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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 elderly.

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.  

Don’t 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:

1. Soft skills

  • Creativity
  • Persuasion
  • Collaboration
  • Adaptability
  • Time management

2. Hard skills

  • Cloud computing
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Analytical reasoning
  • People management
  • UX design
  • Mobile application development
  • Video production
  • Sales leadership
  • Translation
  • Audio production
  • Natural language processing
  • Scientific computing
  • Game development
  • Social media marketing
  • Animation
  • Business analysis
  • Journalism
  • Digital marketing
  • Industrial design
  • Competitive strategies
  • Customer service systems
  • Software testing
  • Data science
  • Computer graphics
  • Corporate communications

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.

Related: 6 Websites for Affordable Online Courses to Advance Your Career

2. Consider job platforms that cater to seniors
Source: Screenshot of Hire.Seniors website

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.

Related: 7 Tips to Enhance Your LinkedIn Profile and Improve Your Job Search

3. Check out job platforms that specialise in flexible and part-time work
Source: Screenshot of PartTimePost

There are a few job platforms that specialise in flexible and part-time work in Malaysia, like PartTimePost for example (you can read our article, 8 Job Platforms to Find Work from Home Opportunities in Malaysia for more job platforms).

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.

Related: Watch Out! 4 Common Work From Home Scams in Malaysia

4. Consider joining the ‘gig economy’
Source: Elena Ermakova / Shutterstock.com

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:

  • Medical Benefit
  • Temporary Disablement Benefit
  • Permanent Disablement Benefit
  • Constant-attendance Allowance
  • Dependents’ Benefit
  • Funeral Benefit
  • Education Benefit
  • Facilities for Physical, Vocational Rehabilitation and Return To Work Programmes

Related: 8 Mobile Apps You Can Use to Make Money on the Side in Malaysia

5. Look for jobs in your neighbourhood

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.

Related: 15 Smart Tips to Ace Your Next Interview!

6. Consider volunteer work

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. 

Look for volunteer work on platforms like Do Something Good, or check out nonprofits such as World Vision, UNHCR Malaysia, WWF Malaysia, Sols24/7, PAWS Animal Welfare Society, Hospitals Beyond Boundaries, Gen Gemilang, or Suka Society.

Related: Infographic: How 5 Crucial Factors Determine Monthly Wages in Malaysia

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.

You may also like:

The post 7 Helpful Tips for Retirees to Start Working Again appeared first on BBazaar Malaysia Blog.

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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 yearly basis.

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:   

1. Ohana House HQ Source: Ohana House’s Facebook Page

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

Nearby 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 Jewellery Museum

Price per night: RM79 – RM199 depending on room type

Book HERE

Related: 10 Fun and Cheap(ish) Things to Do in Malacca

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

Nearby Attractions: China Town, Little India, Jonker Street, and Melaka Historical Town

Price per night: RM84 (Double Room)

Book HERE

Related: 7 Budget-Friendly Local Holiday Destinations with an ‘International’ Feel

3. Layang-Layang Guest House Source: Lyang Lyang’s Facebook Page

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

Nearby Attractions: Jonker Street (and the Night Market), and Melaka Historical Town

Price per night: RM95 (Standard Room with Window)

Book HERE

Related: 6 Wonderful Homestays and Villas in Malaysia That Can Give Hotels a Run for Their Money

4. Little House by the River
Source: Little House By The River’s Facebook Page

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

Nearby Attractions: Jonker Street and Melaka Historical Town

Price per night: RM150 for the entire house

Book HERE (12% off for bookings made on Jan 30 – Feb 12)

Related: 10 Simple Tips to Travel on a Budget with Your Family

5. Heeren House
Source: Heeren House’s Facebook Page

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

Nearby 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

Price per night: RM152 – RM162 depending on room type

Book HERE

Related: 10 Unique Museums in Malaysia You Must Visit!

6. Wayfarer Guest House
Source: Wayfarer Guest House’s Facebook Page

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

Nearby Attractions: Jonker Street and Melaka Historical Town

Price per night: RM162 (Room with River View and Balcony)

Book HERE

Related: 10 Flea Markets in Malaysia That Are a Shopper’s Paradise!

7. Kapitan Kongsi Boutique Hotel
Source: Kapitan’s Facebook Page

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 WiFi.

Location: Jalan KLJ 10, Taman Kota Laksamana Jaya, Melaka

Nearby 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

Price per night: RM140 – RM190 depending on room type

Book HERE

Related: 7 Amazing Weekend Getaways from Kuala Lumpur

8. Malay House Villa

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

Nearby Attractions: Jonker Street, Dataran Pahlawan Shopping Mall, and Melaka Historical Town

Price per night: RM199 (Central Room with Private Balcony)

Book HERE

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The post 8 Boutique Hotels in Melaka Under RM200 with a Heritage Vibe appeared first on BBazaar Malaysia Blog.

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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 fresh mind.

Related: 15 Best Personal Finance Books You Should Be Reading to Up Your Money Game!

Here, we list down 5 biographies which we hope to not only entertain and educate, but also stimulate the entrepreneurial spirit in you:

1. Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance
Image Source: Bookurve

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.

You can buy the book here.

Related: Thinking of Starting a Business? These 5 Money Tips Will Come in Handy

2. The Airbnb Story by Leigh Gallagher
Image Source: Kinokuniya

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.

You can buy the book here.

Related: 5 Interesting Malaysian Startups to Look Out For

3. Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built by Duncan Clark

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”.

You can buy the book online here.

Related: 5 Superb Bookstores in Malaysia Everyone Needs to Check Out!

4. Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson
Image Source: Bookurve

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!

You can buy the book here.

Related: 7 Ways You Can Get Funding for Your Business in Malaysia

5. Hit Refresh by Satya Nadella
Image Source: kinokuniya

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.

You can buy the book here.

Related: 5 Social Media Tips To Help Grow Your Business

How many have you read? Let us know who and what you inspires you the most in the comments below!

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The post 5 Must-Read Biographies For Your Entrepreneurial Soul appeared first on BBazaar Malaysia Blog.

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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.

Must read: E-Ang Pows, Fixed Deposits, and More: 5 CNY Promos By Banks to Check Out Now

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). 

Grab the deal HERE

Deal ends on February 15, 2019

Related: Look Your Best Without Breaking the Bank: 13 Malaysian Beauty Brands to Check Out

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. 

Grab the deal and the Promo Code HERE

Deal ends on February 6, 2019

Related: 10 Cool Online Stores for Budget Shopping This Festive Season!

Electronics, home appliances, and digital goods 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.

Related: 4 CNY Attractions and Events in Malaysia You Cannot Afford to Miss!

Other promos worth checking out include free shipping for purchase above RM100 and discounts on air purifiers (15% off), home theater system (35% off), and Samsung and Sony televisions (28% off).  

Grab the deal HERE

Deal Period: Ongoing

Related: 6 Cool Gadgets to Transform Your House into a Smart Home

4. Up to RM380 cashback when you sign up for TM UniFi Residential Plan or Business Plan

Need to upgrade your Internet plan? For new UniFi subscribers only, TM is offering up to RM380 cashback when you sign up for the UniFi Residential Plan or Business Plan.

Grab the deal HERE

Deal Period: Ongoing

Related: 20 Really Cool Things You Didn’t Know You Could do for Free on the Internet!

5. Up to 6.5% cashback on digital goods at Lazada

Get up to 6.5% cashback when you shop for digital goods (e.g. Steam Wallet, PSN Card, Nintendo eShop Gift Card, or iTunes Gift Card) and other things at Lazada.

Grab the deal HERE

Deal Period: Ongoing

Related: 15 Recommended Android Apps You Should Consider Downloading

Fancy feasts and groceries
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 saving!

Grab the deal HERE

Deal Period: Ongoing

Related: How to Get the Right Credit Card for Your Grocery Spends

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.

Grab the deal HERE

Deal Period: Ongoing

Related: Save More on Your CNY Shopping! Check out These 5 Websites for Cashback

8. Up to 4% cashback and 20% off groceries when you shop with Honestbee

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).

Grab the deal HERE

Deal period: February 15, 2019

Related: Grocery Price Comparison: Is There Any Difference Post-GST?

Travel 9. 4.2% cashback and 8% off for any bus ticket bookings made on BusTicketOnline

Travelling back to your hometown? Earn 4.2% cashback and enjoy 8% off for any bus ticket bookings made on BusTicketOnline.

Grab the deal HERE

Deal ends on February 15, 2019

Related: 8 Smart Tips to Reduce Your Transportation Costs in Malaysia

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).

Grab the deal HERE

Deal Period: Ongoing

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.

Want more options? Check out our top credit card picks for online spends and cashback in Malaysia.

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.

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Save More on Your CNY Shopping! Check out These 5 Websites for Cashback

The post Fancy Feasts, Gadgets, and More: 10 Irresistible CNY Cashback Promos to Grab appeared first on BBazaar Malaysia Blog.

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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:

1. Underwater lion dance at Aquaria KLCC

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 Malaysia.

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.

Related: 7 Adventure Activities in Malaysia Adrenaline Junkies Would Love!

2. Air-shows and adventure at Resort World Genting

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 enough!

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 grabs!

Related: Save More on Your CNY Shopping! Check out These 5 Websites for Cashback

4. Celebrate the traditional way at Thean Hou Temple

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!

Related: E-Ang Pows, Fixed Deposits, and More: 5 CNY Promos By Banks to Check Out Now

The post 4 CNY Attractions and Events in Malaysia You Cannot Afford to Miss! appeared first on BBazaar Malaysia Blog.

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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 for some.

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.

Promo period: February 5 – February 19, 2019

Related: 9 Good Reasons to DuitNow!

2. Send e-ang pow or My Ang Pow QR via Maybank’s MyM2U Challenge to win ang pow of up to RM100

Image source: Shutterstock

Maybank 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.

Promo period: January 22 – February 18, 2019

Related: 10 Top E-Wallets in Malaysia and How They Work  

3. Fixed deposit promos

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.

Related: A Beginner’s Guide to Fixed Deposits (With Infographic)

4. Savings account promo

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.

Related: 10 Savings Accounts That Can Fetch Great Returns

5. CNY shopping promo

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!

You may also like:

The post E-Ang Pows, Fixed Deposits, and More: 5 CNY Promos By Banks to Check Out Now appeared first on BBazaar Malaysia Blog.

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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!

Related: 5 Common Reasons Why New Year Resolutions Fail

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.

Related: Emergency Fund: Why You Need It Now, and How Can You Build One

2. Lower your costs of transportation

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.

If you’re still not convinced to take public transport, these 20 Intelligent Tips to Help You Cut Back on Vehicle Running Costs could be useful to you!

3. Avoid unnecessary spends

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!

Check out: 10 Awesome Budgeting Apps to Help You Manage Your Money Better

4. Take steps to become debt-free

“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.

Related:

The post 4 Saving Targets to Achieve by the End of 2019 appeared first on BBazaar Malaysia Blog.

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A personal 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.

But, like 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 finances.

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 repayment.

Related: 5 Common Personal Loan Myths Busted: What’s True and What’s Not

Early settlement

By working 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.

Interest payable per month = [(total number of instalments – number of instalments already paid) +1/ (sum of number of months)] x total rate

Most banks 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.

You can 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.

Must read: 5 Key Advantages of Islamic Personal Financing in Malaysia

Lock-in period

Some banks 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.

While 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 source.    

Related: 7 Common Mistakes You Must Avoid While Applying for a Personal Loan

Part repayment of the principal amount

Part repayment 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.

Part 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.

Not all 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. 

See also: 5 Scenarios When Taking a Personal Loan Makes Sense

Refinancing

Refinancing 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.

Refinancing 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 consolidation loan.

Must read: The Pros and Cons to Consider Before Going for a Debt Consolidation Loan

Benefits of refinancing
  • Save on your loan by lowering your rate of interest
  • Reduce the tenure to pay off the loan faster
  • Change 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)

Although refinancing 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.

Also read: 6 Scenarios When Getting a Personal Loan May Not Be a Good Idea

Negotiating with your bank

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 customers.

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.

Looking for a personal loan? Check out some top options on BBazaar and apply for one in minutes. Also get an exciting gift to exercise your choice!

The post How to Save on Your Personal Loan Repayments appeared first on BBazaar Malaysia Blog.

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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.   

Must read: 4 Important Things to Know About Income Tax Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme

So all the new taxpayers, pay attention! Here are 5 basic things about income tax in Malaysia you should be aware of. 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.

Related: 9 Different Methods to Pay Income Tax in Malaysia

2. Rates of income tax

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 2018:

Chargeable
Income
Calculations (RM) Rate (%) Tax (RM)
0-5,000 On the first 2,500 0 0
5,001-20,000 On the first 5,000
Next 15,000
1 0
150
20,001-35,000 On the first 20,000
Next 15,000
3 150
450
35,001-50,000 On the first 35,000
Next 15,000
8 600                         
1,200
50,001-70,000 On the first 50,000
Next 20,000
14 1,800
2,800
70,001-100,000 On the first 70,000
Next 30,000
21 4,600
6,300
101,000-250,000 On the first 100,000
Next 150,000
24 10,900
36,000
250,001-400,000 On the first 250,000
Next 150,000
24.5 46,900                     
36,750
400,001-600,000 On the first 400,000
Next 200,000
25 83,650
50,000
600,001-1,00,000 On the first 600,000
Next 400,000
26 133,650
104,00
Exceeding 1,00,001 On the first 1,000,000
Next ringgit
28 237,650                   
….

Information source: IRB website

Related: 7 Meaningful Ways to Spend Your Income Tax Refund

3. The 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:

Tax Offence Provisions under the Income Tax Act 1967 Penalty
Giving bad tax
advice
Section 114(1A) RM200 to RM20,000 fine and/or imprisonment for up to 3 years
Not submitting your tax return form Section 77(1) RM200 to RM2,000 fine and/or imprisonment
Under declaring how much you earn Section 113(1) RM1,000 to RM10,000 fine plus200% of the undercharged tax
Not paying your taxes Section 114 RM1,000 to RM20,000 fine plus 300% of the tax you tried to avoid paying
Not keeping relevant documents for income tax Section 119A RM300 to RM10,000 fine and/or up to 1-year imprisonment

Source: AskLegal

Related: 6 Ways Women Can Save More on Taxes

4. Tax relief

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.

Check out the complete list of tax relief on IRB’s website.  

Also read: Online Grocery Shopping: Where Can You Get SST-Taxed Items with a RM30 Budget?

5. Receipts should be kept for 7 years

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.

Related: Infographic: How to File Income Tax Returns Online in 6 Easy Steps

What you should do now

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 being audited.

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.   

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The post 5 Basic Things About Income Tax New Taxpayers Should Be Aware of appeared first on BBazaar Malaysia Blog.

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