Malaysian Employee

Other than EPF@KWSP, Malaysian employers are required to register and contribute to SOSCO@PERKESO on monthly basis. You can click here for the rate of SOSCO@PERKESO contributions, based on your monthly wage. Maybe the monthly contribution which is deducted from our monthly payslip is not significant (the highest contribution by employee is RM14.75 - for monthly wage RM2,900 and above), but it is very important for us to contribute to SOSCO@PERKESO.

SOSCO@PERKESO is just like 'an insurance at work', where the workers are protected when they are at work. It can be accidents while traveling to / from work, accidents at work, accidents during emergency at work or illness caused by working condition (employment injuries or occupational diseases). I am amazed by the list of benefits provided by SOSCO@PERKESO. You can refer to the full list here.

So, all employers and employee must take SOSCO@PERKESO seriously. At least, when something happened while we are at work, we have SOSCO@PERKESO for the medical benefits including temporarily / permanent disability, dependants' benefit or funeral benefits.

For all employers out there, please ensure all your employees are registered with SOSCO@PERKESO and most importantly, must pay the monthly contribution accordingly. If something happened to your employee while she/he is at work, at least some of the medical expenses can be covered by SOSCO@PERKESO. For employees, please check your monthly payslip for the SOSCO@PERKESO contributions.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

(Local) Places of Interest To Visit In Kuching, Sarawak

This post is dedicated to those who are planning to visit Kuching, Sarawak. Occasionally, I do have friends or relatives visiting Kuching for the first time. Usually, they will request to visit places of local interest. Sometimes, they will request to experience the life of local Kuching people. I guess, if it's me, I would prefer to visit and experience the life of the local place as well, rather than just follow the itinerary provided by tour agencies. So, here I listed down 8 places of interest with some 'Kuching feels'.

1) Sarawak Muzeum
Based on the name, you already roughly have an idea about this place. Located within Kuching city centre. A visit to Sarawak Muzeum will enhance your knowledge about the life of the local people, their culture and its history.

2) Ewe Hai Street
I usually see a lot of tourist along Ewe Hwai Street. You can easily locate Ewe Hai Street or Jalan Ewe Hai from Google Maps. Along Ewe Hai Street, you will see many Bed & Breakfast, Lodge, eateries, cafe and other local shops. You will be able to find the tourist-famous local coffee cafe, Black Bean Coffee & Tea Company. You will be able to smell the freshly brew coffee from far away :) Black Bean Coffee & Tea is famous for its Sarawak gourmet coffee. These coffee beans are planted by the local Bidayuh and it's organic. I would say, the coffee has a very special taste and my bro-in-law from Taiwan loves this coffee very much. If you're a coffee lover, I would strongly encourage you to give our local coffee a try.

3) India Street
This is a very busy street located within Kuching city centre. It's famous for its textile and spices. Other than that, there are many other shops as well. You will experience many different layer of Kuching people here.

4) The Pasar Tani MJC, Batu Kawah (MJC's Farmer's Market)
Whenever I have the chance, I would visit Pasar (Local language for 'market') Tani ('Farmer) MJC (a local town in Kuching developed by MudaJaya Corp). I love to see the fresh produce from the local farmers, the different walks of life of Kuching people and the many local foods only available in Kuching. So far, I don't see many tourist visiting this place. But, I would strongly suggest you pay a visit to this place. It's located about 20mins drive from Kuching town. Take note, it only open on Thursday and Friday, 1pm-10pm. It is better to visit on Thursday as there're more traders on Thursday compare to Friday.

5) Jong's Crocodile Farm
Jong's Crocodile Farm is a famous place of interest among the local as well. Located along Kuching/Serian Highway, you will need about 40mins drive from Kuching city centre. Most travel agency will arrange for its tour for a visit to Jong's Crocodile Farm. You will not only expect to be entertained by the crocodile show but also have the chance to see  many other unique animals as well. I would strongly suggest you visit during crocodile feeding time, 11am and 3pm daily. There are entry fees applied.

6) MBKS (Council of the City of Kuching South)
This is the administration centre of Kuching City South. But, I am not suggesting you to visit the administration office :) Late in the evening, between 5pm-7pm, I would suggest you have an evening walk at MBKS. You will see many local Kuching people from all walks of life also taking the opportunity to jog, have an evening walk, bringing their kids to the playground and some old folks chit chatting at the garden along MBKS buildings. You will be entertained by the local flora and other plants as well.

7) Semenggok Orangutan Rehabilation Centre
This is another famous tourist attraction, located about 25mins from Kuching city centre. I myself have been here a few times. If you are lucky, maybe you will be able to have a wefie with the orangutans. Open from Mon-Fri only, 8am-5pm. Remember to visit during feeding time, 9am and 3pm.

8) Local Pottery Shops along Jalan Penrrisen
Along the journey to Jong's Crocodile Farm and Semenggok Orangutan Rehabilation Centre, you will passed by a number of pottery shops along Jalan Penrissen. I would strongly suggest you drop by these local pottery shops to see the different design of Sarawak pottery. You will be able to find local Sarawak souvenir at very reasonable price too. 

These are among the local places of interest which I think will be able to give you the 'Kuching feel'. I hope you will enjoy your stay in Kuching. Feel free to drop me a message if you would like to know more about these places.

Monday, September 8, 2014

It Is Not How Much You MAKE but How Much You SAVE Matter

Would you agree when I said that it's not how much you make matter, but it is how much you save that matter most? You can have monthly income of RM10K but, if you spend all your income of RM10K, you have nothing left. Maybe my monthly income is only RM2K, but if I manage to save 10% of my monthly income, in one year, I will save RM2400. And if I continue to save 10% and invest my savings, in a few years time, I will see quite a substantial amount in my saving. And for your case, even if your monthly salary increased to RM20K, but somehow you still can't control your spending habit and spend all RM20K, then you will have RM0 savings. I know there are cases, whereby a person make RM10K per month, he spend it all and worse, he still borrow his future money to spend (credit cards, personal loans).

Of course, the perfect situation would be, one able to earn big income and at the same time, consistently save a portion from his income.

Nowadays, I understand that it's not easy to save a certain portion of our monthly income. But, it still can be done. With strong determination and proper self discipline, you will be able to do it. Do not be too hard on yourself, start by saving a small percentage and when you feel more comfortable, slowly increase the percentage of savings. In a few months time, you will be amazed with the amount saved.

In financial planning, it's not how much that we make matter, but how much we save matter most.

photo credit: ota_photos via photopin cc

Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Mini Retirement

Reading this article from MSN Money, I would really love a mini retirement. Well, just before the actual retirement in our golden ages, wouldn't it be nice if we can take a long break from work and do the things we love to do? What I meant by a long break is probably a few months or maybe a year or two :) To have the time to enjoy little things in life, like spend more time with our loved ones, finding new hobbies, go visiting to other places or maybe just chilling at home. Or perhaps just taking a stop from the everyday busy life, well you know... the kind of robotic life (wake up, go to work, lunch, work some more, go back home, dinner, sleep, wake up again and the circle continues), and spend some time thinking on the next direction of our life? We all know, we only live once and time is limited.

Are you thinking of a mini retirement too?

photo credit: wolfnowl via photopin cc

Monday, September 1, 2014

A Recommended Eye Specialist Clinic in Kuching

On the early morning of 15 July 2014, I was shocked when I looked at my right eye in the mirror. The white part of the corner of my right eye was very red and it seems like there's traces of blood inside. At first I thought it was due to shampoo but it doesn't look exactly like that. I quickly get my hubby to check on my right eye. Hubby said looks like something wrong with my right eye. But, there's no pain, just slightly uncomfortable for my right eye. I told hubby I will wait till noon, if the redness still there, then I will go to see a doctor.

When I arrived at office, my colleague was shocked when she noticed my very red right eye. Actually, I think my eye looked scary. She told me to see a doctor immediately. Around noon time, I decided to see Tiong Eye Specialist Clinic. When I arrived, the clinic was quite full. The receptionist is very friendly. When she looked at me, she roughly know my eye problem. She said not a serious problem, but the redness will expand within 24 hours. While waiting for my turn, I chit chat with 2 aunties who's also waiting for their turn. One of them was doing a follow up after a cataract surgery. Her eyes are looking great. The other one was accompanying her husband for eye boils removal. I asked them about the services provided by the clinic, both of them said the service was good but some time have to wait for quite long due to long queue.

When it was my turn, the first nurse asked me about my eye problem and some questions. She checked both of my eyes. Then, another nurse checked both of my eyes. Then, finally the specialist, Dr Tiong checked my eyes. He thoroughly checked my right eyes using some tools and told me there's no big problem. My eye problem is called 'bleeding eyes' or Hyphema in its medical term. Knowing that, I feel relief. But, Dr Tiong said there're possibilities that the redness will get worse within 24 hours.When I asked him, what had cause my 'bleeding eyes', he said it was caused by broken eye capillaries. Just like bruises on our skin. There's no specific reason why it happened. Maybe due to heavy stretching. Or it could be I accidentally 'hit' my right eyes when I was asleep. He said the redness will be gone in a week time and it will not spread to the other eye or to other people. He prescribed a small bottle of eye lotion to remove the uncomfortable feeling in my right eye.  Total bill is RM60.00 (RM50 for specialist fee and RM10 for the eye lotion).

The redness spread slightly in that evening but slowly disappear. Within one week, it's totally gone.  

I am pleased with the service provided by Tiong Eye Specialist Clinic. The receptionist, the nurse/assistant and the specialist himself are very professional and friendly. I can tell, they are a group of people with good teamwork and with very good experience. As for the charges, it is very reasonable. For those from Kuching and if you are looking for an eye specialist, I highly recommend Tiong Eye Specialist Clinic, located at Timberland Medical Centre, Kuching. The contact number is 082-425322. Clinic hours from Mon-Sat: 8am-1pm. Mon-Thurs:1pm-5pm (Surgery).

photo credit: Michele Catania via photopin cc