Monday, November 30, 2015

Having Enough For Retirement

In Oct 2015, I was reading this article 'Having enough for retirement' on The Star Online. It is worrying that most of KWSP contributors on the verge of retirement do not have enough savings for their retirement. This is also a sad situation that 68% of this group has less than RM50K KWSP savings. With some simple calculation - RM1000 for every month, RM50K can only last for 50months which is slightly more than 4 years. How about the life of these retiree after 4  years? 

One of the many reasons for this insufficient retirement fund is limited financial literacy among the contributors. Most contributors were not aware of the impact of limited fund for retirement  and the importance of retirement planning. With proper financial literacy, contributors should be able to plan ahead for their retirement at a younger age.

The other reason will be low salary package of the wage earners. With about 23% deduction from monthly salary, with estimation of 30 years of working years, the total savings should be quite a huge amount and should be enough to cover the next 20 years of retirement. But, with low salary package, this 23% savings is not going to produce a good amount for a financially-worry-free retirement.

So, are you having enough for retirement? Let us take some time from our busy schedule and evaluate our retirement planning.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

2015 Retrenchment / Job Cuts / Lay Off in Malaysia - Further Job Cuts and Lay Off

Earlier last month, I shared on some retrenchment news in Malaysia.

Since then, there are more announcement on job cuts as below:

All of the above were announced in September 2015.

With increasing cost of living and limited job opportunities, it's going to be a tough time ahead for those affected by retrenchment. For those who's still earning, it's better to start saving for your emergency fund now.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

IRB@LHDN - 2014 Overpaid Tax Refund

I submitted my 2014 IRB@LHDN tax return on 26 May 2015. By middle of July 2015, I have not received any emails or notification from IRB@LHDN with regards to my overpaid tax refund. So, in the middle of August, I filed a complaint to IRB@LHDN through their website, to enquire the status of my overpaid tax refund. Within the next working day, I received a reply from IRB@LHDN officer, informing that she had submitted my case to the local IRB@LHDN for further processing. And it will require 14 days before I can expect any reply from them.

One week later, I saw IRB@LHDN made the transfer to my bank account.

For those of you in same situation like me, I suggest you to file a complaint to IRB@LHDN through their website. Or, go to IRB@LHDN official website. Look for Feedback -> Customer Feedback Form -> Taxation Inquiry -> Tax Refund. You will need to fill in the form. So, make sure you have your tax return details with you.

Friday, August 28, 2015

How To Pay PTPTN with EPF@KWSP Savings

For PTPTN borrowers with education financing agreement executed 2 Jan 2001 onwards, they can use the savings from their EPF@KWSP account 2 to pay for the PTPTN study loan. From my point of view, PTPTN borrowers should try their best to pay with their own money and not from their KWSP savings. Mainly because EPF@KWSP is a saving for our retirement. Using EPF@KWSP savings to pay for PTPTN study loan should be the last resort to settle PTPTN study loan. 

You can click here for procedure on how to make PTPTN repayment through EPF@KWSP withdrawal. 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Malaysia Retrenchment - Should You Take Up The VSS or MSS Offer?

I read a sharing by Alice Yokyuen-Wong on The Star Online. I strongly feel that, those affected by Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS) or Mutual Separation Scheme (MSS) should read it too. Why? Because it's from her own experience and there are truth in her sharing.

Do take note that she budgeted her expenses tightly after the VSS even though she had received the compensation sum from her VSS employer. Because she said she's not sure how long she would be jobless. But, she's lucky because she got her new job just 28 days after being laid off.

There are some truth when she shared that employee should take up the VSS or MSS and move on. Rather than 'sinking together with the ship', just like two of her friends who had worked in a public listed company. At least the compensation from VSS or MSS would lasted for some time while one looking for new opportunities.

For those affected by VSS or MSS, let's hope that you'll be landed on new job soon.

Friday, August 7, 2015

2015 Retrenchment / Job Cuts / Lay Off in Malaysia

Recently, there are quite a number of retrenchment news, locally and internationally. I share below, some of the 2015 retrenchment or job cuts in Malaysia and globally:

1) CIMB Group offered voluntary Mutual Separation Scheme (MSS)

2) HSBC to cut thousands of jobs globally

3) JVC Kenwood Malaysia Sdn Bhd ceased operations

4) Fairchild Semiconductor (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd to sell Penang factory

5) Royal Dutch Shell to axe 6500 jobs globally

6) Malaysia Airlines, MAS retrenched 6000 jobs

7) Job cuts at some of global banking institution 

I believe there are many job cuts or retrenchment which not been reported in news. Feel free to share your thought and comment below if you have any.

photo credit: Today's News via photopin (license)

Monday, July 27, 2015

Four Months After GST Implementation

As at now, most of us in Malaysia are getting used to GST implementation. We know how to read the price tags and official receipts. Those who works in Account Department or Finance Department should at least know how to key in input and output tax into accounting system and also to file the GST returns. 

There are also less and less complaints on GST impact in loca news. It seems like the rakyat are slowly getting used to the GST implementation. 

But, one thing for sure, the rakyat really feel the pinch of price hike. One specific of honey from Australia was priced at RM31.90 before GST implementation. But when I purchased the same honey in Apr'15, it was RM36.90. Last year, a ream of a branded paper cost RM9.50. Today, the same ream of branded paper at the same stationary store cost RM11.13 (RM10.50 + 6% GST). A specific brand of facial toner cost me RM38 in early 2014, then RM42 toward the end of 2014. In Apr 2015, the same facial toner cost me RM55! I am not sure if the price hike was caused by the dropped in Ringgit value or because the supplier been charged higher by the producer due to high demand. No matter what, the huge price different after GST implementation is really unacceptable to me.

I noticed that everyone now are more concern on their purchase, be it at the kopitiam, wet market, the supermarket or at stationary stores. Everyone trying to get the best deal and trying to stretch their ringgit further. This is a domino game. When everyone trying to hold back from spending, economy will be affected. In the long run, let's hope that the GST implementation brings us more good than harm.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

How To Cash Out Your AdSense Earnings in Malaysia using Western Union

I shared below how to cash out your AdSense earnings in Malaysia through Western Union:

1) Once you've reached the minimum earning threshold, which is currently USD100.00, you will received an email from Google Billing with the subject title 'Google AdSense: We recently sent you a payment';

2) Follow the instruction in the email to log in to your AdSense account. Select "Payments" from the drop down list. You will be able to see a 'Payment Receipt' from Google. Print out this payment receipt or write down the 2 most important parts which is the Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN) and the sender. In my case, the sender was Google Ireland, Ltd. But my advice is still better to print out the receipt and bring along with you when you go to the bank.

3) Go to the any banks in Malaysia with the yellow 'Western Union' symbol. In my case, I went to the bank nearest to my office, which is RHB Bank.

4) Tell the bank officer you need a form to receive money through Western Union. Fill in the important parts of the form such as Receive Money, MTCN number, your full name, your address, your occupation and the sender. The officer will require your NRIC as well, for verification purpose. No need to fill in the amount, as the officer will fill in for you based on the MTCN number. For my case, I need to wait for about 20 minutes for the officer to verify the details before he called my name name and handed me the cash in Malaysian Ringgit. 

Prior to receiving your first AdSense earning, make sure you update your payee profile, payment setting and billing contacts. For payee profile, remember to key in your name and address accordingly. For payment setting, the fastest and easiest way to receive the AdSense earning is through Western Union. So, log in to your AdSense account, then under 'How you get paid', select Western Union.  Make sure you change the payment method prior to your payment issued (in my case is USD100.00). Otherwise, Google Billing will not be in time to change the payment methods.

Hope the above helps!

Monday, June 29, 2015

How To Stay On Financial Track?

One of the hardest thing on financial management matter is to be able to stay on financial track all the time. To periodically check and monitor on investment portfolio, to diligently put aside money every now and then, and to always keep the financial management spirit high. These are not easy.

So, how do I ensure I stay on my financial track? Here are some of my methods:

1) Apply the power of technology
To monitor my investment, I signed up online account provided by investment firms. With this, I can log-in anytime to check the status of my investment. There are also other tools and apps to monitor investment but I still prefer to use my simple spreadsheets to monitor my investment.

2) Utilize Standing Instruction / Auto System Facilities
I admit it is hard for me to manually transfer a certain amount for my investment, on monthly basis. I know this is important but somehow, it is hard to be consistent. So, I signed Standing Instruction (SI) to transfer certain amount into my investment, on monthly basis. I love this automation. It is hassle free, time saving and most importantly, it consistently make the transfer on time.

3) Reading, reading and more reading
We are human. Our mood and judgement easily affected by our emotion. When I feel like I am lagging on financial matter, I will read on articles or book to keep my financial management spirit high.

4) Engaged with others with similar motive
I realised that it is also important to surround myself with the 'likeminded' people. I learned a lot from other bloggers. And most importantly, their success provided me a strong courage to continue with my own financial journey.

So, how do you motivate yourself to stay on financial track?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

PTPTN Repayment: How To Check PTPTN Pin Number or 'Nombor Pinjaman'?

I remember there was one time which I wanted to log in to check my online PTPTN account statement (Penyata Pendidikan Konventional) but I had forgotten my PTPTN Pin Number and the PTPTN letter with the log in pin was at another location. Since that incident, I saved my PTPTN Pin Number or 'Nombor Pinjaman' in my smartphone.

Anyway, other than referring to the letter from PTPTN which come with the pin number or 'Nombor Pinjaman' you also can check the pin number or 'Nombor Pinjaman' by c
alling PTPTN hotline, 03-2080 4455 03-21933000. This is the fastest and easiest way to get the PTPTN 'Nombor Pinjaman' for you to log in to PTPTN Epay website. Just follow the steps below, then you'll be able to get your 'Nombor Pinjaman' in a minute:

1) Call to PTPTN hotline, 
03-2080 4455 03-21933000
(You will be attended by auto attendant system)
2) Choose option 4 for Inquiries on 'Nombor Pinjaman';
3) Choose option 1 for Mycard holder;
4) Enter your 12 digits Mycard number followed by #. Example, 880512019989#;
5) Choose option 1 to get your 'Nombor Pinjaman';
6) Get ready your pen and paper because within a few seconds, the auto attendant will let read out your 5 digits 'Nombor Pinjaman'.

Simple and I think it is available 24 hours because I called at 10pm and still able to get my 'Nombor Pinjaman'. From my latest checking, operation hours is mon-fri, 8am-7pm and sat-sun, 8am-5pm, public holiday will be closed.

Hope the above helps!

photo credit: PTPTN Epay.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Internet Speed In Asia

In my one of my previous post last year, I wrote about expensive broadband service in Malaysia. Recently, I came across an article, Internet Speed In Asia from The Star Online. From the graphic, it shows we are so far away from most Asia countries, including Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. 

No wonder my  brother-in-law from Taiwan laughed at me when I told him I am paying RM117.65 per month for 1Mbps internet service. He said 'it is expensive and super slow'. Well, I told him for normal internet user like me, it is still ok. But, for user who is accessing rich content files, it is torturing to see the files keep buffering.

I hope that, very soon, Malaysians will be offered faster internet speed with more affordable packages.

photo credit: No Providers Will Satisfy You via photopin (license)

Monday, June 8, 2015

Useful Advice For Newbies At Work

In my working years, I learned a lot and I am still learning. Along the way, I  made mistakes. I learned from my mistakes and promised not to repeat the same mistake twice. I wish someone would have shared with  me or warned me earlier before I joined the work force.

As such, I came up with some useful advice for those newbies at work:

1) Know the Importance of 'Black and White'
Always request for formal email and keep a printed copy of important information. Try to avoid receiving and executing important instruction verbally. Even if the other party prefer not to provide you the 'black and white' always practice to send him/her an email, detailing the conversation.

2) No Gossips
Do not join in gossips in office. It won't bring you any advantage.

3) No Office Politics
Avoid office politics. Do not join any of the groups. Be neutral. Try to steer away if someone wish to drag you to join the office politics.

4) Know Well What is Categorized under 'Private & Confidential Information'
Some information such as salary package, commissions, bonus and increment are categorized under private and confidential. Do not show off your salary or bonus to your colleague as it might create conflicts between you and the colleague. These information is better kept to yourself only.

5) Mind Your Language
Use professional language in all of your dealings. If you think you are not up to the standard, learn to pick up from night classes, read books or learn online to enhance your language.

6) Learn to Write Proper and Professional Email
It is important to be able to put your words properly especially in corporate communications. Avoid harsh words. If you have doubts, search online for email etiquette.
7) Be Sensitive To Your Surroundings

There are situation where you can sense something even though no one talk about it. Take note of small gestures, facial expression, eye contacts and other body languages. Sometimes, it might be something good, and sometimes, it might be something negative. 

8) Respect Your Superior

I know many who complains about their superior. No matter what, you must respect your superior. He is there for a reason. 

9) Learn to Say No
Don't be a 'Yes Man'. Say No at the right time. Otherwise, others will take advantage of your kindness. Learn to draw the boundary as early as possible.

10) Never Trust Anyone 100%
Among all, this is the most important advice. Do not trust anyone 100%, leave some room for yourself. 

I hope my sharing above will benefits you.

photo credit: IMG_0104 via photopin (license)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Get Rich Quick Scheme

Recently my hubby been invited by his friend to attend a sharing session on 'high returned investment'. Earlier, the friend had shared with hubby that he had started earning good money since joining the program about 2 months ago. Out of curiosity, my hubby attended the sharing session. Hubby said the turned out was so good and the sharing session was very interesting. Most of the speakers are 'millionaires' now.

But, my hubby know this is another Get Rich Quick Scheme. No products sold. Just make your own investment first, then bring in new members (with new investment) and you can start earning your 'commission' or 'bonus'. The more friends or downlines you have, the more money  you will received. By logically thinking, how can bringing new friends can bring us money? They claimed they invest the money collected in high risk trading. But, how can their fund managers are so smart, every time making good money? Hubby doubt it. I doubt it too.

This is really similar to some Get Rich Quick Scheme which existed in Malaysia few years ago, among them is Genneva Gold Scheme, and another famous one is Swiss Cash.

Despite many news reported on these investment scams, people still fall into these unauthorized investment scheme and at high risk of losing their hard earned money. The sad parts is, hubby said, most of those turned up during the sharing session were retiree who wish to make some money with their EPF@KWSP savings, which they had just withdrew. I can't imagine what will happened to their hard earned money...

Saturday, May 23, 2015

How To Become A Smart Consumer?

In this GST era, it is important for all of us to learn to become a smart consumer to stretch our Ringgit further. Thus, I share below some of the steps we can learn to become a smart consumer:

1) Compare prices
I noticed that prices in some of the supermarket in Kuching are much more higher than the other supermarkets. Try to visit different supermarket when you do your next weekly grocery shopping, then you will see the differences.

2) Purchase based on 'needs' and not 'wants'
Buy only what you need. Only if you have additional budget, occasionally go for what you want.

3) Know your right as a consumer
Ask for the official receipt. Look at small printings on products vouchers. Check the expiry date on items. Ask for details if you feel something is not right - be it the service, the price, the quality of the products.

4) Survey and gather information before making big purchases
Take time to survey whether online or walk in to stores to gather as much information as possible before making big purchases. It will be painful if later you realized that you had overpaid for what you bought or there's a better package/deal somewhere else.

5) Support retails shop with good practices
This is super important. If all consumer practice this, we all will be surrounded by happy consumers. Try to avoid supporting those retails shops who are taking advantage over consumer by offering overpriced products or provide poor customer service.

6) Plan your purchases
There is no need to go grocery shopping 3 times a week. It is wasting our time, our money and our energy. Plan for a weekly grocery shopping instead.

7) Think for long term benefits
Always think for long term benefits especially for big purchase items.

8) Be careful of the word 'SALE'I noticed that some departmental store in Kuching is always on 'SALE'. From Jan through Dec, there is always sales - Clearance Sale, Mega Sale, Factory Sale, Crazy Sale. But, in actual only some items are with discounted price. And for some clothing, they increased the price prior to the sale period. For example, the actual price of a blouse is RM80, but during sale season, the price increased to RM100, with 20% discount. So, the price after discount is still RM80. In actual, there's no discount at all.

As a consumer, we have our right to choose where and how to spend our money. We all  must learn to become smart consumers in other to create a place with better living quality. More smart consumer will also be  able to create better quality product with reasonable price and improved service quality.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Why You Should Start Paying Your PTPTN Study Loan

For those PTPTN borrowers who had graduated and started earning an income, and still have not started paying your PTPTN study loan, I shared below the reasons which prompted me to start paying my PTPTN study loan:

1) No Free Money
I always believe there is no free lunch and no free money. We need to pay back based on what we had agreed in the offer letter. PTPTN is still very kind to offer scholarship for those with excellent result. Last year, PTPTN also offered up to 20% discount for those borrower who wish to make full settlement for their study loan. If you still wish for free money, then try you best to obtain a Bachelor Degree with First Class Honour. Else, we still need to pay back our PTPTN study loan.

2) Prove That You Are Someone with Responsibility 
Most PTPTN borrowers are tertiary students from IPTA and IPTS. Prove that we are graduates with high responsibility.

3) To Ensure Continuation of PTPTN 
Think about the financial support for our younger siblings or our children. If most PTPTN borrowers did not pay back their study loan, where will our future generations get their financial assistance to support their tertiary education?

4) To Avoid Hassle In Future
With the offer letter we signed, PTPTN has the right to take action when PTPTN did not received the payment as per scheduled in the offer letter. Since last year, PTPTN has started to 'black list' borrowers who refused to pay back their study loan. As for me, I wish to have a peace of mind and not to be troubled with study loan matter. Thus, I choose to pay my PTPTN study loan.

I hope what I share above is convincing enough for you to start your PTPTN study loan repayment journey.

photo credit: Loan via photopin (license)

Saturday, May 16, 2015

A Change Of Lifestyle

A few days ago, I read this article from The Malaysian Insider. I feel envy of this young couple for daring to take the big challenge and big change of their lifestyle - from corporate executive to organic farming.

I strongly believe this is not as easy decision to make, especially at such a young age, 27 years old. Most youngsters at this age still in their 'partying phase'. But, I really support them for this decision and hope that their organic farm will be well know soon.

I myself come from farming background. My father own a huge orange orchard, where my siblings and me spent most of our childhood. And till now, I still take leave from my work and spend my days with my parents at their orchard. Every time when I go to visit my parents' orchard, I would feel very happy and looking forward for the trip. Till today I still feel amazed to see vegetables and plants growing from the soil. 

So, I can understand when I read that the young couples really looking forward to start their days at their organic farm. Seem like life become more purposeful for them.

Are you willing to make such a drastic change to your lifestyle?

Monday, April 27, 2015

Forth Week After GST Implementation

Two weeks ago, I went to a bakery to look for sweet potatoes bread. Few months back, I remember the price was RM5.50/loaf. I was surprised to see the new price tag RM6.80/loaf (inclusive of GST). No wonder, there's quite a lot of sweet potatoes bread left... I decided not to buy the sweet potatoes bread too. Not because I can't afford it but I strongly disagree with the way some businessman running their business. 

Last weekend, hubby and me went to one of the local kopitiam for kolo mee and tea-c. The kolo mee still the same price, RM3.00/bowl. The kolo mee operator complained that she absorbed some of the additional cost such as soy sauce and raw kolo mee. I think if she increase the price by RM0.20, as a consumer, I still can accept it. For the tea-c, hubby and me were surprised that the price had gone up to RM1.50/small cup from the RM1.20/small cup. An increment of 25%!

Today's lunch, I went to one of the local restaurant which I used to go at least once a month. From the menu, I saw that the food's price all increased by RM0.50/plate. On top of that, this restaurant still charge 6% GST! No wonder I saw there's so much less customers compare to before... I am planning to reduce my visit to this restaurant... Again, not because I can't afford it, but because I believe, as a consumer we need to be smart. 

I have more to share but let's save it for my next post...

Update on 23 May 2015:
Today I visited the same bakery again. I noticed the price tag is now RM5.80/loaf (inclusive of GST) for sweet potatoes bread. This new price is more reasonable. Hubby asked me if I saw the price wrongly last month. But, I am sure I saw the price correctly. Anyway, this is great to know.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

KWSP@EPF Full Withdrawal Stays At 55

This week, the hot topics for many Malaysian is on the 'Enhancement Initiatives of EPF Scheme'. Among the initiatives is to raise the full withdrawal to 60 from the current 55. From 21 Apr till 5 May 2015, KWSP@EPF is inviting its member to contribute their opinion through the online survey by logging in to i-Akaun. Since I am an i-Akaun user, so, last night I took some time to log-in, to further understand the enhancement scheme. 

Among the questions asked is whether the member agree or disagree to raise the current full withdrawal age to 60 years old. Of course I disagree because I think at 60, I will be too old to enjoy my retirement fund. Other than this, KWSP@EPF also shared a few options to maximize its members' retirement fund. The survey consist of a few sections with clear explanation and example on some of the questions asked. I spent about 30mins to complete the survey. I find that it is important to further understand the meaning of the question ask by clicking on the explanation and examples provided. Because, a sentence might not be able to give a clear picture of the actual meaning of that question. At the end of the survey, member is given an opportunity to leave a comment.

Overall, I would say KWSP@EPF had done a great job in creating the online survey to gather feedback from its member. And as at today, more than 50K member had responded to the online survey.

Based on the survey, today, Prime Minister had also announced that KWSP@EPF full withdrawal stays at 55. You can read the article here.

I would still strongly encourage you to participate in the survey. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

First Week of GST Implementation

Today marks the first week of GST implementation in Malaysia. This is the hottest topic at the moment. Within this week, hubby grumbled a few times about some coffee shop who had increased their price. As for me myself, I noticed some cafe and kopitiam also had increased their price of foods. And on top of the new price, some also impose GST 6% on the bill. It is obvious that some of the shop operators are taking advantage of GST implementation to increase the price of their food. At one of the kopitiam, hubby asked the shop operator why the tea-c which was priced at RM1.30 before is now RM1.50 (15% increment)? The shop operator replied, it was because the price of evaporated had increased. Hubby shared with me some simple calculation. Let's assume, a can of evaporated milk which cost around RM3 can produce 10 cups of tea-c, then the new price of the evaporated milk would be RM5! That is ridiculous! 

A friend who had a bowl of kolo mee (Kuching local noodle) during the weekend complained that the price had increased from RM3.00 to RM3.50. That is almost 17% increment!

I am wondering if we can complain to KPDNKK for the 2 cases above...

That's just 2 stories from me for the first week of GST implementation.

Isn't it GST supposed to reduce the burden of the rakyat?

Monday, March 30, 2015

Pre GST Shopping Rush

I noticed people started talking about pre Goods and Services Tax (GST) shopping weeks before it's implementation on 1st April 2015. Since last Friday, traffic started to get congested and I saw many people went shopping around Kuching town. Among the goods sought after were electrical items, furniture and daily necessities such as toothpaste, detergent, toilet papers, baby diapers, shampoo, coffee powder, chocolate drinks, milk powder and canned food. 

Over the weekend, local tv news reported many shoppers crowded the shopping malls with both hands and trolley full with items. Local newspapers also reported on mad shopping.

Yesterday, when I myself went for weekly grocery shopping at a nearby supermarket, I was surprised to see many shoppers and the car-park was full. As for me myself, I only bought those items I need. No stocking as hubby and me don't usually consume a lot of daily necessities. For those with huge family size, I think it's wise to make bulk purchase for daily necessities as 6% savings of items purchased before GST would mean quite a lot for them. Just make sure to plan and purchase items as needed and make sure to use the items before the expiry date.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

PTPTN: 20% Discount For FULL Study Loan Repayment

In one of my previous post, I shared on the process and procedure on how to make full PTPTN loan repayment. I also shared that I was given 20% discount when I told the PTPTN officer I wish to make full settlement for my PTPTN study loan.

So, for all PTPTN borrowers who wish to save some money, you may proceed to any PTPTN counters by 31 March 2015 to enjoy 20% discount when you make full PTPTN loan repayment. You may read the news here. My advice would be - do not turn up last minutes on 31 March 2015. Plan and visit PTPTN counter the earlier possible. Some times, it can be a very busy and packed day at PTPTN office especially with important due dates like 31 March 2015.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Lee Kuan Yew: The Last Farewell To My Wife

Last night, I read the eulogy by Singapore Minister Mentor, Mr Lee Kuan Yew which was delivered at the funeral service of his wife, Madam Kwa Geok Choo at a private ceremony at Mandai Crematorium on 7 Oct 2010. 

When I finished reading the eulogy, I had tears at the edge of my eyes. I would say, it is very touching, inspiring and full with warmth and love. She was a great woman. A woman with great intelligence and great capability who is also friendly, warm and considerate. I believe she had positively influenced Mr Lee in many ways. When I read 'Without her, I would be a different man, with a different life', that's the moment I felt tears in my eyes.

She had lived a very meaningful live.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Why Do Employees Leaving The Corporate World?

For those who are in the corporate world and for those who had left the corporate world, you should know what I am talking about. Why do more and more employees are leaving the corporate world? Well, I have some of the reasons:

1) Could not stand the work pressure
The work pressure is from everywhere - your immediate superior, your colleagues, your customers, your competitors, your CEO... I think not many people willing to be in this stressful working environment for long. Some healthy pressure is good for a better achievement but only a robot can handle continuous pressure, unrealistic target and never ending deadlines.

2) Organizational blame game
My colleague and I call this, 'throw the ball around game'. When an issue happened, no one trying to find solutions to it, instead they find someone to blame and try to throw the issue to another department. The issue ended unsolved and might cause losing customers. Instead learning from the mistake and working together to prevent the same issue from happening again, the blame game will only bring further harm to the organization.

3) Too many office politics
Wow... this is really a game that many would not want to be involved but sad to say, it's hard to avoid in a big organization. Even a small office of two or three person cannot run away from office politics. Not to mentioned big corporate with hundreds of employees where most of these employees only concern about their own personal benefits. Back stabbing can happened anytime anywhere. I always tell myself that never trust all they said, leave some room for the real story.

4) Repeating negative events
It is always somewhere, on one fine day, big boss call a colleague (well, quite a good employee who had contribute for years for the company) to his room. The next thing would be that colleague packing up and was informed that he's been made redundant. Few months on the road, another person had to go. No one deserved to be treated like this!

5) Dysfunctional human resource department
I always believe human resource play a very important role in a development of an organization especially huge organization. After all, employment started and ended with human resource involved. Some strict policies must be applied to everyone for the company's benefits. No special treatment for that somebody. I believe it is especially important for human resource to properly 'screen through' the candidates before offering long term employment. Some negative attitudes spread faster than a typhoon :p

6) Realization that there's more to life than that corporate job
Towards some points, we will realize that there's more to our life than that corporate job. Maybe time and experience had mold us into a better person. Maybe the corporate world had taught us something that we are now looking at things differently. Maybe the long stressful working hours had not only draining our energy but also taking away some part of our healthy body. 

Are you considering leaving the corporate world? Share with me what are the reasons you are leaving or planning to leave the corporate world.

photo credit: Boat-plank illustration via photopin (license)

Friday, March 6, 2015

Hit & Run @ Kuching

Last Monday, my car was being hit & run at a junction. When I saw a 4WD coming very fast from my left side, I quickly stop my car. But, I was shocked when I saw the way the 4WD driver drove through and teared my front bumper and scratched some part of my car. He didn't stop and checked on my car, but he just pretend that nothing happened. Luckily I remember his car plate. So, I went to the nearest police station and was advised to lodge a report at police traffic station. Before that, the kind police officer at the police station had helped me to check the owner of the car plate, but she was not able to reveal more information. So, I proceed to lodge my police report at another police traffic office.

Upon completing the report, the investigation officer said he will help to trace the driver but of course I must cooperate. Because the 4WD is a company car, so I tried to search for the location of the company. Finally, I found the location of the company which is nearby the location of my car accident. The next day, my hubby and me went to the company and asked the owner of the company and shared with her the hit & run accident which happened the day before. She said the car belongs to the company and she knew the driver who drove the 4WD the day before. But, he's not at work. She promised to call back within a few days. 

On Wednesday evening, she called back and told me that her big boss would like to see me to further understand the accident situation. So, on the forth day, hubby and me went to see the big boss. He is quite a serious but nice man. We also met up with the driver of the 4WD, but he claimed that I hit him at the back of his 4WD. Since he was not willing to admit his mistake, the big boss said it's better to make a police report and let police investigate the matter. This is also, because I had made a report earlier, so he also need to make a police report. Four of us went to the police traffic office. Too bad, the investigation officer was on leave. So, we all had to come back on the next day, which was Friday. When the driver was making the police report, he claimed that I hit his 4WD and I was turning into a one way lane. His information was completely wrong as I had stopped my car and my car is static. The road is a two way road. I also heard that his licence is 'P licence'. My hubby and me was quite angry but I am confident it was his fault. Upon completing his report, the big boss asked for my hubby mobile number and said that he will call my hubby in the evening for 'some arrangement'. But, that evening, my hubby didn't receive any call from him.

On Friday, while hubby and me were getting ready to go to the police traffic office, the big boss called and said he's willing to pay for my car repair. And for the police traffic compound, we both share half of the payment. I agreed on the arrangement, partially, because I feel pity for the driver. I believe he unintentionally hit my bumper and scratched my car. And if the police officer started investigation on him, he will be in trouble as he didn't make police report within 24 hours and he didn't place the 'P' sign in front and at the back of his 4WD. And most importantly, he hit my car and run and he's also can be charged with dangerous driving. I believe he's too scared to stop his car and come down to check.

As for my car repair, the amount that the big boss pay wass not enough to cover and I still need to top up some cash on my own. But, I don't really mind as I hope to solve the matter as soon as possible. I just hope that the drive can learn a lesson here and be a responsible driver.

photo credit: IMG_0655 via photopin (license)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

How To Top Up Manulife PRS Investment Through Online Banking

To top-up my Manulife PRS Investment, I have a few options below:

1) Write a cheque to Manulife Asset Management Services Berhad;
2) Pay cash to my PRS advisor;
3) Through online banking or e-banking

Since I am a Maybank2u user, so it's much more easier to top-up my Manulife PRS Investment through MBB online banking. You will be able to find the guidelines on online payment on Manulife Asset Management Services Bhd website.The steps are similar, just that for PRS investment, I need to select Manulife Asset Management Services Bhd (PRS Pension). Instead of key-in the investment account number, I need to key-in my full name (as per IC) and my New IC number. My advisor said that, the system will automatically top-up based on full name and New IC number. 

To be on the safe side, I also email the payment receipt to my advisor. A few days after my transfer done, I saw my investment been updated accordingly. 

If you are not a Maybank2u user, you still can make an online GIRO transfer to Manulife Asset Management Services Bhd Maybank account. You may request the Maybank account number from your advisor.

Hope the above helps.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Retirement Guidelines

I love reading on retirement matter. This article on The Star Online today provides a good guidelines on retirement mistakes to avoid. Some thoughts after reading this article:

1) Plan early and take advantage of 'The power of compounding interest'. The earlier you start your retirement savings, the longer duration you will have and the bigger your retirement fund will grow.

2) Do not rely on EPF@KWSP alone for your retirement planning. Do additional retirement saving such as Private Retirement Scheme (PRS) or have additional investment with unit trust companies.

3) Take consideration of the effect of inflation in your retirement planning. If you think you need RM3000/month and to retire in 10 years, then you might actually need RM5000/month to retire by taking consideration of 6% inflation yearly.

4) Have a good medical coverage and purchase the policy as early as possible. As we age, the needs for medical care increase. A good medical coverage will greatly lessen the financial burden.

5) Learn to take risk to grow your nest egg. Ensure a portion of your nest egg is under high income generating portfolio.

No matter at what junction of our life, let's take some time and plan for our retirement.

photo credit: Retirement via photopin (license)

Saturday, February 7, 2015

EPF@KWSP - EPF Declares 6.75 Percent Dividend Rate For 2014

EPF@KWSP today declares  6.75% dividend rate For 2014. This is much better compare to last year dividend rate which was 6.35%.

I am a bit surprised with the high dividend rate because I was thinking the dividend rate for 2014 might dropped compare to 2013 due to volatile market situation and slow economic in the global market. But, of course I am very happy with the 6.75% dividend rate.

Based on the announcement on EPF@KWSP website, contributors may view their updated account statement via i-Akaun or check through EPF Kiosks or visit any EPF@KWSP branches starting from Sunday, 8 Feb 2015.  I managed to log in to my i-Akaun and the 2014 dividend already credited to my account. Double Thumps Up to EPF@KWSP for the great work done!

 Let's hope for many more fruitful years ahead.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Are You Financially Prepared for 2015?

Reading a recent post 'Are You Financially Prepared for 2015?' on The Star Online, I couldn't agree more on the general guidelines listed down by Mr Yap Ming Hui. Read it up and allow yourself some time to digest the 9 guidelines listed.

Even though it's now almost the end of the first month of 2015, I always believe it's never too late to pick up some meaningful and useful lessons. Many expect a tough year ahead for fellow Malaysians - with GST implementation, increased prices of goods and services, unstable fuel market, slow economic growth. So, let us be prepared and hope for a smooth 2015 ahead.

photo credit: construct via photopin cc

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

'I Want It Now' Attitude @ Instant Gratification vs Delayed Gratification?

From my observation, one of the main difference between the older generation (Gen X) and the younger generation (Gen Y or Millennial - birth years 1980s) is Gen Y have very strong 'I Want It Now' attitude, while Gen X prefer to plan and take time to have the things they wish for. For example, purchasing a new car. For Gen Y, they prefer to buy the expensive new car which is most of the time, out of their budget, but Gen Y will try to get financial assistance from their parents. For Gen X, they prefer to get a cheaper or smaller or not that fancy car / secondhand car for their daily commute purpose, until they managed to save for their dream car. And usually, Gen X do not prefer to have financial support from parents or family members.

Another example would be the way Gen X and Gen Y manage their finances. Gen X are usually more reserved and careful with their finances, with many considerations and planing especially for big purchases such as a car or a house. For Gen Y, I would say they are very 'happy go lucky' type. Many of them will think 'life is too short', so, why have to worry about so many uncertain things? Why not enjoy life to the fullest while we are still alive? Usually, they will spend whatever they have and sometimes even spend their future money (credit cards, personal loans).

Somehow, Gen Y's attitudes will move the market and keep the market going which is a good thing. But, the problem happened when they overspend and not able to pay back whatever they have spent. 

Gen X's attitude might not be so good for the economy but at least it's more realistic and careful. 

I would say the best would be a combination of Gen X and Gen Y attitudes. I would prefer 70% Gen X attitude and 30% of Gen Y attitudes. I would like to have a protection for myself and my family, a portion of income saved for emergency, a portion of income invested and a portion of income under 'free spending - eating out, vacations, entertainment.  With this, I can enjoy life!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Food Price Hike

Reading the news 'Hawkers raise prices' on The Star Online, I am not sure what is your reaction. If me, definitely I will reduce my visits to these hawkers or eateries who had overcharged their food.

Locally in Kuching, I noticed some famous eateries had increased their food price by RM0.50 to RM1.00. The beef noodle which was previously sold at RM6.50 is now RM7.50 per bowl. And I noticed the portion is also reduced. Some of the 'kolo mee' stall had also increase their price by RM0.30 to RM0.50 per bowl. In one of the hawkers center, the 'tea-c' drink is sold at RM2.20, and there's only one size. These are just a few of the examples I myself encounter.

I am not sure how these hawkers and food operators can simply increase the price of their food. They can just put the blame on the increase price of fresh ingredients. If situation continues, I strongly believe, there will be less customers going to these hawkers centre and coffeeshops. I also think that, nowadays, consumers starting to be more concern on the price they are paying for their food. Consumer are getting smarter now. They are smart enough to choose where and which eateries to go.

photo credit: YeeJen via photopin cc

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Problem with Full Time Employment

Sometimes, I think the main reason with full time employment is, it leaves no time for the person to think and plan ahead for his future. The busy day to day schedule, the never ending deadlines always make a person feeling tired towards the weekend, resulting to be too exhausted to think or plan for his future path. 

Perhaps this situation is not that bad in developed countries where employees have specific of number of work hour per week, and the wages is by hours of work done. In developing countries like Malaysia, employees are expected to work extra hours and some times they have to bring back their workload to their home. In my earlier days, I used to work till very late in the evening and usually I was the first to arrive in the office. Sometimes, also turned up on Saturday, trying to settle those unfinished paperworks. Along the way, I learned to prioritize my tasks better. At the same time, I also promised myself that I will follow my working hours as in my letter-of-offer and I will leave my workplace on time and most importantly, I will not bring home my work. After working hours, all these are my personal time and for my personal matters. With this, situation gets better. I feel less exhausted and have some time to think ahead and some time to free my mind from being occupied by work related matter. At least, some time for me to enjoy other things other that work.

But, I believe many are still trapped in the busy schedule of full time employment, leaving little space for us to really think and plan ahead for our own direction. Of course, one can say, it always up to the person. If he really want to plan for his future, he will find time for his planning. He will not blame on other factors such as busy working life leaving him no time for planning.

No matter what, I strongly believe, one should take time and think about his own future. Take some time to reflect on the past, learn from it and plan for a better future.

photo credit: Dakotilla via photopin cc

Monday, January 5, 2015

Gender Pay Gap In Malaysia

First of all, I would like to greet all my readers a Happy New Year 2015! May you will have many awesome news in 2015 and may you will be blessed with good health and great wealth. 

Among the news I read this morning is this news from The Star Online. It's an article about the wages for Male verses Female workers in Malaysia. Sad to say that in most sector, there is still a huge gape between wages for male and female in Malaysia, with male being paid about 25% more than their female counterparts except in certain industries such as the construction industry.

I am wondering, for the same position / vacancy in corporate sector, will a male and female candidate to be offered the same basic pay or package?

I am not against Men to be paid more than Women. But, an average of 25% wage difference across most industries and most level of jobs (entry level, service and sales, skilled workers, managers, professionals) and in different states - this is a huge difference. It would be more balance if in same industries or entry level, women earn more than men.