Wednesday, 16 December 2015

A summitter of Gokyo Ri

Assalamualaikum and a very good afternoon I bid to Governor, DG, AGs, Directors, Deputy Directors, and all guests who are present today. 

I’m not a descriptive person. I will not describe to you how amazing the views were from beginning to end of the journey. I believe the video presentation and the photo exhibition have done a fantastic job in illustrating that. What I would like to share with you are my personal reflections on the journey, something that could not be captured visually, but could be felt and only seen in hindsight. 

If I were to share two eye-openers from this adventure, they will certainly be the new comfort zone I have found & a different interpretation of success I have been enlightened with. 

They say “Growth happens outside of your comfort zone”. And that was exactly the reason on my mind when I signed myself up for this expedition. I wanted to go out of my safe cocoon and challenge myself to grow. I wanted to recognise my boundaries and push myself to overcome them. But little did I know, I was actually jumping out of my comfort zone, to a different kind of comfort zone. 

Why do I say that? 

Despite the tremendous challenges we have to face all the way through, I feel truly blessed to be surrounded by people who have made me feel at home. 

It was a journey where friendship is age, race, and status blind. There is no question about how high or how low you are on the corporate ladder because underneath us all, we are flawed individuals who are striving to be better. 

It was a journey where people have endlessly encouraged and cheered for each other even though they themselves were gasping and struggling to make it to the finish line. 

It was a journey where you see living proofs that with hard work and determination, it is possible to have a career, a family and still keep pursuing interests you have passion for. 

It was a journey where the only comparison ever made upon you is one against your previous self, not against a benchmark set by others. 
And in those elements, I found my comfort zone. 

This trip has also opened my eyes to another definition of success. For most of us, success is about transcending our limits and achieving our dreams. While those are absolutely true, little did we realise that there is another level of accomplishment that we could, and perhaps should strive for. And that is, by helping and empowering others to also grow beyond their limits. 

This different interpretation of success is demonstrated by none other than our team leader, Apau. I kept wondering, why would a man 

  1. Spend thousands of Ringgit to climb the same peak for 3 times 
  2. Take the pain to train us, whom level of fitness are so far behind 
  3. Spend so much time to organise for the trip, get the paperwork and approval ready when he could have climbed a different peak on his own, hassle free. 

I found my answer at the summit of Gokyo. 

As I was getting closer to the peak, I told myself that the first thing I wanted to do was to find Apau and thank him for making this possible. That’s all. 

Instead, standing in front of him, I found myself crying and lost for words for a moment. I hugged him eventually and said “Thank you. 
Thank you Apau, for everything”, to which he replied “it felt good, right?” 

You see, Apau had “been there & done that”. He knew how mountains could change people and how nature has opened minds and thoughts in ways no self-help books could. He believed that and wanted to share that valuable learning experience with the rest of us. 

Success could be scoring your personal goals or a long list of personal accolades. To Apau, success is helping others to get there. It’s about making small but permanent impact in other people’s lives. It doesn't matter if he has climbed the mountains for the umpteenth times, but if he could make the journey possible for other people to bring changes within themselves, that is already a success. To me, this is deeply profound. It is a very meaningful compass to navigate our lives with for greater purpose that yields greater good. 

All in all, the expedition has been amazing and has offered us a holistic learning experience. I have learned useful knowledge on health and fitness like what to eat and not to eat on training days and experienced the good physiological changes that happen in between. At the same time, I also gained tremendous motivation to keep on pushing forward even when my legs are quitting on me because I know the pain is worthwhile. 

In fact, I believe the experiences we had have made all of us stronger physically, mentally and emotionally. 
As I reflect upon my one year anniversary with Bank Negara, I find myself lucky to be surrounded by highly motivated yet humble colleagues with diverse backgrounds. The learning opportunity that this organisation has to offer (indoor or outdoor) is something not to be taken for granted. 

When a British mountaineer named George Mallory was asked why he wanted to climb Mt. Everest, his answer was “because it’s there”. I used to think that sounds cliche and a bit too simplistic to say, especially for someone who was about to conquer the impossible and leave a legacy behind. 

Now that I’ve been to the Himalayas, I’m thinking maybe George Mallory was right after all. The trekking experience there is so incredible that no words could do justice. 

So, I’ve decided. If someone asks why I would put myself under Apau’s training regime and endure hundred kilometres of trekking, my answer would be “because it’s worth it”. 

And I hope people wouldn’t find that answer cliche and simplistic too, but rather will be inspired to experience what could be a life-changing journey of a lifetime. 

Thank you. 

- Atikah Abdul Aziz -
Central Banker

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

City Hall tests electric vehicles for street patrols

Kuala Lumpur City Hall is attempting to reduce its carbon footprint by using electric cars for everyday patrols across the city.

The council has acquired four Renault Twizy electric cars on a one year trial basis to gauge their effectiveness.

Two of the vehicles will be used by City Hall Safety and Enforcement Department, while the other two vehicles are being used by the Landscape Department.

 City Hall Safety and Enforcement Department director Mohd Sauffi Muhamad said the vehicles started patrolling the streets last week.
"We are currently testing out the vehicles at Masjid India and Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman. The feedback thus far has been positive in terms of cost savings, because there is no need for fuel and the their manoeuvrability during peak hours is good," he said.

Sauffi said that City Hall is determined to try to reduce carbon emissions and look into cost savings.

"We are renting the vehicles at RM1,950 a month each. The cost of a vehicle is about RM80,000. After a year, we will review their effectiveness and decide if we want to buy or continue to rent them," he said.

The electric cars can run for four hours on a single charge and reach a speed of up to 80km/h. They can be charged at any power socket.

Sauffi also said that City Hall had acquired five Segway electric scooters, which have been deployed to patrol the Dataran Merdeka area.

"Officers on the Segways will patrol the area to ensure smooth traffic flow, cleanliness, and engage and assist tourists," he said, adding that they were continuously looking at ways to multitask while on the ground.

Meanwhile, Sauffi said that 32 enforcement officers had been deployed to patrol the bicycle lane from Mid Valley to Dataran Merdeka.

"We want to increase our presence and the security of users. Officers will be patrolling the lanes in two shifts from 8am to 5pm and from 3pm to midnight," he said. – November 3, 2015.

Monday, 2 November 2015

PBB gesa pembebasan Anwar, dakwa langgar undang-undang antarabangsa

Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu (PBB) menyifatkan penahanan bekas ketua pembangkang Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim melanggar undang-undang antarabangsa dan menggesa pembebasan beliau dengan segera.

Keputusan itu diputuskan Kumpulan Kerja Penahanan Arbitrari PBB (UNWGAD) yang menyifatkan perbicaraan membabitkan Anwar adalah haram dan perlu dibebaskan serta-merta.

"Kumpulan Kerja Penahanan Arbitrari mengeluarkan pendapat berikut: Pemenjaraan Saudara Anwar Ibrahim adalah arbitrari... mengambil kira semua hal dalam kes itu, kumpulan kerja berpendapat jalan untuk membetulkan keadaan adalah membebaskan Saudara Anwar dengan serta-merta dan memastikan hak-hak politik beliau yang dirampas kerana pemenjaraan beliau ini dikembalikan," kata kumpulan kerja itu yang dibacakan Ahli Parlimen Lembah Pantai Nurul Izzah Anwar di Parlimen pagi ini.

Nurul Izzah bersyukur dengan pendirian PBB itu sekali gus memberi isyarat jelas kepada Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak untuk menurut saranan mereka.
"Pendirian tegas sebegini, bersolidariti bersama-sama Anwar menghantar satu mesej jelas kepada Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak dan memastikan kemerosotan hak-hak asasi manusia yang berlaku di bawah kepimpinan beliau tidak diabaikan dunia," katanya.

Kumpulan kerja tersebut dilantik oleh Majlis Hak Asasi Manusia PBB, yang terdiri daripada pakar Australia, Benin, Mexico, Korea Selatan dan Ukraine.

"Kerajaan Malaysia wajib mematuhi dapatan PBB ini serta cadangan yang diberikan," kata Nurul Izzah.

Terdahulu, Timbalan Menteri Dalam Negeri Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamad semasa sesi soal jawab dalam Dewan Rakyat mahu Nurul Izzah menghormati keputusan dibuat mahkamah Malaysia selepas anak perempuan Anwar itu mempersoalkan hukuman penjara ke atas bapanya.

Peguam Anwar, N Surendran juga senada dengan Nurul Izzah mendesak supaya Putrajaya menerima saranan dibuat badan dunia tersebut.

"Kumpulan tersebut sudah menggesa Anwar dibebaskan dan dikembalikan semula hak politiknya," kata Surendran pada sidang media sama di Parlimen.

Surendran memberi amaran Putrajaya tidak boleh menghiraukan keputusan PBB tersebut atau reputasi negara di mata dunia akan terjejas.

Bekas ahli Parlimen Permatang Pauh itu sedang menjalani hukuman penjara 5 tahun sejak 10 Februari lalu kerana kesalahan meliwat bekas pembantunya Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan. – 2 November, 2015.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Pledge Socks For the Kids!

As you are all aware, in conjunction to McDonald's Show Your Stripes campaign themed #DemiRMHC – I'm For the Kids! all McDonald's Malaysia restaurants will begin to sell red and white striped socks on
Saturday, 7 Nov '15 in efforts to raise more than RM500K for the recipients of Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Malaysia. Each socks is sold for RM10 a pair (GST included).

We, at RSC, can also do our part for Malaysia's needy children in need by pledging any socks quantity you require. Please write your required quantity in the order form available at your respective level's pantry by Thursday, 29 October '15 The pledged socks can be paid & collected on Wed, 4 Nov '15  from 4pm-5pm at McChicken room.

The person with the highest pledged quantity will receive a complimentary gift from RMHC.

So, let's start asking family and friends of their quantity required and "Sama-Sama", we can make a difference for Malaysia's children in need.
                   

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Trans-Pacific Partnership: Indonesia's lost opportunity?

The Jakarta Post
Published: October 20, 2015 08:11 PM

On September 5, negotiators from 12 countries in the Pacific Rim agreed to a trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Although a free trade agreement, it also covers a wide range of issues beyond trade, such as investment, government procurement and intellectual property rights.

The agreement can be influential to world trade, as the economy of its 12 member countries accounts for around 11 per cent of the world population and 37 per cent of the global economy.

These 12 countries are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the United States.

The pact promises to usher in closer economic relations between members and become a benchmark for future trade deals.

Although Indonesia has at times expressed interest, it has never been a part of the negotiations. And unlike Japan, neither did it join at later negotiating stages. Indonesia is paying a price for excluding itself from the TPP.

First is the lost chance to shape the agreement. The TPP is an open-accession agreement; countries can join it later on. Given its benefits, Indonesia has expressed interest in joining the TPP on separate occasions. But countries that do will not be able to shape the agreed provisions.

By not being a member since the TPP's inception, Indonesia deprived itself of the ability to mold the provisions according to its national interests. For example, there are reports that some countries were pushing for provisions that afford 12 years of data exclusivity for pharmaceutical patent holders.

As a developing country, Indonesia has an interest to lower this data exclusivity period in order to produce cheaper generic drugs for its populace. Indonesia lost the opportunity to influence this provision by not becoming a TPP negotiating member.

Second is the potential trade diversion from the agreement. A free trade agreement tends to increase trade between members, called trade creation. Conversely, it tends to decrease trade between members and non-members, called trade diversion.

The threat of trade diversion looms especially large between countries of similar profile in their export products. Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam are exporters of manufactured goods, such as textiles, automotive parts, tires and electronics.

With Vietnam and Malaysia being members of TPP, producers of such manufactured goods there will gain preferential tariffs and better access to markets in the US and Japan. Better access translates to more orders and production.

Such a threat to textile exports is especially alarming, as the US textile market is the largest for Indonesian exporters, accounting for 36 per cent in 2014, according to data from the Indonesian Textile Association.

By being excluded from the TPP, Indonesia's manufacturing exports might stagnate and lose out to its peers in Vietnam and Malaysia. This also runs contrary to the goal of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to reorient Indonesia's exports from commodities to manufactured goods.

Considering the price Indonesia is paying, one might wonder why the government was not a TPP negotiating member. The perception that Indonesia 'is not ready' is often cited as the reason. TPP will require high standards in areas such as trade in services, intellectual property rights, government procurement and investor-state dispute settlement.

Yet this argument can be easily reversed. The TPP can be used as an impetus for furthering Indonesia's domestic reforms. It can be used as an opportunity to accelerate Indonesia's service liberalization, strengthen its intellectual property rights regime, ensure efficiency and transparency in government procurement and spur much-needed foreign investment.

The recent announcement by Trade Minister Thomas Trikasih Lembong that the country could join the pact in the next two years is welcome news.

However, as explained in the first point above, Indonesia has lost the opportunity to shape the agreement. This calls for the government to pay attention to the timing of entering a pact and its negotiations.

Yet, on the second point, the government can still prevent Vietnam and Malaysia from grabbing Indonesia's market share in the US by joining the agreement. Indonesia could still reap the benefits from the TPP. — The Jakarta Post

* The writer is a researcher at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Jakarta.

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Sunday, 20 September 2015

Guangdong minat bidang pelancongan dan perindustrian di Melaka

MELAKA: Gabenor Wilayah Guangdong, Zhu Xiodan, menyatakan minat beliau dalam bidang pelancongan dan perindustrian di Melaka, yang berpotensi diteroka bersama oleh Melaka dan Guangdong.

Ketua Menteri Melaka Datuk Seri Idris Haron berkata Zhu menyatakan minat dalam projek pelabuhan pelancongan yang kini dalam peringkat kajian oleh Melaka dan kawasan industri maritim yang bakal mewujudkan beberapa kawasan perindustrian.

"Saya telah mengatakan kepada beliau (Zhu) kawasan di sini (di Pulau Melaka) cukup sesuai untuk pelabuhan pelancongan itu dan sememangnya antara tujuan asal ia (Pulau Melaka) dibina.

"Beliau yang bersikap terbuka dan progresif dalam menilai potensi Melaka, turut menyatakan tidak salah beliau datang dan memilih Melaka dalam lawatan pertamanya ke Malaysia," katanya pada sidang akhbar di sini hari ini.

Terdahulu, beliau mengiringi Zhu melawat projek pembangunan hartanah mega Melaka Gateway di Pulau Melaka, Bandar Hilir di sini.

Zhu dalam rangka lawatan kerja selama sehari ke Melaka hari ini.

Idris berkata Zhu turut meminta laporan tentang kemajuan Melaka Gateway bagi memudahkan beliau mempromosikan projek itu kepada pelabur dan penggiat industri di Gunagdong.

Beliau berkata Zhu mahukan hubungan dua hala yang sistematik dengan Melaka, yang dijalin secara berperingkat-peringkat, dengan meletakan penanda aras yang perlu dicapai pada setiap peringkat.

"Saya melihat sendiri kesungguhan dan semangat beliau dalam memastikan hubungan dua hala ini terjalin dengan sempurna, kukuh dan mampu menguntungkan kedua-dua belah pihak, saya akan pastikan hubungan ini berjaya," katanya.
Untuk itu, kerajaan negeri akan mewujudkan portfolio baharu, perdagangan antarabangsa, yang akan diletakkan di bawah tanggungjawab Exco Pengangkutan dan Pemulihan Projek Melaka Datuk Lim Ban Hong.

"Melalui portfolio ini, kerajaan negeri akan dapat meneliti semua urusan perdagangan antarabangsa terutama melibatkan hubungan antara Melaka dan Guangdong," katanya.


Kongsi melalui applikasi iPhone Astro Awani

http://www.astroawani.com/apps

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Hanyut

Dear friends,

The most anticipated film in 2015 will be coming soon (please join me to pray hard on this).
Meantime, please enjoy the film trailer below.
http://youtu.be/bLOAUTHrL8c

Filem Hanyut ini adalah arahan Uwei Haji Saari dan dibintangi oleh Peter O'Brien,Diana Danielle, Ady Putra dan Sofia Jane. Ini adalah filem termahal yang pernah dibikin oleh mana-mana pengarah di Malaysia.

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Dayang Nurfaizah - Tak Pernah Menyerah OFFICIAL MV

Tak pernah menyerah
Untuk selalu mencuba
Menjadi yang terbaik untukmu
Dan segalanya
Check out Dayang Nurfaizah's latest music video on YouTube: http://youtu.be/R24lzCfvdX0

My 2 cent is this new single is not as melancholic as Di Pintu Syurga but it slowly grows in you. As always, Dayang Nurfaizah really connect with you, with her awesome's penghayatan. Also, the single is good for a theme song. If you don't know what a theme song is, please watch Ally McBeal's Theme of Life episode.


Sent from my iPhone

Friday, 7 August 2015

After the Rain

What a moving song by Najwa Mahiaddin, which was officially released yesterday afternoon on her Facebook page.

The song is very much relevant to Malaysia's current political drama as well as the sad episode of MH370.
The picture is courtesy of The Malay Mail
We may all fall down
But we all get up
Hold your head up Malaysia
After the rain comes the sun
You may listen the track at https://www.facebook.com/najwamusic/videos/10152863787606184/

Thank you Najwa for a beautiful and soulful song.


Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Redang Island Trip 2015


Thank you Nazrol for inviting me to join his trip to one of the most beautiful islands I've visited to date.

This is my second time to Redang Island, after my first one in 2012. We stayed at the same resort i.e. Redang Lagoon Resort. It's not posh but you don't have to worry about the food, because it's halal.

And this time, we took speed boat from the Merang Jetty, not the Shahbandar Jetty in Kuala Terengganu because it reaches the island faster from here - only 45 minutes.

If in the previous trip, I bumped into Fauziah Gous and Iqram Dinzly filming a telemovie there, this time around I was told by Ziana Din that an AF alumni was there staying in the same resort as us. He's the newcomer, Aman Aziz.

Anyhow, it was a pleasant and relaxing trip and I did enjoy my stay in one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Guys, let us preserve this treasure for the generations to come.

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

KENYATAAN MEDIA YBHG TAN SRI DATO' HJ MUHYIDDIN HJ MOHD YASSIN

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim.
Alhamdulillah, saya mengucapkan terima kasih kepada YAB Perdana Menteri kerana telah memberikan peluang kepada saya untuk berkhidmat dalam pentadbiran kerajaan persekutuan sebagai Timbalan Perdana Menteri bermula 10 April 2009.
Saya juga mengucapkan terima kasih kepada semua ketua-ketua jabatan, pegawai-pegawai kerajaan, pemimpin pertubuhan bukan kerajaan dan semua pihak yang telah menyokong saya sepanjang saya menjalankan tugas sebagai Timbalan Perdana Menteri.
Saya menerima keputusan YAB Perdana Menteri untuk menggugurkan saya daripada kabinet dengan hati yang terbuka. Saya menghormati kuasa prerogatif YAB Perdana Menteri untuk melantik dan menggugurkan mana-mana anggota kabinet.
Sebagai Timbalan Perdana Menteri, saya telah terlibat secara langsung dalam pembuatan dasar-dasar kerajaan dan melaksanakan tugas-tugas yang dipertanggungjawabkan kepada saya dengan penuh amanah. Selama saya berkhidmat, saya sentiasa mendokong semua dasar kerajaan dan menyokong kepimpinan YAB Perdana Menteri.
Kecuali dalam isu 1MDB, saya mempunyai prinsip dan pendirian saya sendiri dalam mempertahankan hak rakyat, nama baik parti dan kepentingan negara. Jika kerana pendirian saya dalam isu ini menyebabkan saya digugurkan daripada kabinet maka saya redha.
Saya akan sentiasa setia kepada perjuangan UMNO. Sebagai Timbalan Presiden UMNO, saya akan terus melaksanakan amanah yang telah dipertanggungjawabkan kepada saya dan mencurahkan khidmat bakti saya demi memperkukuhkan parti serta mengembalikan keyakinan orang Melayu dan rakyat kepada UMNO.
Kepada Allah saya berserah.
TAN SRI DATO' HJ MUHYIDDIN HJ MOHD YASSIN
28 Julai 2015

Najib Replaced Muhyiddin, At Last!

Another sad day in Malaysian politics. Najib Razak dropped Muhyiddin Yassin and appointed Zahid Hamidi instead.

People say, "politicians come,  politicians go". Only rakyat stay.

May Allah guide us all. Don't up give on Malaysia, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

#SaveMalaysia

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Murah Hati dan Kelangsungan Hidup

Sehari dua sebelum Aidilfitri, para netizen berdiskusi di Facebook tentang seorang ayah membawa tiga orang anaknya menaiki motorsikal pulang ke kampung.

Seminggu kemudiannya, viral lagi di Facebook tentang seorang peniaga yang pemurah, mendermakan sebuah kereta Iswara kepada keluarga ini untuk kegunaan seharian. Itupun, setelah puas memujuk si ayah selama dua jam untuk menerima pemberian ini.

Sekarang, tertanya-tanya benak ini apakah kereta itu bakal menyelesaikan hal ini - pulang ke kampung dengan selamat.

Hati ini juga tertanya-tanya, ke mana suri rumah keluarga ini? Adakah mereka mempunyai anak-anak yang lain? Tidakkah mereka juga pulang ke kampung untuk beraya? Bagaimana ya? Satu demi satu soalan datang tanpa jawapan.

Pada aku, masyarakat perlu disedarkan tentang bahaya menunggang motorsikal berempat sejauh 300-400 km itu. Mungkin si ayah menunggang dengan cermat tetapi ada juga kemalangan yang berlaku ekoran kelalaian pemandu yang lain. Aku tidak pernah menunggang motorsikal hampir 20 tahun tetapi aku pernah memandu lebih jauh daripada itu. Sedikit sebanyak keletihan tetap dirasa.

Mungkinkah itu adalah pilihan yang paling ekonomikal tetapi faktor keselamatannya bagaimana pula?

Aku rasa isu sebenar adalah kos sara hidup. Jika betul telahanku, pemberian kereta tersebut belum tentu akan membantu keluarga ini ke sana ke sini dengan murah dan selamat.

Aku rasa lebih sesuai bantuan diberi dalam bentuk pemberian tiket bas ekspres kepada keluarga ini. Jika sesiapa mempunyai maklumat lanjut tentang keluarga ini, mungkin boleh dipanjangkan kepada aku supaya boleh diusahakan inisiatif #TiketBasUntukPulangKeDesa.

Apa-apa pun, aku berdoa kepada Allah taala semoga keluarga ini diberikan perlindungan dan kelapangan hidup.

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, 29 June 2015

Melbourne property inflated, bribery involved, says The Age on Mara deal

Jika benar, mereka inilah pengkhianat yang sebenarnya. Mereka khianat amanah bangsa dan negara.

#TolakPerasuah
#BenciRasuah


Vendors for Dudley International House in Melbourne have admitted in a sworn testimony that they inflated the price of the property, rubbishing claims by Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) that it paid lower than the market rate for the property, The Age said. The Australian paper's regional editor and journalist told The Malaysian Insider the.... http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/melbourne-property-inflated-bribery-involved-says-the-age-on-mara-deal

Monday, 22 June 2015

Baby hatches aim to reduce infant dumping

Baby hatches, a place for parents to anonymously leave infants for adoption, are aimed at reducing the rate of baby dumping cases in Malaysia and saving the lives of newborn babies.

KPJ Penang Specialist Hospital chief executive officer Abd Aziz Abd Rahman said many still threw unwanted babies into garbage bins, toilet bowls, drains or lavatories despite baby hatches being made available.

"Dumping babies is one of the easiest ways by a couple who commits adultery and illegitimate pregnancies in this modern life, but they must not dump in disgusting areas.

"Many are still not aware of baby hatch places amid phobias and panic thus throwing the baby into garbage bins. The spirit of having a baby hatch is to help save babies' lives," he told reporters today.

According to Abd Aziz, a baby hatch was opened in KPJ Penang last year but had yet to receive any babies due to a lack of awareness of such a service. He added that the act of leaving a baby in the hatch was not a criminal offence.

He also expressed hope that illegitimate newborns could be left in a safe environment as they did not ask to be born but nevertheless had the right to live.

Currently, nine KPJs offer baby hatches, namely KPJ Tawakkal (Kuala Lumpur), KPJ Seremban, KPJ Ipoh, KPJ Johor, KPJ Kuantan, KPJ Penang, KPJ Perdana (Kota Baru), KPJ@Damai (Kota Kinabalu) and KPJ Kuching.

Abd Aziz said seven babies were saved by baby hatches at nine KPJ hospitals since the programme was launched in 2010 by non-governmental organisation OrphanCARE Foundation.

He said KPJ had an integrated standard operating procedure for the managing of the baby hatch collaboration with OrphanCARE, including lodging a police report within 24 hours after the incidence report was made to OrphanCARE.

Abd Aziz said the baby would then be released to police, OrphanCARE and representatives of the Social Welfare Department for future adoption which had a long waiting list. – Bernama, June 22, 2015.

Note: The article was first published on The Malaysian Insider

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

MaDu by Koperasi Alumni Sekolah Tinggi Melaka Berhad

Dear friends,

We have set up a cooperative recently and now selling a range of pure honey products. We really hope for your support. For more info, visit us on Facebook or Instagram

You may call/sms/whatsapp us at 014-6288821, 012-2623285, 010-2944974, 011-14764891 or 012-6067337. We also have a stockist at Kedai Mutiara Egypt, Tesco Ampang. 

Thank you

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Ke hadapan kawan-kawan sekelian, 

Kami telah menubuhkan sebuah koperasi dan sekarang ini menjual barangan berasaskan madu asli. Kami amat mengharapkan sokongan kawan-kawan sekelian. Untuk maklumat lanjut, lawati kami di Facebook or Instagram.

Anda boleh juga telefon/sms/whatsapp kami di talian 014-6288821, 012-2623285, 010-2944974, 011-14764891 or 012-6067337. Kami juga mempunyai satu stokis di Kedai Mutiara Egypt, Tesco Ampang.

Terima kasih.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Group to hold walk for raped teenager on 7 June 2015

It's kind of sad that such episode happened in my beloved country. Despite the loopholes of the existing law with regard to statutory rape, I personally think the lawyer defending the 60 year-old man charged with raping a minor should feel ashamed of his decision to take up his case.

In solidarity to the poor girl, let us ensure this black episode won't happen again.

#NO2Rapists

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A coalition of women and children's civil society groups, Citizens Against Rape, will hold a walk in Kuala Lumpur this Sunday to raise awareness on protecting children in the wake of the acquittal of a 60-year-old man charged with raping a minor in Sibu four years ago. The 14-year-old girl became pregnant and in 2012 gave birth to a son. DNA tests showed that the man, Bunya Jalong, was the biological father of the child.

The court acquitted the man based on the legal definition of “sexual intercourse” which means only penile penetration.
- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/group-to-hold-walk-for-raped-teenager-this-sunday#sthash.Ps2e4I4s.dpufhttp://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/group-to-hold-walk-for-raped-teenager-this-sunday

Monday, 1 June 2015

My long lost friend

A friend sent these two pictures to one of my alumni Telegram groups. Ya Rabbi Ya Rasul, only Allah know how excited I was every time I heard or met of long lost friends.

This friend of mine that I got to know in 1990, when he got selected for MHS' football sponsorship scheme. He's from Masjid Tanah, Melaka.

I like chatty people, and Norizan Isfak Ahmad was one of those friends that I ran to if I need a pair of listening ears.

After SRP, I moved to a boarding school in Johor and I got to know he left MHS too. Since then, I heard nothing from him.

Old friends bring back memories and I treasure all of my memories, be it sweet or bitter. I'm not a person who regrets things that I did in the past, but actually I did regret of not writing diaries during my school days. How I envy my friend, Rezuan who had that habit since at young age. How I wish I could flip through those pages, to refresh me of the colourful life I had during my student life.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Girls and a boy


Makan-makan is the ritual of our department. And all of us like to eat! Well, who doesn't rite?

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, 4 May 2015

Friday, 17 April 2015

Congratulations Tony!


TIME has included Tony Fernandes as one of the 100 Most Influential People in its latest publication. Congratulations, you really deserve the spot. I hope more Malaysians are inspire by him to strive our very best in what ever field we are in.

Enjoy reading what TIME has written about Tony Fernandes.

Air-travel companion

More than 8 million people are in the air each day traveling in planes, trusting their lives to the care of strangers. Technicians, in-flight crew, pilots. You don't hear much when things go as planned. When things go wrong, there is terrible speculation, uncertainty and questions from every direction.

People reveal their true selves in the worst of times. After learning that AirAsia Flight 8501 had gone missing, Tony Fernandes stilled the chaos by being himself—a family man and a business leader. He guided his company and employees through the horror. As AirAsia continued to serve its passengers, Tony acted as a friend, father and son to families whose darkest days were not done.

The end of every journey is home. With his strength, candor and compassion, Tony helps get AirAsia's passengers home every day. And he continues to lead a company that has earned the trust of travelers.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Laluan khas basikal pertama di ibu kota kini dibuka

KUALA LUMPUR: Laluan khas basikal yang pertama di Kuala Lumpur sepanjang 5.5 kilometer dari Dataran Merdeka ke Mid Valley, Bangsar, kini dibuka untuk kegunaan orang ramai.

Perasmian laluan tersebut disempurnakan Datuk Bandar Kuala Lumpur, Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib yang berbasikal menyusuri laluan tersebut bermula di Mid Valley bersama penunggang lain pada pagi Selasa.

“Saya berharap laluan basikal ini dapat dimanfaatkan sepenuhnya dan tidak disalahgunakan,” kata Ahmad Phesal dalam sidang media pelancaran laluan khas tersebut di Menara Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL).

Pembangunan laluan khas menyusuri Sungai Klang, Brickfields, pekarangan Kompleks Dayabumi dan seterusnya Lebuh Pasar Besar itu dimulakan pada 2013 dan menelan belanja sekitar RM700,000.

Langkah ini bertujuan menggalakkan penggunaan basikal sebagai mod pengangkutan alternatif bagi mengurangkan jumlah kenderaan yang menyumbang kepada kesesakan lalu lintas setiap hari, selain usaha mengurangkan kadar pencemaran di Kuala Lumpur.

Selain itu, ia dapat menyemarakkan budaya berbasikal dalam kalangan masyarakat Malaysia terutamanya yang tinggal di ibu kota, sejajar pelaksanaan Fit Malaysia dalam membentuk negara yang lebih sihat dan cergas.

Sementara itu, dalam sidang media pada majlis tersebut, Ahmad Phesal berkata dua lagi projek laluan basikal akan menyusul, iaitu laluan dari Wangsa Maju ke Taman Melati sepanjang empat kilometer dan Wangsa Maju ke Taman Batu Muda sepanjang dua kilometer yang melibatkan kos pembangunan sekitar RM2.3 juta.

“Selain itu kami sedang memikirkan untuk membangunkan satu lagi projek seumpamanya di kawasan sepanjang Sungai Bunus. Kalau ia dapat diselaraskan dan diperluaskan sebagai sebahagian daripada rancangan pembangunan ‘Greater KL’, apa salahnya.”

Projek laluan basikal ini merupakan sebahagian pakej pelancongan ibu negara dalam memperkenal Kuala Lumpur sebagai bandar raya pesat membangun yang turut mempromosikan budaya sihat.

Bagaimanapun, Ahmad Phesal berkata laluan khas basikal Mid Valley-Dataran Merdeka itu masih terdapat banyak kekurangan yang perlu ditambah baik.

Untuk itu, beberapa cadangan penambahbaikan seperti penggunaan lampu solar dan pemasangan kamera litar tertutup (CCTV) untuk tujuan keselamatan selain pembangunan landskap di sepanjang laluan akan dilaksanakan dari semasa ke semasa.

Anggota peronda DBKL juga akan ditugaskan mengawal lalu lintas serta keselamatan penunggang yang menggunakan laluan tersebut.

“Kita akan menambah lagi kekuatan anggota berserta aset rondaan. Ketika ini DBKL memiliki unit peronda basikal dengan kekuatan seramai 20 orang anggota, dan 40 basikal akan ditambah dalam masa terdekat,” katanya.


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Kongsi melalui applikasi iPhone Astro Awani  http://www.astroawani.com/apps

Friday, 10 April 2015

MaDu by KOASTMAL

My friends and I have successfully set up a cooperative for the ex-students of Melaka High School recently.

Our first project is to market and sell natural honey products.

Please do support us!


Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Film Trailer: 1,2 JAGA

I found this trailer on Youtube. Another promising film by a talented local artiste, Namron. The film is expected to hit Malaysian cinema in May or June 2015.

Enjoy watching the trailer below.

http://youtu.be/XbVcZgDcazc


Sent from my iPhone

Friday, 3 April 2015

Malacca to build tallest telco tower in Asean

The Malacca government plans to build the tallest telecommunications tower in Southeast Asia.
Chief Minister Datuk Idris Haron said Melaka ICT Holdings (MITCH) will be asked to prepare the feasibility studies on the 186-metre tower in two weeks’ time.
"It will be another landmark for Malacca apart from providing better telecommunications services for the people," he told reporters yesterday. – Bernama, April 3, 2015.

The man who's always on the bus

The article was first published on BBC News on 2 April 2015.

Spending all your nights sleeping on buses seems a grim fate. But that's the existence some people endure, writes Damian Zane.

Heathrow airport is pretty empty at 2am. One of the few people around is a man waiting for a bus.

It's part of his nightly ritual as he seeks shelter on London's network of night buses.

This is Ahmed, not his real name, a 44-year-old failed asylum seeker from India. He's wrapped in a large cream, canvas coat, with a thick brush of grey hair combed to one side.

Ahmed starts his journey at about 11pm in Leicester Square, in the heart of tourist London, packed full of people throughout most of the night.

It's a perfect place to remain invisible.

But Ahmed's typical nightly route starts with the number 24 to Hampstead Heath. Then he gets off, and gets the bus straight back where he came."With all these people going to the pubs and clubs, you can stay here until four o'clock in the morning," he says.

By the time he reaches central London again, the night buses have started and he can pick one of the longest routes to allow for the most rest.

"Sometimes I think about ending my life," he says, while contemplating the possibility of being arrested and forced to return to India.

Ahmed is a Muslim who grew up on a farm in rural Gujarat. Fearing for his life in the communal riots there in 2002, he fled to London. During an earlier bout of violence he'd witnessed his uncle being stabbed to death.

Traumatised by that experience and concerned that he could be targeted, he was persuaded by his parents to leave and find a better life outside India.

"They said 'you should go, don't worry about us'. That day was a very heavy day for me because I [was] leaving my parents alone," he says.

With a visitor's visa in his passport he flew into Heathrow and applied for asylum. It was rejected. India is considered to be a generally safe country, and certainly big enough for the possibility of restarting a life away from Gujarat.

Ahmed's appeal was also refused and he was told to return to India. But instead he chose to silently drop out of the system, fearing the consequences of returning home.

Not being allowed to work, he had no income and soon began sleeping rough - in doorways and behind bins, occasionally a bed in a shelter. Eventually he heard about the bus option, and has since spent much of the past three-and-a-half years sleeping on night buses.

And during that time, he's picked up certain techniques to remain undetected.

But Ahmed has also learned other methods to improve his chances of a good sleep.

He rushes to the front of the queue, he says, because there are others like him and everyone clamours for the seats on the lower deck, above the engine at the back, where it's warmest.

Ahmed says it's easy to spot others in a similar situation. Many are dressed in jeans and layers of hooded sweatshirts to keep out the cold, often avoiding eye contact in an effort not to be noticed.

At one stop, he points out migrants who he's travelled on the buses with before. It's a fleeting glimpse of some sort of camaraderie between these night travellers, but they all have their own individual struggles to contend with, which can hamper the development of strong friendships.

Ahmed is one of thousands of failed asylum seekers, as well as people awaiting the outcome of appeals, drifting through London, often unrealistically hoping their circumstances will suddenly change.

No accurate count of their numbers exists. It's inherently difficult to count people who have dropped off the radar. A report last year said that the Home Office is unaware how many of the 175,000 people who have no right to be in the UK still remain.

On the bus, Ahmed grabs some rest whenever he can.

He says he has a recurring dream. "It's like somebody's after me, they're going to hit me or stab me." Ahmed says that some people in the same situation can be hostile, pushing and shouting at him.

But his constant fear is of being discovered by authorities. So he adopts a common survival strategy - never cause trouble and never be where trouble is happening.

On the busy Friday and Saturday night buses, things can get rowdy, he says, making it difficult to sleep. But if ever that rowdiness escalates into violence, Ahmed is off at the next stop, keen to avoid being there if police are called.

He's not entirely alone in his struggle to survive in London. A mosaic of organisations exists in the city to help migrants and asylum seekers. They can provide piecemeal help in the form of small cash hand-outs, legal advice, a hot meal and a shower.

Three times a week Ahmed visits a centre in east London where he can wash himself and his clothes. He also stores two plastic bags holding his possessions there. At another of these charities, Ahmed cooks in return for travel money to ride his buses. After the meal, Ahmed plays table tennis and Scrabble with other migrants.

A free meal and the chance of companionship is a big draw.

"I love cooking, I'm happy if the people are eating and bless me," he says. "It means more to me than getting my papers to stay. It's by people's blessing that things will get sorted out."

But these moments of pleasure and purpose are just short punctuations in long stretches of loneliness. And once the centre closes for the day Ahmed is back on the buses.

"Last night my leg was paining me, my whole body was aching, and now the weather's getting cold," he says. "Two winters I passed on the buses and it was quite difficult. It's very difficult to survive in the winter time."

We board the night bus to Heathrow Airport. At 80 minutes, it's one of the longest routes on the network.

But arriving at an airport raises the nagging question about what is so wrong with returning to India. In the UK he has no job, no place to live and no security. It is hard to imagine what could be worse than this.

Yet Ahmed is adamant. "I can't go. Back home I have a more dangerous situation and persecution. So I'm not ready to go back to India.

"If my situation is getting worse then there may be no alternative for me [but to kill myself]. I always pray that I never get caught and sent back to India."

But how much longer can he continue?

Another couple of years, Ahmed says. He clings to the hope that once he's been in the UK for 12 years he'll be allowed to stay officially. But that optimism is not backed up by the law.

Such a provision - after 14 years, not 12 - did exist until 2012. People living in the UK - either legally or illegally - for that time could then apply for leave to remain. That period has now been lengthened to 20 years.

And unless Ahmed decides to return to India, or gets caught, that means many more hours of waiting, and many more night buses.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Enough with the comics, give full list of GST-free items, says Rafidah

BY ANISAH SHUKRY
Published: 31 March 2015 7:00 AM
The article was first published on The Malaysian Insider.
Putrajaya must change its current approach of educating the public on the goods and services tax (GST) by publishing immediately a list of tax-exempted items in every newspaper in the country, former minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz said.
The outspoken former international trade and industry minister said a clear list would help consumers to be better prepared for the new tax which takes effect tomorrow.
She said Putrajaya’s reliance on the use of cartoons, billboards and technical jargon such as "zero-rated" for the past year to explain GST has left Malaysian consumers, including herself, more confused over the new tax system.
"It should be made available in all the newspapers, in all languages, and it should not be technical,” Rafidah told The Malaysian Insider.
"Our problem is that the explanation so far has not been clear. The government has been using different sources or different approaches, and most of them have been very technical.
"For instance, who understands what ‘zero-rated’ means? Why can’t they just use the phrase ‘tak kena GST’ or ‘no GST’. That’s much simpler and easier to remember.”
She said it was also important that Putrajaya first cleared the air over which items would not be taxed, so that consumers would not rush to stores and hoard goods unnecessarily in anticipation of the GST.
Rafidah said the newspaper pull-out would also help consumers identify traders who raise prices on items that were not affected by the GST.
"Let’s say on April 1, I read the newspaper and I see that soap will not be taxed. Then I go to the supermarket and see they are charging me 6% for it. Thanks to the pull-out, I know they are cheating me and I can report this.
"Forget about the various codes, the technical jargon and whatnot. All that is irrelevant,” said Rafidah.
She added that Putrajaya could pay for the newspaper pull-out as the cost involved would be far less than erecting large billboards across the country.
"Some time ago, there was a billboard near my house that said education would be exempted from GST. It even had a cartoon drawing on it. I thought, what does that mean? Are university fees or tuition fees exempted from GST? What about books or computers or school-related tools?
"Instead of spending money on all those billboards, by this time you could’ve gotten a complete publication on all the items that are not taxed,” said Rafidah.
She added that a separate exercise should be done for traders so that they could calculate how the GST would affect them, and urged the government to hold meetings with associations.
"Right now, there appears to be no coordinated effort. That’s the only problem. I have no quarrels with the tax itself. It is a good move to rationalise taxes. But people are not familiar with it; some are taking advantage of it, and that causes confusion and hoarding.” she added.
The GST jingle sung by customs officers which was mocked online by Malaysians. – The Malaysian Insider pic, March 31, 2015.One of Putrajaya's efforts to educate the public on GST through a music video recently received heavy criticism from Malaysians after went viral on the internet.
The video, purportedly created by the Customs Department, hailed the virtues of implementing GST, but was panned by critics as "sad", "cheesy" and "reminiscent of the 1970s".
In the meantime, to ease the transition period, the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry has set up a round-the-clock operations room to monitor prices after the GST kicks off.
Located at Precinct 2 in Putrajaya, the operations room would also take complaints and reports from the public on GST matters.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Bank Rakyat FY14 net profit up 2.7%, pays 15% dividend

By Ahmad Naqib Idris / The Edge Financial Daily   | March 24, 2015  

KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Kerjasama Rakyat Malaysia Bhd (Bank Rakyat) announced a 15% dividend payout after its net profit grew 2.7% to RM1.96 billion for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2014 (FY14), compared with RM1.91 billion the previous year.

It also saw a record high profit before tax and zakat of RM2.16 billion for FY14, up 1.6% from RM2.13 billion in FY13.

“Bank Rakyat has performed well in 2014, despite the challenging economic environment, following the fall in commodity prices and the ringgit,” Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hasan Malek told a news conference to announce the cooperative bank’s results yesterday.

The bank’s total dividend distribution for FY14 — at 15% — was at RM450 million compared with RM446 million in FY13, which was also at 15%.

“A 15% dividend payout is considered high, in terms of yield. So we maintained the same dividend payout as in 2013,” said Bank Rakyat managing director Datuk Mustafha Abdul Razak.

Bank Rakyat reported a gross income of RM5.98 billion, contributed mostly by income of RM4.53 billion from financing. Its other operating income was up 9.44% at RM571.56 million from RM522.26 million in the previous year, largely due to recoveries on financing written off of RM205.92 million.

Its gross financing balance climbed 5.6% year-on-year to RM62.1 billion, while consumer gross financing increased by 7.3% to RM56.71 billion.

The bank reported a 7.6% growth in assets to RM89.18 billion, while its return on assets remained strong at 2.5%.

Total deposits for the year expanded 4.9% to RM68.52 billion, with retail deposits accounting for 16.9% of the total compared with 16% in FY13.

Non-performing loans (NPL) were lower at 2% in FY14 compared with 2.2% in FY13.

“We are improving our underwriting standards and our NPL will continue to improve further. We would like to bring them to be on par with the industry’s standard of 1.7%, within this year or the next,” said Mustafha.

He said the bank sees a big potential in the non-government market, and would like to expand its footprint in the private segment.

“If you look at the number of people, that are working in Malaysia, of about 13.2 million workers, 1.5 million of them come from the government sector. So there is a market of about 12 million employees in the private sector. If we can capture about 3% to 5% or so of this market, it is already a lot. We are already targeting this new market but we are still very cautious as we want to make sure the quality of the asset is good,” said Mustafha.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Race-based parties growing more irrelevant, survey shows

BY ANISAH SHUKRY | Published: 16 March 2015 
The article was first published on The Malaysian Insider.

Malaysian voters overwhelmingly want political parties which take care of all Malaysians, rather than ones that fight for just their own race and religion, a survey has shown, even as ruling parties Umno, MIC and MCA continue to rely on race-based politics to drum up support.

The survey, commissioned by The Malaysian Insider, found that the racial rhetoric these parties thrive on is not consistent with what Malaysians want.

Of all the respondents polled, 76.9% said they preferred a party that was inclusive over one that catered to just their community.

This preference cuts across race, age and the political divide, the survey carried out by independent pollster Merdeka Center found.
In terms of ethnicity, 67.5% of Malays, 91.4% Chinese and 89.2% Indians polled said they preferred a party that takes care of all Malaysians.

Only 27.8% Malays answered otherwise, despite the rise of vocal Malay/Muslim pressure groups such as Perkasa and Isma, which claim to represent thousands of members and are demanding that Umno to do more to protect the Malays.

“What Barisan Nasional stands for – race-based politics – is growing increasingly out of sync among the electorate. Even among the Malays. It’s only the really hardcore who want race-based politics,” Ibrahim Suffian, the director of Merdeka Center, told The Malaysian Insider.

And despite Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s increasingly right-leaning stance, 73.4% of Barisan Nasional supporters who were surveyed said they wanted a party which takes care of all races.

Meanwhile, 77% of respondents who were still undecided about which party to support said a party that caters to all races could represent them during voting time.

Most Malaysians also said the most important quality they looked for in a candidate during elections was one with good relationships with all ethnic groups.

“It is clear from the survey that Barisan Nasional is running behind and that it’s playing catch up with the public, who are open to less race-based parties and want ones that cater for all Malaysians,” said Ibrahim.

“And you have a big chunk not affiliated with either side, who are looking at what the politicians can deliver. These Malaysians are no longer dependent on the mainstream media, they can make up their own minds.”

However, Ibrahim said this did not necessarily spell the end of Barisan Nasional, because many Malaysians who were unable to sit well with the race-based politics were willing to overlook it, as long as the ruling coalition continued to deliver.

“Their supporters think, ‘yes, I don’t agree with the politics of BN, but it puts food on the table, it gives me jobs, and it prevents the other guys from taking over’. So you’ve got people still voting for them,” said Ibrahim.

In a testament to the 52% of Malaysians who voted for Pakatan Rakyat during the 2013 general election, the survey revealed that when voting, most Malaysians (63.2%) regardless of race looked for a party leadership that promoted change or reform, as opposed to one that preserved the status quo (25.6%).

Interestingly, supporters of the incumbent, BN, were split on the issue, with 46.8% saying they wanted a party leadership that espoused change, and 42.2% saying otherwise.

Party leadership is the main consideration most Malaysians (45.1%) take into account when voting, the survey showed, while only 17.3% and 15% said the party or candidate being fielded in their area, respectively, was their number one concern.

Change and reform had been among Najib’s buzzwords when he took on the Umno presidency in 2009, but the prime minister has had to dial back on his reforms – most notably his promise to repeal the Sedition Act 1948 – following pressure from within his own party.

The survey involved 1,008 respondents of voting age, who were interviewed by telephone from January 21 to 30 and chosen through the random stratified sampling method along the lines of ethnicity, gender, age and parliamentary constituencies.

All parliamentary constituencies were surveyed and the selection of the respondents is proportional with respect to the population.

Friday, 13 March 2015

EPF says 80% of workers have savings below poverty line as they turn 55

BY SHERIDAN MAHAVERA
Published: 13 March 2015 8:23 AM

Malaysian workers during morning rush hour on their way to work. EFP says most Malaysians have not enough savings in their pensions fund as they reach 55, forcing many people to work into their 70s, reflecting latest global trends. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, March 13, 2015.
Malaysian workers during morning rush hour on their way to work. EFP says most Malaysians have not enough savings in their pensions fund as they reach 55, forcing many people to work into their 70s, reflecting latest global trends. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, March 13, 2015.
Nearly 80% of workers who will turn 55 this year will not have enough savings in their Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to live above the poverty line, according to figures released by the fund’s chief executive officer.

Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said for the next 20 years, the workers would not have enough in total EPF savings to enable them to live on RM800 a month, which is close to Malaysia’s average poverty line income of RM830.

This is because most of them had low wages when they started contributing to the fund in 1980s, and continued earning relatively low salaries till they turned 55, said Shahril, who did not provide a number for this batch of retirees.

The revelation shines the spotlight on the problem of low incomes among a majority of Malaysian workers, even as Putrajaya said it aims to make Malaysia a high income nation in five years’ time.
According to Shahril, more than 75% of its 14 million EPF contributors earn less than RM2,000 a month. About 15% earn between RM2,000 and RM5,000 a month, while those earning more than RM5,000 are in the top 10%.

The EPF has set RM196,800 as a savings threshold that would allow a contributor to spend at least RM800 a month for the next 20 years.

The threshold is revised every three years to take into account inflation.

Only about 20% of its contributors who turn 55 this year are expected to have RM196,800 in total savings. That percentage is likely to stay about the same in the coming years, said Shahril.

“Historically, we have a low wage environment, so that percentage has inched up only a little.

“This is why we tell contributors not to take out their savings till they are 60, when they really retire.

“That extra five years can earn them an extra 40% through compound interest,” Shahril (pic, right) said when met after a talk organised by the Chevening Alumni Association in Kuala Lumpur last night.

These figures, he said, reflect the new reality of working life in Malaysia, as people will have to work beyond 55 in order to save enough to live out the rest of their lives.

“This is the trend in developed countries and we are getting there. The reality is that you cannot retire and enjoy yourself at 55 any longer.”

That age was set in the 1950s and has not been changed to take into account longer life expectancies, he said, adding that these days, people expect to live through their 70s.

This trend is compounded by the fact that Malaysia is a rapidly ageing nation. In 2030, 17% of the population will be aged above 65, he said. In 2040, people aged 65 will outnumber younger individuals.

“So we need policies to deal with this, such as financial literacy training so that young people are aware of the need to save for retirement and how to integrate old workers into the market.

“These are issues that advanced economies have to deal with and we are getting there,” said Shahril. - March 13, 2015.

- The article was first published on http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/epf-says-80-of-workers-have-savings-below-poverty-line-as-they-turn-55#sthash.rwsMYIjt.dpuf

Monday, 23 February 2015

Lenders look to Plan B after passing on three-way merger

Malaysian lenders are rolling out alternative growth strategies for their Islamic businesses, after a proposed three-way merger that would have created one of the world's largest Islamic banks was scrapped last month. Weak economic conditions scuppered plans for a tie-up of Malaysia's second-biggest lender CIMB Group Holdings Bhd with RHB.... http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/lenders-look-to-plan-b-after-passing-on-three-way-merger

Friday, 13 February 2015

Takziah buat keluarga Allahyarham Tuan Guru Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat

Semoga Allah mengampunkan Tuan Guru dan tempatkan roh beliau di kalangan hamba-hamba yang diredhai-Nya.

Kehilangan besar kepada umat Islam di Malaysia.

Al-fatihah.

My first and only meeting with him in 1998 had totally changed my perception on him. Since then, he has impacted a lot on my life and even elevated to the Warga Gemilang Wall of Fame on 16 May 2000.