Singapore vehicle owners can rest easy now as any Singapore-registered car with adequate insurance coverage can be driven into Johor Baru at anytime without being seized, according to the Malaysian High Commissioner to Singapore Datuk N. Parameswaran. There would be no restrictions on Singapore “off-peak cars” (bearing a red Singapore registration plate) being driven on Johor Baru roads during peak hours. More..The Star
With gasoline prices soaring, the trend is now to switch to diesel for higher profit margins and cost savings. If you are thinking about switching your vehicle to diesel it's only natural that you would have doubts about the Diesel Performance.
Though diesel trucks come with power from the dealer, with a few modifications like Diesel performance chips and tuners, exhaust systems, etc., you can still have your truck getting the optimum mileage yet maintaining great power.
Credit cards are becoming easier to use so they have become a popular way of paying for goods and services. But at the same time credit card debt has risen dramatically. Do you think credit cards are good or are they bad?
Most of us have at least one credit card. Did you know that having more than one credit card could be advantageous? You could control spending by allocating specific card for specific purposes, such as one card for shopping, one for paying utilities, and so forth.
If you're in UK and are looking into getting a credit card, Creditcard-gb would be able to give you credit card advice. Choosing the right credit card is important. You need to be aware of the many different types of cards on offer and to fully understand the small print involved. Creditcard-gb will be able to help you.
Creditcard-gb will also be able to give you the lastest credit card news to keep you abreast. Credit card news has to be accurate and up to the minute, which is where Creditcard-gb comes in. They scan the latest news and press releases looking for news that is useful for you.
If you're anywhere in Kuala Lumpur or in the Klang Valley or even up in Genting Highlands, here's a list of countdown parties you can join in and have yourself a wonderfully memorable time while you usher in the new year.
PETALING JAYA: There will be no countdown party at KLCC but revellers will be treated to a breathtaking fireworks display at the park at midnight on Sunday.
Petronas Nasional Bhd said in a statement that there would be no party or concerts at KLCC out of respect for Hari Raya Haji but the fireworks display would be held to usher in the New Year.
It said visitors would be able to catch a six-minute fireworks display and there would also be a countdown display at the site.
The statement was made to clarify reports that there would be no New Year countdown or spectacular fireworks display at KLCC.
However, celebrations and accompanying fireworks are expected to go on as usual in most places in Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya and Genting Highlands.
Where the countdown parties will be:
Genting Highlands Local Chinese guest artistes will perform until a massive fireworks show takes place just before the countdown at the First World Plaza. Party starts from 9.30pm till late. Entry is free.
The Curve in Mutiara Damansara The carnival includes a concert featuring Jaclyn Victor, Reshmonu and other artistes that will last till the New Year. Celebrations begin from 6pm. No entry fee required.
Bintang Walk Street party and concert featuring local Chinese singers with fireworks display at the stroke of midnight. Party begins from 7pm onwards. Entry is free.
Sunway Lagoon Theme Park Splash Surf Beach Party with a special appearance by 45 finalists of the Miss World Tourism contest and performances by local bands. A spectacular fireworks display is set to light up the sky at midnight. Doors open at 7pm. Adults – RM88 nett and children – RM55 nett. Cover charge after 10pm – RM50.
One Utama Shopping Complex Countdown street party at Central Park Avenue (main entrance of new wing). Party begins from 6.30pm. International artistes like Australian band North, Genie Chuo (Taiwan) and local artiste Nicholas Teo to perform along with Myfm deejays. Expect incredible fireworks to light up the celebrations. Entry is free.
The current technological advances have given rise to increased access to the Internet. There are more homes with PCs these days than say five years back. Children make up a big part of those surfing the Net. This has inevitably resulted in parents being concerned about their children's safety as to what do they view on the Internet and who do they chat with.
Parents can rest easy now as there is a solution to allay parents' concern. It is in the form of a monitoring software. Myspace is currently a popular site where youngsters visit. Spector Pro is designed to monitor and record every single aspect of activity from Myspace.com. Any myspace login and password will be recorded and much more. Spector Pro records every detail of what they do on the computer – their chats, instant messages, emails, the web sites they visit, what they search for, what they do on MySpace, the pictures they post and look at, the keystrokes they type, the programs they run and more. This is what Spector Pro can do in the home-front. Wouldn't any parent feel more at ease?
Spector Pro works just as effectively in the office. Employers will be able to monitor PC activity to ensure that employees do not use PC in inappropriate ways. There is no monitoring software better than this PC Magazine award winning Spector Pro, the world’s best selling software.
Wish I was in Chicago. Why? I would have been able to attend the very special holiday season Postie Patrol then. From the video, I could tell it was an awesome, awesome event, made more fun by HP teaming up with PPP for the best Postie Patrol yet. Am glad PPP made a video of it to share with the rest of us who were not able to make it. Well, here's the video, enjoy it.
You know what? I think this is the best PPP video by far and my favorite part is the part about Ted. Dang! I missed that, in person I mean. Well done, Robin, you deserve it! Is any Postie Patrol slated for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia? I'd be so looking forward to it. Thanks for a great time. Lots of fun.
East Malaysia, i.e., the states of Sabah and Sarawak, have pleanty to offer in terms of tourism. Take Sarawak for instance, known as the Land of the Hornbills, Sarawak, is Malaysia’s largest state and has one of the country’s most ethnically diverse populations. It is also home to the world-famous Mulu Caves National Park which has been designated a World Heritage Site.
Sabah on the other hand offers beautiful beaches and islands where snorkelling and diving are popular activities.
Getting online two days ago was frustrating and depressing as response time was painfully slow. I thought there was something wrong with my system but later I read in the papers that the slow response time was due to earthquakes that hit Taiwan damaging the submarine cables. I'm glad Internet access is back to normal, almost. However, accessing videos is still not possible.
I've always wondered and marvelled at computer shops and how they managed to set up such a complicating network or system. If you're one who has the intention to set up such an outfit but lack the expertise, you might want to check out Comptia Network Training.
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Everyone enjoys a holiday season, the recent one being that of Christmas. Christmas though enjoyable comes with a lot of spending. The gatherings for dinner functions, visiting and presents for one and all - all these require money. It is holidays like these that some families run into trouble with debts.
Luckily, there are ways to get out of such debts and one of them is to take up personal loans. If you're a homeowner, secured loans would be recommended as the interest will be lower.
Mortgages is also another way of getting out of debts. Loanwize.com can also help you. They have mortgage consultants who will be able to find you the best mortgage that suits your needs. A mortgage consultant ensures that you avoid common mistakes that might leave you paying too much money or getting into financial difficulties. Check out Loanwize.com today.
Sabahans would be happy to know that getting an international passport in Sabah will soon be a breeze. Come next year, Sabahans can apply for or renew their travelling documents in just two hours once the digital printing machines to generate the high-tech passport are installed.
This is a far cry from years ago when it took three months to approve and then reduced to three weeks in the 1980s and then down to 24 hours in 2005 and now to just three hours.
My neighbour who has been thinking about moving to live overseas recently told me that he might be moving to Las Vegas. He said Las Vegas is a tough and competitive city but it also has a lot of opportunites to make money.
He's thinking about renting a place initially but would like to eventually own his own home. He's been checking out homes for rent as well as those in agent listings. And if he's not able to find any suitable place, he may want to buy a new home. He prefers condo-living, so he may get one of those Las Vegas Highrise Condos. Buying a new home would offer him plenty of incentives such as free upgrades and downpayment assistance.
Piling work has begun at Taman Tasik Titiwangsa where a 60m-high ferris wheel with 42 gondolas will be installed as one of the major attractions for Visit Malaysia Year 2007. It will be ready to be launched on January 6. The ferris wheel will be installed for the whole of next year as one of the attractions to attract tourists. Called "Eye On Malaysia", it will provide city folks and tourists alike with a view of the Kuala Lumpur skyline. Read story..The Star
I've always liked giving gifts of books. My good friend, Cindy, will be celebrating her birthday next month. She loves to cook and experiment with new dishes. Maybe I'd get her a new cookbook on Italian cooking. I like to shop at my favorite online bookstore, Amazon, with coupon codes. In fact, I love to shop online. With online coupons, I get big savings from discounts and free shipping.
I've been experiencing very slow Internet response from this morning and was wondering whether it could be my PC. The news below from The Star provided an explanation. Internet access to overseas websites has been disrupted due to earthquakes in southern Taiwan. If you're having the same problem you know why.
Article below from The Star Internet access to overseas websites disrupted
PETALING JAYA: Local Internet access to overseas websites came to a crawl Wednesday after international links were disrupted by the earthquake in southern Taiwan.
Internet service provider (ISP) Jaring said the disruption started at about 3.45am Wednesday, and warned users to expect congestion to and from overseas websites during peak hours.
Internet service provider TM Net said the earthquake caused a fault on Asia Pacific Cable Network 2 links between Shantou, China and Tanshui, Taiwan, and between Lantau in Hong Kong and Chongming, China.
The disruption has caused outages to several TM Net international transit and peering links.
TM Net said Malaysian Internet users may experience some delay in accessing content and websites hosted overseas, especially in the United States, Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea and Europe.
Action is being taken to reduce traffic congestion by diverting traffic through backup links, it added.
TM Net customers can call 1-300-88-9515 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for further enquiries.
My colleagues expressed concern about their children being exposed to the wrong type of information or coming into contact with the wrong company on the Internet. Their children's safety is their primary concern. I think their problem will be solved if they use the Spector Pro monitoring software. This software has been selected as the Editors’ Choice by the experts at PC Magazine.
MySpace.com is a popular hang-out site for youngsters these days and getting into a myspace chat is a common activity. With Spector Pro, parents will be able to monitor their children's every chat.
Not only is Spector Pro useful for the home, it is also a great tool for the office. Once installed, you will be able to monitor employee computer activity resulting in improved productivity. Spector Pro is also easy to install. Check out Spector Pro website for more information.
As if the current flood situation in southern part of Peninsula Malaysia is not bad enough, a second wave of floods hits Johor Bahru caused by heavy rain in the last 24 hours. Three relief centres have been set up to take in more evacuees.
I used to spend a lot of time chatting online. Actually, I still do. In fact, I quite enjoy this form of social networking because it gives me some identity privacy sort of and the chance of making new friends albeit online. I normally chat with people from overseas. I find them very friendly, nice and easy to get along. Generally, everyone is very nice in these chatrooms. So far, my experience with these chatrooms has been positive. If you have not had any experience of being in a chat room, you may want to give it a try. It's really fun and you won't go away disappointed. Try it.
I was at a shipping mall yesterday and was surprised to find so many people still shopping for Christmas gifts. Perhaps it's more fun shopping at the last minute. All that Christmas decorations and carols make the mall really nice and cheerful.
We've been living in our house for ten years now and due to the expected wear and tear, the kitchen area needs some refurbishment. I thought it'd be a good time now for this work to be done as our home mortgage is almost paid up. We looked around for the best deal for a loan and found that home equity loans would suit our need. We finally took up a home equity loan and found that the amount not only was enough to cover the renovation, we even had some extra cash to get a new sofa set.
More and more homes are now having personal computers at home which means more and more people (kids included) have access to the Internet. Parents who are at work will not know what their kids are viewing on the computer nor what their kids are communicating on. Or even worse to whom they are communicating with. There is now a way to know for sure and it is by way of a keystroke recorder. Keystroke recorders can keep track of the kids Internet activity so that parents will have an idea of what their kids do on the computer.
These recorders can also be installed in the office where employees Internet activity can be monitored so that employees do not misuse their time thus improving overall productivity. Keystroke recorders can be used to record anything from web sites they visit to recording passwords. Why not get a keystroke recorder for your home or office for that complete control.
I am happy to announce that Kuala Lumpur has been installed with twelve new automatic toilets in the main tourist areas of Jalan Bukit Bintang, Wisma Denmark, Shahzan Tower, Conlay Square, Jalan Ampang, Medan Pasar, Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Tun H.S. Lee, Central Market, Sogo and Jalan Raja Laut.
A total of 23 public toilets, including the 12 automatic toilets and other conventional toilets, have been planned in conjunction with the Visit Malaysia Year 2007.
The eleven conventional toilets are at Taman Tasik Titiwangsa, Jalan Ipoh, Jalan Raja Alang, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Jalan Raja Laut, Dataran Merdeka, Jalan Masjid India, Jalan Petaling, National
In Malaysia, karaoke has really caught on and there are many places one can have some fun exercising ones lungs and honing one's singing skill. I love to sing but have not got any recording done of my singing so far. Perhaps I should give this RAZZ Mixer Contest a try. My friends have been saying, "Who knows, You could be the next RAZZ Idol". If I don't win, at least I will get to enjoy my 15 minutes of fame.
Hey, why don't you give it a shot too. All you need do is make a recording using the RAZZ Mixer, then save it and publish it anywhere. It could be in MySpace, your blog or any personal webpage. It is entirely up to you. There are 10 runner-up prizes of $25 and one GRAND prize of $250! Good luck!
If you are in Florida and are looking into investment opportunities, you are in the right place. This is because Southwest Florida real estate market has experienced tremendous growth and appreciation over the last few years with duplexes in Lehigh Acres and Cape Coral in Southwest Florida being the proposed investment opportunity. The current cost of the duplex project is approximately $285,000, which includes the land, building, and site improvements, closing cost and interest during construction with no payments during construction. And the cost can be financed with a loan of 85% to 90% of the appraised value. So if you are thinking of affordable housing, duplex, SW Florida, Equity, you may want to check out these duplexes.
Malaysia offers many sites for trekking and mountain-climbing. Nature tourism adds income to the country. Unfortunately, many of us are contributing to destroying the many beautiful parks and mountains that we have. Littering is irresponsible. Let's not contribute to it.
I love the outdoors, trekking, cycling, gardening, and visiting orchards and farms. But of late, I've not been able to participate in these activities due to my frequent bouts of flu and feeling faint.
A colleague recommended Glycosure and I'm happy to report that life is never going to be the same again. Being an all-natural remedy I was feeling like my old self within two days of taking it. In fact, I just participated in a Treasure Hunt and I felt wonderful. Thanks to Glycosure. I am living proof that it is effective with absolutely no side effects. Let me tell you a little about this product. It is a pharmaceutical-grade product, formulated using the latest nanotechnology to ensure effectiveness. I intend to continue with Glycosure as after prolonged use my Immune System would be completely renewed.
The flood in the southern region has caused many people to be taking refuge in community centers. The Malaysian Red Crescent Society has made a list of items that are needed by flood victims. Read The Star to know what is needed and how you can help.
This is one awesome reallity show, I tell you. You may think I'm crazy but I just love moving house and I've done that a few times already.
Watching this exciting Rockstartup Episode 3 brings back those great times of packing and unpacking and anticipating the great feeling of a new place.
There are a few things I like about this episode and the new PayPerPost office. For starters, I just love the color scheme - so reflective of PPP and such exciting colours. The purple compliments the blue and the green very nicely.
The celebration at the end of it is cool. Congrats on moving up!
In the fashion world, batik has become a popular export. If you are visiting Malaysia, do check out our batik-wear in any shopping mall. Our creative designers will make your shopping a pleasurable experience you will not forget.
Running a business is not easy as it involves many areas. Running a business well entails being able to handle every area well. Among other functions, bookkeeping is one important area that needs attention. Good bookkeeping requires an efficient system in place. Some companies outsource this function.
Quickbooks Bookkeeping is a company that offers bookkeeping services to small businesses relieving companies of their bookkeeping chore and their rates are reasonable. Other than accounting, taking care of a small business payroll is also part and parcel of the services they offer. To maintain good employee morale, employee payroll must be in order. Outsourcing the payroll function to an expert is a wise management decision.
Nowadays shopping is so much easier with online shopping. I love shopping online as it's hassle-free. I don't have to queue up at the paying counter and the best part is that I don't have to get stuck in traffic for hours not look for parking space.
Online shopping can be cost-effective too. There are many sites where I can get coupons for stuff. I found this great site, dealking.com It offers lots of great deals and one that even offers a cash back deal to a get a free T Mobile Prepaid phone. Actually, this is the exact gift I need this Christmas. Why don't you get one too? Use Dealking.com
Air travellers wlll have to pay an additional charge from January 15. This is the airport security fee which airports around the world have imposed after the September 11 incident.
KUALA LUMPUR: Passengers using airports in the country operated by Malaysia Airports Bhd will have to pay a security charge of RM6 for international flights and RM3 for domestic flights from Jan 15 next year.
The charge will be included in the cost of the air ticket, similar to the current passenger service charge
The holiday season this year is with a sad difference for folks in the southern region of Peninsula Malaysia as the area has been hit by floods. People in Kota Tinggi and Segamat are the worst hit. Flood waters are not expected to recede as more rain has been expected the next few days.
In London, there's the BA London Eye. And next year, Kuala Lumpur will have her own Ferris Wheel for Visit Malaysia Year 2007. Named "Eye on Malaysia", it is a 60-metre high structure similar to the “London Eye”. It will be unveiled at the launch of Visit Malaysia Year 2007 on Jan 6 at Taman Tasik Titiwangsa here in Kuala Lumpur. The Ferris wheel is set to be the top draw.
The introduction of enhanced security measures in airports all over the world is the result of vulnerabilities identified after British authorities foiled a terrorist plot to bomb several transatlantic flights in August. Air-travel has never been the same since.
PETALING JAYA: From March 31 next year, Malaysian passengers and everyone travelling in and out of Australia by flight will have to abide by strict hand luggage regulations when carrying liquids on board planes.
Only small amounts of these substances including drinks, creams, perfumes, sprays, gels and toothpaste will be permitted to be taken through the screening point onboard aircraft as carry-on baggage. More...The Star
Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin is Malaysia's new King.
KUALA LUMPUR: Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin, who became the youngest Malay Ruler when he ascended the Terengganu throne at the age of 36 in 1998, was also among the youngest to be proclaimed Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Under the five-year rotation system, Sultan Mizan was proclaimed the 13th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, succeeding Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Syed Putra Jamalullail. More...The Star
By the middle of next month, tourists will be able to go sightseeing in Kuala Lumpur by taking the KL Hop On-Hop Off buses, the latest product introduced to boost tourism in the city. It is the first ever hop-on and hop-off bus service in Malaysia. The bus will connect to about 43 tourist attractions in the city.
The KL Hop On-Hop Off City Tour will run from 8.30am to 8.30pm daily at 30-minute intervals. Passengers can hop on and off as many times as they like at any of the 22 designated stops along the route. More...The Star
The islands of Malaysia have long been popular with tourists. Of late, one island off the east coast of West Malaysia has been drawing an unending stream of holiday-makers. The island is Pulau Perhentian. Below is an informative article on the island and its attractions.
By MICHAEL D’OLIVEIRO Pictures by BUBU RESORT SDN BHD
PEOPLE often ask me what’s the best dive site I’ve experienced in Malaysia. My answer is always the same: “What are you looking for?”
Sipadan, in Sabah, has unrivalled underwater but it is expensive to visit. Tioman off Johor, especially Salang Beach, is great for party-hard divers but has brown, coarse sand. Redang in Terengganu has the best corals but is devoid of nightlife. Mabul and Mataking in Sabah are great for macro marine-life spotting but little else.
One that offers everything is the Perhentian Islands. It doesn’t cost much to get there either, with a good selection of buses and flights available. Thirty minutes after leaving Besut jetty, you’re already in paradise. More...The Star
GETTING to Genting City of Entertainment has become easier with the new Go Genting Express Buses that operate from Puduraya Bus Station, Terminal Putra LRT Gombak Station, KL Sentral Station and Pasarakyat Bus Station.
The service was re-launched with a new look recently by Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk Donald Lim, who unveiled the vibrant new look of the buses with comfortable refurbished interiors.
For the Puduraya and Terminal Putra bus stations, the service starts at 7.30am up to 7pm at 30-minute intervals while the KL Sentral bus station service is from 8am to 7pm at one-hour intervals.
The Pasarakyat bus station service is from 8.30am to 7pm with buses at hourly intervals.
Aside from the express buses, Resorts World Bhd also offers chartered bus services, VIP tour buses and tour vans. More...The Star
This picture was taken yesterday morning. Clouds of white and grey shared the blue sky. The haze from the burning peat fires in Sumatra, Indonesia, seems to have lessened. We are now experiencing the north-east monsoon and the weather is mostly sunny in the mornings and rainy in the afternoons and evenings. It would be wise to invest in an umbrella.
Notice the streak of grey near a tower? That is the Kuala Lumpur Tower. The Kuala Lumpur Tower (officially known as Menara Kuala Lumpur; referred later as KL Tower) is a tall tower located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and was built in 1995. It is used for communication purposes and features an antenna that reaches 421 m (1,381 ft), which currently makes it the fifth tallest tower in the world.
One can have a good view of downtown KL from a revolving restaurant up there.
Check out Wikipedia for more information on the KL Tower.
Looking at the top-most picture again, to the right of the KL Tower you will see two identical towers. These are the Petronas Twin Towers. These are the tallest twin towers in the world.
There is a 192ft-long (58.4m) double-decker skybridge linking the twin towers at the 41st and 42nd floor (175m above street level). Access to the public is by way of tickets which can be obtained free-of-charge at the lobby downstairs.
The Petronas Twin Towers also house an 864-seat concert hall - the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas.
Next to the Twin Towers is the premier shopping mall of Kuala Lumpur City Center called Suria KLCC. It has six levels of specialty stores, three department stores, boutiques, cinemas and a huge foodcourt. Facing the beautiful KLCC Park are several cafes.
There are two hotels with the privilege of having their address at the Kuala Lumpur City Center (KLCC). They are the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur and the Traders Hotel. Another popular hotel not far away is The Nikko Kuala Lumpur. Guests of these hotels who enjoy a good morning or evening jog will find the jogging track in the KLCC Park useful. The KLCC Park is just behind the hotels.
Starting November next year, international travellers will be able to retrieve their luggage (check out) at the KL City Terminal (KL CAT) rather than at the KL International Airport in Sepang. Currently, travellers are only able to check in at the KL Sentral.
AMSTERDAM: Malaysia Airlines’ (MAS) expensive fares may deter European tourists from travelling to Malaysia during Visit Malaysia Year 2007 (VMY 2007).
“They (European tourists) are saying that if we don’t do something about MAS fares, tourist arrivals from Europe particularly the United Kingdom will drop by 50% next year,” said Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.
“Tour operators and agents in the UK, Ireland and Holland said MAS must lower its fares to Europe and allow early bookings to encourage more Europeans to visit Malaysia,” he told Malaysian reporters here Friday.
Tengku Adnan said that he would ask the Transport Ministry to hold immediate discussions with MAS to lower its fares in Europe. More...The Star
Malaysia has just launched her "Malaysia My Second Home". Under this programme foreign nationals could stay in Malaysia on a long-term Social Visit Pass for a period of ten years with a Multiple Entry Visa.
The programme is open to all categories of citizens with no age limit, and they are allowed to bring along their dependants - that is, wife and children (below 18 years of age) and also one maid.
Malaysia is really a great holiday destination with lots of attractions any tourist would be happy about. We have idyllic beaches, clear blue waters, palm trees gently swaying to the rhythm of crashing waves and sunshine all year round. We have enchanting beaches and unspoilt beauty of the islands. Visit our National Parks for some rest and relaxation and a healthy environment of fresh air and breathtaking scenery.
Arts and culture are an integral part of Malaysia as the country’s identity is built upon the various cultures of its multi-ethnic people.
Malaysia is never short of accommodation as there is a great host of hotels and resorts available. Shopping is not to be missed. There are many shops and malls that cater to any tourist's needs.
Malaysia is also known for its food. One can find all types of food and food is available any time of the day or night.
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airlines will increase its domestic fares by an average of 15% for economy class and 25% for business class in two weeks – the first increase for local routes in 14 years.
But from today – the day when the domestic route is rationalised with AirAsia coming in as a major local airline – MAS is increasing its fuel surcharges and imposing a RM14 administration fee for each ticket issued.
The new fuel surcharge for flights within the peninsula and within Sabah and Sarawak is RM20 – a hike of RM5. For flights between the peninsula and Sabah and Sarawak, the surcharge goes up by RM15 to RM51.
This means that for a return flight between Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu, a passenger could end up paying as much as RM250 extra for an economy class ticket. More...The Star
Lure of quaint pubs and easygoing lifestyle By CHRISTINA CHIN The Star
PENANG’s laidback lifestyle is a tourist attraction in itself. Ask any backpacker or tourist and they will tell you the same thing.
Urbanisation gave party-going islanders a slew of new dance clubs to frequent but at the heart of George Town's thriving nightlife is a pub scene that comes alive as the sun descends behind the colonial heritage buildings of Upper Penang Road.
With their long flowing dreadlocks, faded sleeveless tees and knapsacks that have clearly seen better days, backpackers from Europe, Africa and the Americas are a common sight at these budget watering holes. (Read more...The Star)
PETALING JAYA: Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contributors can now withdraw their Account II savings yearly to reduce or settle their housing loans.
They can also now make withdrawals to fund tertiary education starting at diploma level for themselves and their children under the Education Withdrawal scheme.
Prior to the changes, members were only allowed to withdraw their Account II savings once every three years to reduce or settle their housing loans.
Under the Education Withdrawal, they were only previously allowed to withdraw savings to pay for diploma courses for themselves and for degree courses and above for their children.
The housing withdrawals, according to a statement yesterday, can be made annually from the last date of withdrawal, with a minimum amount of RM500.
“In addition, members are now given the flexibility to help their spouses reduce or settle their housing loans even if the member is not a joint owner, a requirement prior to this new amendment to the EPF’s procedure,” the statement said.
When helping spouses reduce or settle loans, several conditions have to be complied with. The spouse must be the purchaser and borrower of the housing loan, and the property is mortgaged to a bank.
Proof of marriage is required.
EPF senior public relations manager Nik Affendi Jaafar said the changes, approved by the Finance Ministry, were part of the EPF’s initiative to implement more flexibility in withdrawals.
“We are constantly studying the viability of our withdrawals and benefits to meet the changing and diverse needs of our 5.2 million active members.”
“We are confident that these changes will be welcomed by members,” he added.
Meanwhile, MTUC president Syed Shahir Syed Mohamud, when contacted, said members must practise discretion when using such facilities so as to not jeopardise their old-age savings.
“The life expectancy for a male and female is the early and mid 70s, respectively. When a person retires at 55, he still has 15 to 20 years more and I’m concerned about how he can take care of himself if his savings is used up,” said Syed Shahir who is an EPF board member.
Cuepacs president Datuk Nordin Abdul Hamid, who is also an EPF board member, concurred with Syed Shahir and said that contributors had to be smart and careful, and that their savings would not be affected.
EPF’s new withdrawal scheme welcomed
PETALING JAYA: The annual withdrawal of funds from Account II of the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) to reduce housing loans means savings for consumers and a boost to the economy, say financial and property experts.
“It makes sense for contributors to take out their money because they only earn 4% to 5% interest from EPF when the loan interest rate is 7% to 8%.
“This means net savings for consumers,” said Singular Asset Management chief investment officer Teoh Kok Lin Teoh.
He said contributors now have a choice of withdrawing their savings annually or every three years.
On Monday, EPF announced that contributors could now withdraw savings from their Account II yearly to reduce or settle housing loans.
Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association Malaysia (Rehda) president Datuk Jeffrey Ng agreed it would boost the property market. He said contributors would be able to pay off their loans faster.
National House Buyers Association secretary general Chang Kim Loong agreed it would reduce house buyers’ debts.