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Malaysia is on the road to becoming an ageing nation come 2020. Recently, NST Online reported that there will be 3.5 million people aged 60 by next year, and the figure is expected to rise to 6.3 million in 2040.
According to the Federation of Reproductive
Health Associations Malaysia president Datuk Dr. Kamaruzzaman Ali, the country
would face immense implications in human resources as well as services for the
While most people would rely on their pension scheme once they retire, many have insufficient funds to last them at least 20 years. With rising life expectancy (72.5 years for males and 77.4 years for females), medical coverage cost, and cost of living, most Malaysians can’t afford to retire comfortably, according to an economist’ analysis published by The Star Online.
Many retirees who are dealing with
insufficient pension funds have opted to rejoin the workforce in order to
remain financially independent and maintain their lifestyle. However, retirees
returning to work may face their own set of challenges that their younger
counterparts don’t, like ageism in the workplace or during the hiring process.
let such challenges deter you from reentering the workforce; we’ve got a few helpful
tips for retirees to start working again:
1. Increase your marketability by upgrading your skills
To make yourself more attractive to employers, you’ll need to upgrade your soft and hard skills. Find out what the most in-demand skills are, and learn more about them. According to a recent LinkedIn analysis, the most in-demand skills in 2019 are:
Mobile application development
Natural language processing
Social media marketing
Customer service systems
The most in-demand skills differ across industries, so find out what they are in the industry of your choice. Some of the best places to take affordable online courses on the skills listed above include LinkedIn Learning, Next Academy, Udemy, and Udacity.
Most companies prefer hiring young workers, so your best bet is to apply to companies that welcome senior workers who are returning to work. One of the best job platforms on the market that cater to senior workers is Hire.Seniors.
The much-needed job platform for seniors,
which was founded by Sharmila Sinnathurai and Jasmin Amirul Ghani, also offers
flexible work-from-home opportunities besides full-time positions. Other
services that senior workers can take advantage of include resume writing,
interview preparation, and personalised coaching.
Another option is JobStreet, which features a few jobs for retirees as well. Key in ‘retiree’ in the search bar to find the jobs instantly.
PartTimePost is where you can find flexible
and part-time jobs at various Malaysian companies and also top companies like
Louis Vuitton Malaysia, Club Med, Foodpanda, IKEA, GrabCar, Guardian, Toyota,
Poney, Resort World Genting, and YTL Corporation.
The platform is also user-friendly, where they
categorise job openings based on different types of job seekers, for example,
Single Parent, Retiree, Person With Disability (OKU), and even Non-Malaysians.
Find jobs easily that best match your schedule or situation.
Check out their Retiree section. Also, if you’re planning to apply for a work-from-home job, watch out for the common scams.
Gig economy is the future. If you’re
unfamiliar with the term, it basically refers to a free market system in which
temporary positions are common and organisations contract with independent
workers for short-term engagements.
According to Harvard Business Review, success in the gig economy comes from a balance between viability and vitality. Build your ‘gig economy portfolio’ by working on a few part-time jobs of your choice, according to your availability, location, interest, and skills.
Gig economy also allows you to make money
through mobile apps, whether online or in the real world. Some of the most
popular gig economy jobs in Malaysia include personal shopper, answering
surveys, e-hailing driver, food delivery, and online tutor.
Can gig economy workers earn as much as their full-time counterparts? Yes, it’s possible. For example, Harian Metro reported on a Grab driver who earned about RM800 a week in his free time (which means he earned about RM3200 a month).
For those who are interested in becoming a driver for an e-hailing service company, you might also be interested in signing up for SOCSO’s Self-Employed Employment Injury Scheme. The benefits of this scheme are:
Temporary Disablement Benefit
Permanent Disablement Benefit
Facilities for Physical,
Vocational Rehabilitation and Return To Work Programmes
Do you have neighbours or friends in the area
who owns a business? Ask them for leads. You’d be surprised to know that there
might be part-time jobs available in your hometown. Sometimes such jobs are not
even advertised publicly, so inquire within, or go straight to the business
owner. Plus point if you know him or her personally.
Unpaid volunteer work can sometimes lead to a
paid part-time position in retirement if you show the right skills and attitude
to a nonprofit. If a paid position becomes available, you might be the person
they’re interested in hiring.
7. Reach out to your former employers, colleagues, or clients
Sometimes you need to have the right
connection to get the best job. Reach out to your former employers, colleagues,
or clients to find lucrative opportunities. The people who have worked with you
may have an ideal job or project to offer, or they could also point you towards
an available opportunity.
Being one of Malaysia’s top destinations,
Melaka needs no introduction. Listed as a UNESCO world heritage site in 2008,
the historically charming Melaka town attracts thousands of visitors on a
With so much to offer, it’s almost impossible
to resist spending only a day or two in Melaka. From savouring the scrumptious
chicken rice balls to visiting the majestic Melaka Sultanate Palace Museum,
you’d need at least four days to explore all the historical places.
For honeymooners or small families on a
budget, Melaka is also home to charming boutique hotels at affordable prices.
Such boutique hotels not only more pocket-friendly, but they also offer quality
services and unique, personalised experience.
Make your visit to Melaka a memorable one by staying at one of these boutique hotels under RM200 with a heritage vibe:
Featuring a Baba and Nyonya theme, Ohana House
HQ offers facilities that include free WiFi, designated smoking area, and
public parking (charges may be applicable).
Location: Jalan Jawa, Melaka
Attractions: Porta de Santiago, Jonker Street (and the
Night Market), The Stadthuys, Baba Nyonya Museum, Cheng Ho Cultural Museum,
Hang Jebat Museum, Sam Po Kong Temple, St John’s Fort, and the Straits Chinese
per night: RM79 – RM199 depending on room type
2. D’ Riverside Boutique Inn
Source: D’Riverside Inn’s Facebook Page
D’ Riverside Boutique Inn is a 9-bedroom
heritage building renovated to a modern boutique hotel, with an amazing
interior display featuring authentic antique collections. Offering free
breakfast, the hotel’s facilities include WiFi and mini safe box.
Location: Jalan Bunga Raya, Melaka
Attractions: China Town, Little India, Jonker Street,
and Melaka Historical Town
Layang-Layang Guest House is nestled in a building believed to be over 100 years old. Back in the olden days, it used to be a brothel and an opium den! It is modernized now with all facilities yet has an old world charm. Further, the guesthouse also has a beautiful courtyard, bicycles for rent, and free WiFi.
Location: Jalan Tukang Besi, Melaka
Attractions: Jonker Street (and the Night Market), and
Melaka Historical Town
Located by the river with a romantic view of
Old Melaka, Little House by the River is too good a bargain to miss. Priced at
only RM150 per night for the entire 2-storey house, the place is especially
perfect for small families or honeymooners wanting privacy.
Location: The Melaka River
Attractions: Jonker Street and Melaka Historical Town
per night: RM150 for the entire house
Book HERE(12% off for bookings made on Jan 30 – Feb 12)
Offering local and English-style breakfast
options daily for all guests, Heeren House is another strategically located
boutique hotel worth checking out. Their facilities include an airport shuttle,
parking spaces, and free WiFi.
Location: Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Melaka
Attractions: Jonker Street, Baba & Nyonya Heritage
Museum, Melaka Clock Tower, The Stadthuys, Christ Church Melaka, St. Paul’s
Church, Church of St Francis Xavier, Menara Taming Sari, Porta de Santiago, and
Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall
per night: RM152 – RM162 depending on room type
Another top boutique hotel overlooking the
Melaka River, Wayfarer Guest House is a family-run guest house with free WiFi
and kitchen for basic cooking. A special treat for cat lovers, many cute and
clean stray cats sometimes stop by the house during the day.
Location: The Melaka River
Attractions: Jonker Street and Melaka Historical Town
per night: RM162 (Room with River View and Balcony)
One of the most breathtaking boutique hotels
with affordable prices, Kapitan Kongsi Boutique Hotel is heaven for
Instagrammers and photography enthusiasts. Featuring Peranakan and Retro décor,
the hotel’s authentic local Peranakan cuisine at Nyonya Lin’s Kitchen by Chef
Baba Ricky is a must-try for foodies. The hotel also offers free parking and
Location: Jalan KLJ 10, Taman Kota Laksamana Jaya, Melaka
Attractions: A’Famosa, Eye on Malaysia, Baba &
Nyonya Heritage Museum, Plaza Hang Tuah, Jonker Street, Menara Taming Sari,
Melaka Clock Tower, The Stadthuys, Christ Church Melaka, and St. Paul’s Church
per night: RM140 – RM190 depending on room type
Looking to experience living in a traditional
Malay-style house? The Malay House Villa features eight rooms and facilities
that include a swimming pool with jacuzzi, an ample parking space, and free
bicycles for guests to explore Melaka.
Location: Melaka Town
Attractions: Jonker Street, Dataran Pahlawan Shopping
Mall, and Melaka Historical Town
per night: RM199 (Central Room with Private Balcony)
Life as an entrepreneur can be pretty hectic,
especially if you’re just starting out. Between long hours and coffee, there’s
hardly any room for personal interests and hobbies. Nevertheless, it is
important to take a break and dedicate some of your time towards your personal
life, especially healthy activities such as exercise, reading, and spending time
with your loved ones. In the long run, taking care of your personal health and
development is as important as taking care of your company.
Not convinced yet? Then let us tell you that some
of the world’s most successful business men also believe in this concept. So,
what’s the second common thing among these famous personalities? Well, most of
them are avid readers. Bill Gates, for example, reads one book per week while
Mark Zuckerberg goes for one every two weeks. Mark Cuban, on the other hand,
spends more than three hours every day on reading, while Warren Buffett has
been known to dedicate 80% of his day to books!
While we don’t suggest you keep your nose buried in
a book, but life is about stories. So, take inspiration from these successful
people and uncover some secrets of entrepreneurship by reading about their life
experiences and journey to success. (Who knows you might find some inspiration
for your business and someday be on a cover of your biography for someone else
to read too!)
What’s more? Good biographies not only serve to
inspire and educate us, but are also a tool for relaxation and an excellent source
of distraction (from your own life), so that you can get back to work with a
The first on our list is Elon Musk. The guy who
managed to innovate and upset the status quo in two different industries – automotive (with his company Tesla) and
space exploration (with SpaceX). Add that to his early entrepreneurial days as
co-founder of Zip2 and PayPal, and you have an engaging read.
In addition to Musk himself, author Ashlee Vance interviewed many people for the book. The result is a wonderfully amalgamated account of different points of views.
Stories about successful start-ups usually make for
engaging reads, especially when they involve the ones who manage to “disrupt”
an entire industry. This investigative book is a remarkable behind-the-scenes
story of the creation and growth of Airbnb.
From originally being just a whacky idea of the
co-founders, the online lodging platform company is now the largest provider of
accommodations in the world. Author Leigh Gallagher balances the autobiography
well, with an in-depth look at both the successes and controversies the company
has faced. Furthermore, it manages to demonstrate how the sharing economy can
be a force for emotional connection.
This book follows the story of Jack Ma, his humble
beginnings as an English teacher and how he transformed himself to become the
founder of the second largest internet company in the world. Alibaba’s IPO in
2014 was the world’s largest at $25 billion.
The CEO of WPP gave a great review of this book, quite ironically, on Amazon, Alibaba’s rival site: “Anybody who thinks the Chinese just copy or steals technology from the West should read this book and think again”.
While the three books discussed above are second
and even third-hand retellings, it is always refreshing to hear the story
first-hand; yep directly from Richard Branson. Losing My Virginity is a
compelling autobiography from the Virgin Group founder. From the airline
business, to music, retail, and financial services, Branson has become an
iconic business tycoon in the last 25 years.
Here, you will gain insights into his personal life as well as his business successes and the lessons he’s learned along the way. It is a memoir, motivational business guide, and inspiring life story all packed into one book!
Our last featured book is another autobiography,
this time from the CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella. The book chronicles
Nadella’s fascinating childhood in India to his current role at Microsoft. It
is here where he leads some of the most significant changes of the digital era.
We are currently experiencing a wave of disruptive technology such as artificial intelligence, mixed reality, and quantum computing. Throughout the pages of Hit Refresh, apart from his personal life, we also get to read Nadella’s thoughts on these scientific developments.
There are less than 24 hours before we usher
in the Year of the Pig. When it comes to finances, those who were born in the
Pig year are believed to have very good financial prospects in 2019. Overall, Pigs
will do well in their investments and get rewarded.
While we’re on the subject of getting rewards, why not earn cashback when you shop during this festive season? For those looking to upgrade their Internet plan, planning to buy a new air conditioner, or book cheaper hotel & flight tickets, and more, here are a few CNY cashback promos where you can save more when you shop during the festive season.
Grab these 10 irresistible CNY
cashback promos for a limited time before they end soon:
Fashion and beauty products
1. Up to 6% cashback and additional 10% off on sale on beauty
products at Sephora Malaysia
Sephora Malaysia is offering a deal that makeup lovers would find difficult to turn down— in addition to the 6% cashback (for new customers) and 2% cashback (for existing customers), you could get 10% off on sale products and receive Sephora CNY Red Packets when you spend a minimum of RM180.
Other interesting deals worth checking out include the ‘Beauty Last Call’ (up to 70% off on selected items), free shipping on orders RM80 and above (plus free beauty sample with every purchase), and ‘Get The Goods’ (receive beautiful gifts when you shop for your favourite brands at Sephora).
2. Up to 4% cashback and 20% off
selected items at Fashion Valet
Get up to 4% cashback (offered to all shoppers) and 20% off selected items when you shop for home-grown brands and designers at Fashion Valet. Some of the most popular brands at the store include Mimpikita, POPLOOK Premium, dUCk, emel by Melinda Looi, and TOMS.
Electronics, home appliances, and
3. Up to 3.5% cashback and 50% off on air conditioners and
water heater installation at Senheng
Thinking of installing a water heater or replacing your old air conditioner? Now is the best time to do so. For a limited time only, Senheng is offering 50% off on installation when you purchase an air conditioner or water heater, in addition to the 3.5% cashback when you shop at Senheng.
6. RM4 cashback on groceries when you shop with HappyFresh
What could be better than skipping the traffic,
the crowded mall, and having groceries delivered at your doorstep? What’s more?
Get RM4 cashback on your groceries when you shop with HappyFresh to enjoy more
7. Up to 9% cashback for food delivery with Foodpanda
Too tired to cook or busy with festivities?
Order a food delivery with Foodpanda! Besides earning up to 9% cashback, you
could also look forward to other promos, such as free delivery and 10% off on
selected restaurants on Foodpanda.
8. Up to 4% cashback and 20% off groceries when you shop with
Get up to 4% cashback, 20% off groceries, plus
free delivery when you shop for groceries with Honestbee. Other promos to check
out include discounts on baby products (22% off), alcohol and household items
(36% off), and wellness products (30% off).
10. Up to 6% cashback for hotel and flight booking and 70%
off on international hotels on Traveloka
Traveloka is offering 6% cashback on hotel
booking and 1.50% cashback on flight booking made on the platform. Other promos
worth checking out include discounts on international hotels (70% off) and the
‘Travel Now, Pay Later’ (0% interest Ezypay, 6 or 12 months instalment plan for
Maybank credit card users).
How you can use a credit card to boost your savings further
Yes, certain credit cards offer cashback on particular spending categories (like petrol, groceries or online shopping) through which you can boost your savings.
Take for example the Standard Chartered JustOne Platinum (full review here) that gives 15% cashback (capped at RM85 per month) on online spends, petrol refills and automated bill payments when you’re total monthly balance exceeds RM2,500. The card also comes with a 1-year annual fee waiver and yearly spending of RM2,000 should be able to waive off the annual fee for subsequent years too.
Also, the Alliance Bank You:nique Rebates (full review here) gives unlimited 3% cashback on all your spends when your total monthly balance falls anywhere between RM2,001 and RM3,000. The card comes with a 3-year annual fee waiver and yearly spending of RM5,000 or 12 swipes a year can waive the annual fee for subsequent years too.
And if you’re on the lookout for a credit card, our ongoing promotion might be of interest to you:
You can enjoy up to RM500 worth Petron Gift Voucher and Touch’N’Go Card, absolutely free, when you apply for a Citi, Alliance Bank or Standard Chartered Bank credit card, right here on BBazaar! Apply Today!T&Cs apply.
The Chinese New Year, which is one of the largest
festivals in the country, is set to take place this week. With a one-week
school holiday, expect a fun and busy period for all Malaysians, regardless of
their ethnic background.
As many already know, the Chinese zodiac calendar is represented by 12 different animals and this time it is the year of the Pig. Traditionally, the Chinese take the zodiac calendar very seriously and it plays an important role in making major life decisions, such as planning a baby or marriage. The pig is the last animal sign of the 12-year Chinese zodiac cycle. Although it is said to affect each individual differently according to what year they were born, this particular year is generally considered an auspicious year with plenty of wealth and fortune in store.
With an extended holiday period this week, here are attractions you can check out this Chinese New Year:
The recent blockbuster movie Aquaman took the world
by storm and created a whole new appreciation towards marine life. The comic
book-based film showcased a magical kingdom under the sea with enchanting
scenery and creatures.
Here’s some good news for you if you want some real-life dose of majestic underwater beauty. Head over to Aquaria KLCC and you’ll soon discover that you don’t need a fictional tale for you to fall in love with nature. Located beneath the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre and a stone’s throw away from the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, this place is an amazing showcase of 5,000 land bound and aquatic creature exhibits.
On selected dates this February, visitors to
Aquaria KLCC will get to witness special Chinese New Year performances. This
includes a special underwater lion dance, a one-of-its-kind show here in
Lion dances, although not usually performed underwater, are traditionally performed during this celebration period by ethnic Chinese communities around the world. Generally, two or more performers put on a colourful lion head and cloak, and accompanied by music, will try to mimic the animal’s movement. The Chinese believe that the dance can help ward off evil spirits and bring good luck.
There will also be an underwater feeding frenzy by
a man dressed up as the God of Prosperity. Also known as Choy San Yeh, he will
bless our marine friends at Aquaria with an abundance of harmony and wellness.
From the underwater world, we now travel the
opposite direction to celebrate Chinese New Year— the sky! We don’t mean amongst the clouds in a
literal sense, but by heading over to Resort World Genting, you’ll get close
The popular entertainment city is holding a special “CNY in the Sky” event from February 5 – 12 with plenty to get you excited about. Visitors will get to enjoy free all-day shows such as exciting lion dance stunts, unique LED Water Drum, an exciting Zodiac Great Race, and 1001 kinetic winches.
There will be many other fun attractions such as
the all-new Eagle Landing Zipline, new adventures at the Skytropolis Funland,
Asia’s best hyper-reality experience– The VOID,
and good old retro arcade games.
3. Shopping at Spring Festival Bazaar
To meet your festive shopping needs, a massive
Spring Festival bazaar and a Chinese New Year Village Market will be opened, together
with a new Food Truck Park. There will also be exclusive screenings of Pokémon
the Movie: The Power of Us at the Genting International Showroom.
Since this festive period is known for prosperity,
you will also get the chance to win ang pows that contain prizes, theme park
passes, dining vouchers, concert tickets and more! All you’ll have to do is
vote for your favourite CNY vendor with the best decoration. 3,148 lucky voters
will be selected every day, with a total of RM1,888,888 worth of Ang Pow up for
The Thean Hou Temple in Kuala Lumpur is one of the
oldest and largest temples in Southeast Asia. This six-tiered temple pays
homage to three main deities — Thean Hou (Heavenly Mother), Guan Yin (Goddess
of Mercy) and Shui Wei Sheng Niang (Goddess of the Waterfront). It was built by
the local Hainanese community in 1984 and is set on a hill with wonderful views
of the city.
Inside the Thean Hou Temple, you’ll find a modern
Buddhist pagoda and plenty of Buddha images enshrined in the octagonal hall. A
statue of Tian Hou sits between the Goddess of the Waterfront and the Goddess
of Mercy alongside statues of Guan Di (the God of War) and Wei. There is also a
Chinese medicinal herbs garden, a tortoise pond, and a sacred Boddhi tree.
Naturally, Chinese New Year celebrations are an
annual event here. For the Year of the Pig, there will be acrobatic and cultural
shows, installations, lion dances, a bonsai exhibition and performances
revolving around a traditional character named Pigsy.
Enjoy the festivities and let us know what you
enjoy most about the festival. Meanwhile, team Bbazaar wishes you all a very
happy Chinese New Year!
The great debate continues: is
e-ang pow better than traditional red packets? Last year, we compared
the features of e-ang pow with that of traditional ang pow. Those in favour of the
digital red packet argue that e-ang pows are convenient in cases where one is
pressed for time or the giver and receiver are living in different countries.
Those who still prefer the old school packet think e-ang
pows lack the ‘physical interaction and personal connection’, this line of
thought is more common particularly among the older generation. Both sides have
valid points, but there’s no denying that e-ang pows really do come in handy
A year ago, The Star Online reported that Maybank saw a good 30% rise in e-ang pow transactions in 2018 as compared to 18,000 transactions in 2017. With e-ang pow steadily gaining popularity in Malaysia, the trend appears to be persistent, despite the fact that only three banks are offering the e-ang pow facility in Malaysia at the moment (Maybank, Hong Leong Bank, and RHB Bank).
For those who couldn’t make it to the bank, consider sending
e-ang pows via DuitNow this time. Meanwhile, don’t forget to check out various CNY
promos by banks, particularly if you’re thinking of opening a current or
savings account and fixed deposits.
Check out the CNY promos by banks before they end:
1. Send DuitNow e-ang pows via Hong Leong Bank or RHB Bank and stand a
chance to win RM8, 888 cashback
Starting on Tuesday, February 5, you’ll stand a chance to win cash prizes worth RM88, RM888, or RM8, 888 when you make DuitNow e-ang pow transactions via Hong Leong Bank or RHB Bank.
To send DuitNow e-ang pows, you’ll need a DuitNow ID (your
IC number or your mobile number) with your respective bank. It will take you
only two simple steps to send DuitNow e-ang pows.
Basically, the more e‑ang pows you send, the more entries
you earn, the higher your chances of winning. You’ll get 1x entry when you
transfer a minimum of RM1 with DuitNow.
is offering ang pows worth RM10, RM20, RM50, and RM100 to those who send e-ang pow
or My Ang Pow QR on their banking platform. Earn five points when you make
DuitNow transaction or registration and My Ang Pow QR transaction.
Hong Leong Bank’s CNY Fixed Deposit promo offers up to 4.38% rate per annum, with a minimum of RM10, 000 per placement. The promo ends on February 28. OCBC Bank also offers a fixed deposit promo this CNY, with a rate of 3.98% for a 2-month tenure (with a minimum deposit placement of RM1, 000). The promo is only valid on Monday, February 4. If you’re looking for more options, check out the Fixed Deposit Promotion 2019 on BBazaar.
Hong Leong Bank is offering RM280 for those who open a salary account this festive season. Similarly, anyone who deposits into their Hong Leong Savings or Current Account/-i this CNY will also stands a chance to win RM8, 000. Moreover, RM800 cash prize is also up for grabs for those who deposit an amount of RM88 on Monday, February 4 (the Li Chun Bonus). Besides cash prizes, the bank also offers a Shogun Granite Reunion Set, check out all the deals here.
Doing a last minute CNY shopping? You might be rewarded with an exclusive gift when you spend with your Maybank Cards while shopping at Pavillion KL. Additionally, receive an Ang Pow Collection with a minimum spend of RM300 in a single receipt.
Promo period: January
10 – February 19, 2019
Save more on your CNY shopping with a cashback credit card
If you want to avoid overspending this festive season, you
might be interested in online
cashback shopping sites, where you can earn up to 10% cashback (or
even more) when you shop. From groceries to electronics, you’ll find
practically anything you need on such platforms. Of course, you’ll need a
cashback credit card for any retail transaction. We have 5
best cashback credit cards for you to check out!
As this January 2019 comes to an end, and you start
spending on your preparations for the awaited Chinese New Year (if you have not
done it already), it is also important to remember to your budget and (re)evaluate
your financial goals for the year.
Also, if you are one of those who had resolved to
be more tight-fisted with your expenses this year, but were unable to stick to
your goal, fret not! It is still early enough to get back on track. Like the English
saying, it’s better late than never!
From a financial perspective, here are 4 saving
targets to achieve by the end of 2019:
1. Have enough money for emergency and retirement
According to a report by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), 75% Malaysians are unable to fork out even RM1,000 for emergencies. If you belong to this group, be sure you make 2019 as the year when things change.
There are three major areas that you should
allocate your money to – for emergencies, for retirement, and for your major
personal spending, such as holidays. The first two are the more important ones.
You will need to increase your source of income and/or monthly savings, if you
are unable to put aside money.
Ideally, an emergency fund should have at least 3-6
months of your average expenses preferably parked in a separate savings account
so that it remains accessible at any given time. This is to safeguard your sustenance
if any unanticipated event (such as unemployment, delayed salary, or loss in
business) happens in the future.
As a rule of thumb, based on your income, you should
re-consider your budget and the amount of your fund allocations towards
personal spending and use it wisely for your emergency and retirement savings,
on a yearly basis.
You can only get more funds for your savings with
two methods – increasing your income and reducing your expenses. Transportation
cost is one area where you could save.
Let’s face it, the traffic in the Klang Valley is
horrendous. Getting stuck for long hours on the road translates to high fuel
costs and the condition gets worse when you consider how much you have to pay
for tolls and parking. Taking public transport might be the solution to this.
Beginning January 1, Malaysian commuters get to
enjoy a 30-day unlimited Rapid bus and rail pass. The new travel scheme will be executed through the
Touch n’ Go function that is available on MyKad and MyTentera identification
cards. The 30-day unlimited pass is available in two versions:
The RM100 pass – can be used on all Rapid Rail
services, including LRT, MRT, Monorail, the Sunway BRT service as well as
all Rapid buses, including the MRT feeder buses.
The RM50 pass – applies only for unlimited
travel on all Rapid bus services in the Klang Valley.
Here’s a saying that you may already know: ‘If you
buy what you don’t need, you steal from yourself.’ In other words, unnecessary
spending equals less money for savings. Here are just a few spending traps that
will sound familiar to many:
Subscribing to a cable connection when you barely watch TV
Buying expensive fashion accessories or clothes
Indulging in the latest and hi-tech gadgets
Pay expensive gym memberships
Investing in expensive furniture when you don’t own a home
Buying a coffee or eating out every day
Although, in isolation, these activities seem harmless or even when you do them in moderation. However, these small things can eventually lead to the bigger picture. Unless you have extra funds lying around, it is important to consider your budget before spending.
You don’t have to note down each of your spends in
a little black diary anymore, keeping track of your spending is made easier by
simply installing and using a budgeting app on your phone!
“The best way to save is by getting rid of debt,”
says Greg Hammer, a financial advisor with Hammer Financial. Furthermore,
he advised to recognize what’s happening with your finances— if your debt level is going up, declining, or remained
unchanged from the start of the year? He
suggested to make amendments in your spending habit accordingly.
If you would like to take a leaf out of his
notebook, take some time to read our blog 5 Useful Tips to Become Debt-Free, a
detailed guide on how you should go about building your counter-debt strategy.
loan does not come with any restrictions on how you can use the fund.
Furthermore, the application process is not as cumbersome and time-consuming as
some other types of loans, like a home loan.
the two sides of a coin, while it might be easier to get approval for a
personal loan, the cost of taking the loan could still put strain your
Thus, if you have taken a personal loan or planning
to apply for one, here are a few tips on how you can save on your personal loan
to repay your loan early, i.e. before the end of the tenure, you can save on
the interest and liberate your cash flow. This will also improve your income to
debt ratio, making you eligible for new lines of credit. However, we recommend you
keep in mind a few things before going for an early settlement:
Rule of 78
Rule of 78
or sum of digits is used by banks to distribute interest/profit charges across
the tenure. The method works in such a way that borrowers end up paying most of
the interest during the first few months of taking the loan. The later payments
are used to cover the principal amount that you have borrowed.
payable per month = [(total number of instalments – number of instalments
already paid) +1/ (sum of number of months)] x total rate
in Malaysia offer early settlement feature for personal loans. Consequently,
you could save on the interest by closing your loan before maturity. However, your
savings may not be significant because of this rule of 78.
Concept of Ibra
Ibra is a
concept in Islamic banking when banks (at their discretion) offer a rebate to
customers who settle their debt obligations, arising from sale-based contracts
prior to the agreed settlement period.
save on your personal financing if the Islamic bank you are dealing with offers
Ibra. The profit that you pay could be refunded if you want to settle your debt
early. Read more about Ibra here.
have a lock-in period, which means you can settle the loan only after this
period expires. This means that you will be required to make a minimum number
of payments before you can pay off the loan.
Early settlement fee
In order to
close the loan early, you might have to pay an early settlement fee, which will
again take away from your savings. Usually, Malaysian banks charge RM200 or 1%
of the approved loan amount, whichever is higher.
opting for a personal loan, it is important to keep all these factors in mind.
As a borrower, you will benefit from choosing a loan that does not charge early
settlement fee or offers a rebate. You also need to remember that early
settlement will require you to pay the full loan amount in one go. This might
not always be possible unless you save up or come into money from a different
is when you pay off the principal amount in a lump sum. By doing so, you are
bringing down the principal amount, thereby lowering the interest you pay. The
advantage here is that you can make multiple small payments to bring down the
loan amount and save on your interest or time.
payment works only if you repay an amount that is significant compared to the
amount that you have borrowed. What this means is if you have borrowed
RM50,000, then you must make sure that your partial payment is at least RM8,000
to benefit from the lowered principal rate.
banks allow part payment on personal loans, while some may require you to pay a
part payment fee. While researching on personal loans, you may want to opt for
one that allows part payment.
is when you replace your loan with another loan. Although the concept of
refinancing is normally associated with home loans, some Malaysian personal
loans, like the Standard Chartered Quick Cash EDGE, allow refinancing.
If you have
taken a loan from Bank A, you can transfer it to Bank B if the latter is
offering you better repayment terms like a lower rate of interest or a flexible
tenure. Refinancing is a good option if your current interest rate is high or the
loan rates in the market have dropped. By shifting your loan to a new bank, you
will be eligible for the new rates and can save on the interest.
can also work for you if you have multiple loans to your name. By replacing all
your loans with just one, you can save on the interest. This is called a debt
on your loan by lowering your rate of interest
the tenure to pay off the loan faster
a variable-rate loan to a fixed rate if you expect loan rates to increase
Consolidate your debt into one single loan (debt consolidation loans)
can help you save on the repayment of your personal loan, the new bank may
charge you an upfront fee to refinance. This can easily offset the savings from
refinancing. Also, keep in mind that you’ll
need a good credit score to apply for refinancing or a debt consolidation loan,
which might’ve taken a dent if you’ve been irregular with your past repayments.
This is one
of the most straight forward ways of lowering your rate of interest to save on
your personal loan. You could talk to your bank and ask to revise your
interest. Negotiating with the bank can work for both new and existing
Moreover, if you are an existing customer,
make sure that you have made regular payments, ensure that your credit score
has not dipped since you took the loan, find the current personal loan rates in
the market and research on the interest rates offered by your bank to new
customers. While this is definitely not
a sure-shot way, you can still give it a try!
Hope our tips will help you make informed
financial decisions in order to lower your personal loan cost.
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Recently, NST Online reported that the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) has been monitoring social media and bank accounts of people who have unexplained and extraordinary wealth, especially those in possession of a large amount of cash, luxury cars, jewellery, and property.
“Basically, we are looking into those who neglected or may have under-declared their income in their (income tax) filings with us,” said IRB chief executive officer Datuk Seri Sabin Samitah in the report.
If you’ve never filed your taxes for whatever reason, now is the best time to do so, especially with the ongoing Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme (SVDP or PKPS). Under this special programme, which ends in June 2019, the IRB had promised confidentiality and lenient penalty to taxpayers who may have misreported their tax filings or did not declare their income.
So all the new taxpayers, pay
attention! Here are 5 basic things about income tax in Malaysia you should be
1. Types of taxable income
In general, a taxpayer is required to pay tax
on all kinds of earnings, which may include income from employment,
commissions, overtime work, allowances, directors’ fees, dividends, rents,
royalties, and business income received by individuals, companies,
cooperatives, or associations on a yearly basis.
Creatives who are involved in the ‘digital
economy’, for example, Instagram influencers or YouTubers, are also required to
pay their taxes.
Basically, the more you earn, the higher the
income tax rate will be. The lowest percentage rate is 1%, while the highest is
28%. Here’s a table on income tax rates for individuals for Assessment Year
hefty fines awaiting those who commit these five most common tax offences
There are at least five tax offences that are
most commonly committed by Malaysians. AskLegal did an in-depth
explanation of each type of offence if you’re interested to know more.
Meanwhile, see if you accidentally commit any of these common tax offences:
Provisions under the Income Tax Act 1967
Giving bad tax advice
RM200 to RM20,000 fine and/or imprisonment
for up to 3 years
Not submitting your tax return form
RM200 to RM2,000 fine and/or imprisonment
Under declaring how much you earn
RM1,000 to RM10,000 fine plus200% of the undercharged tax
Not paying your taxes
RM1,000 to RM20,000 fine plus 300% of the tax you tried to avoid paying
Not keeping relevant documents for income tax
RM300 to RM10,000 fine and/or up to 1-year imprisonment
Tax relief refers to expenses or items that
are deductible in order to reduce the amount of tax owed by an individual or
business entity. The tax exemption list typically varies depending on
government policies announced in the Government Budget each year.
Some of the tax relief include education fees,
medical expenses, childcare fees, and purchase of lifestyle items (such as
books, magazines, computers, smartphones, tablets, sports equipment, gym
memberships, and internet subscription).
If you and your spouse would like to save
more, consider a joint filing. Most of the time, filing a joint tax assessment
allows the husband to take advantage of the additional spouse relief if the
wife earns less than RM4,000 a month.
If the working wife’s monthly income is more
than RM4,000 a month, consider a separate assessment instead, as each can take
advantage of the individual relief plus the other applicable reliefs.
According to IRB, taxpayers should keep all the
receipts for seven years to allow for smooth auditing when they’re making a
claim. Should there be anything questionable on a taxpayer’s tax form, the IRB
will ask the taxpayer to submit the receipts as evidence. Taxpayers who fail to
do so could land themselves in trouble. So when you make your claims, make sure
you have all the relevant documents to back you up.
If you earn an
annual income of RM34,000 (after EPF deduction) and above, register as a taxpayer
immediately. Failure to declare your income and filing your taxes could get you
in huge (mainly financial) troubles. A
high penalty rate of 80% to 300% will be imposed beginning July 1 for those who
fail to do so.
Look into the SVDP, which allows taxpayers to
come forward and declare any unreported income with a lower penalty rate
(10%-15%), provided you file your taxes before June 30, 2019. No further review will be made if you opt for this
programme, and your family members and/or business partners will be spared from
To get you motivated to start paying your
taxes, there are benefits to look forward to. Besides the tax relief, you could
increase your chances of getting your loan or credit application approved by a
financial institution if you are self-employed. We all know how much harder it
is for the self-employed to get a loan!
Similarly, for individuals, your past BE form
submission could get you on the bank’s good side when you’re applying for a
housing or car loan. Basically, your tax payment record could really serve you
well in this situation.