Food & Reviews

Nu Skin EcoSphere water purifier

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Hey, what’s this? It’s the new water purifier system from NuSkin – ‘Ecosphere’! Just got the news earlier last week and went for the briefing about this newest addition to the NuSkin product family hot on the trail of the AgeLOC LumiSpa™. It will be mde available to all in January 2018.

Many of us have or may think of getting a water filter/purifier at some point but what are the main reasons and what are the factors at play that we want one? Generally, based on claims from certain quarters, Malaysia’s tap water is safe for consumption. But I doubt neither of us would want to quench our thirst straight from the pipe right? Why? Personally, I have a simple water filter at home and has been using it for like a couple of years.

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We all know no matter how ‘clean’ the water is supplied to our homes, we would never want to consume it right away. Either we boil it or merely get a water filter to do the job efficiently. But do you know what is actually inside the water even after it is treated in the water-plant?

For starters we have these:

Heavy metals: Lead, Arsenic & Copper

Synthetic chemicals: Chlorine, Fluoride & Pesticides

Pollutants: Fuel, Sediment, Sewage & Rust

With the above substances inside our water, one would easily tell it’s not safe for consuming, well at least for long term. We all need something that works, cost-effective and also, something classy to work for us. Enter NuSkin EcoSphere Water Purifier! What is so special about this and what sets it apart?

The EcoSphere Water Purifier eliminates harmful toxins, chemicals, and other impurities from tap water to provide clean, safe drinking water for you and your family to drink healthy. Its i4 UltraPure Technology is representative of NuSkin’s commitment to superior water purification. It consists of intelligent 4-stage ultra purification technology that supports overall wellness and helps you avoid health risks by effectively eliminating 99.9999-percent of bacteria. This intelligent 4-stage ultra purification technology is superior to carbon block filters or even microfiltration. Hop over to https://www.nuskin.com/content/nuskin/en_SG/products/EcoSphere-Water-Purifier/about.html to read more about the product.

Ad-experienceFinally, if there’s something at home that I want and it’s efficient doing what it does, it has to be classy and minimalist. NuSkin never fail to offer its range of products that is not polished and elegant. The installation is simple and most of all, it wouldn’t look out of place anywhere in the kitchen or anywhere with  tap and power point.

At night, there’s even a luminous blue light emitting from the top and it is a most wonderful sight when you want to get a glass of total purified water in the dark. The faucet extension is also carefully and neatly designed for an uncomplicated look and use.

We can’t wait for the availability next year and while getting younger and healthier, we are also decorating our home with more and more stylish items from NuSkin. Offering someone we love the most there is to offer is the best gift we can bestow. Mom and Dad certainly need one of these!

Signing off. Until we owned one of these… cheers to a healthy and clean clear glass of water !


Images courtesy of Nuskin Enterprise and all related agents and parties involved.

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Star Wars : The Last Jedi is delightful!

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Caught the movie on the opening night itself (14th Dec 2017) after feeling a little jaded from work earlier. The 3 of us caught the 10pm show as the little guy don’t have to go his holiday tuition the next day. And we didn’t know it’s a 2 1/2 hours show.  And what do we, or rather I think of the movie as a Star Wars fan? It was brilliant. But there’s a chapter where I think it’s a little unnecessary (or could be done in another way) which took the gas off a little. Mild spoilers ahead.

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The opening scene is something what all Star Wars fan wanted, a space battle with Star Destroyers, X-wings, Tie-Fighters and some Rebellion bombers (MG-100 StarFortress SF-17). There is a new ship called the ‘Dreadnought’ (Mandator IV-class Siege Dreadnought) which is simply beautiful and deadly, only the screen time dampens it’s classiness. A movie like this should have a fast-paced opening scene to settle the expectation and this didn’t fail. Wonderfully shot and a little emotions was thrown in by the end of the 1st act.

Although the Luke-Rey piece sort of slowed down the approach somewhat but it gives the impression that the new Star Wars franchise do really want to focus more on character development rather than pure good-evil battle scenes. I enjoyed how the relationship unfolds and what is in store for Rey as well as Luke Skywalker after the latter lost all interest in reigniting the Force and the continuing the Jedi reform.

As mentioned earlier, the part where it is a little cumbersome and could be done slightly different is where Finn and Rose went about looking for a codebreaker in the planet Canto Bight. I personally don’t see any continuation of that part to the rest of what is happening in space. The casino and the Fathiers (the cow horse animal) scenes are probably there just to satisfy the franchise’s tradition of having strange creatures and space inhabitants to grace the show. Another setting would be more appropriate I guess. But hey, that’s just me.

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The majestic throne room of Snoke

The part where the Rebellion is constantly pushing through various means of survival from the chasing First Order army and the tension that’s growing between Rey, Ren and Luke is one of the best approach to bring us to the final act. I was repeatedly asking when is the last frame of the movie and I was again and again brought to another setting and sequence to unravel the drama and it’s surprising and thrilling at the same time.

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The battle of Crait

By the time we get to the battle of Crait, there is a slight flashback of Empire Strikes Back – Battle of Hoth anyone?. With the incoming walkers and defending Rebellion troops in a tight area waiting to buy time, yeah this feels like it. Good scene though but not entirely captivating. And Luke’s galaxy-spanning representation is one of the most mind-blowing thing about this movie. Although it’s a refreshing take on Jedi powers, but one just feel the ending of Luke Skywalker (at least in physical form) felt rushed.

The ending is subtle and paved a good foundation to the (final chapter?) of Star Wars in Episode 9. Will the opening scene again have the First Order hot on the Millennium Falcon’s tail or it’ll be told a few good years after the latest events where the Rebels has gain back their momentum and support from the rest of the galaxy? We’ll find out soon in Dec 2019. I want to, do you?

Visually stunning and good value rentals

When we search for a place to rent, we usually look for those with a good location, nice decor, great furnishing and of course, a really good price. How often do we get these? Not often enough I must say. The first impression is equally important and something nice doesn’t always come with a nice price tag. But in this case, we have 2 equally fantastic units to offer!

First, we have Ameera @ SS2. This is our first spotlight of this month’s ‘poetry in a room’ condominium. This close to 1,300 sqft home is an award-winning unit with the Gold Award at The Edge–Haven My Dream Home Awards in 2012.  It is tastefully designed and deliciously furnished to the highest standard. With a touch of artistic punch coupled with a contemporary nudge, this is truly a home for the modern urbanites. Let me know if you need more pictures to satisfy that curiosity.

Ameera Residences is the first phase of a mixed development built by SDB Properties (a subsidiary of Selangor Dredging Bhd). The condo’s name, Ameera simply means “princess” in Arabic. This condo is expected to be fully completed by end of 2009 and would be ready for occupancy by the first quarter of 2010.

Ameera Residences has two sections – a low rise block and a 29-storey tower block. The low rise block has an “L” shaped building where one side of the building is 4-storey high and another side is 12-storey high. The low rise block features 53 villas, including limited edition garden villas and penthouses. At the tower block, there will be 237 condo units including 5 penthouses.

Ameera Residences is located along Jalan SS2/72, within the SS2 neighborhood in Petaling Jaya. It is accessible via Lebuhraya Damansara Puchong (LDP), Jalan SS2/24, Jalan 17/47, Jalan Universiti, and Sprint Highway. It is within walking distance to schools and institutions (SK Taman Sea, SJKC Puay Chai, UTAR and The Otomotif College), food outlets, corporate offices, shopping malls (Tropicana City Mall, 1-Utama) and many others.

Next, we have the newly refurbished Pantai Panorama unit. The unit was off the market for a good couple of months and what a comeback this time around. The living hall is totally revamped and was given a contemporary look and with new furniture and additional items around the unit, it gives the potential tenant a good run for their money and add in a friendly owner/landlord, this is a must go to unit if you’re looking for something nice in Pantai Panorama. As of the time of writing this, we already have 2 offers coming from 2 expats!

Pantai Panorama is a freehold condominium located in Bukit Kerinchi (formerly known as Kampung Kerinchi) in Pantai, right above the new development of 60-acre Bangsar South.

Pantai Panorama comprises of five 18-storey towers that house a total of 708 units. It was developed by AMDB and completed in 1996. The condominium is complete with full condominium facilities including swimming pools, mini mart, playground, BBQ area, spa, gymnasium, restaurant and laundrette. It is secured by 24-hour security guard service and its security is enhanced by CCTV and lift access card.

Pantai Panorama is strategically located nearby amenities and prime areas. It is just mere minutes away from Mid Valley Megamall, The Gardens and Bangsar Village. You can easily access to the condominium from Federal Highway, Penchala Link and New Pantai Expressway.


Details of each property are courtesy of Propwall.

Mummy’s birthday!

A little late with this post as I’ve been running around lately. Nevertheless, it was 5th November, mum’s birthday! Happy birthday again mummy!

As usual, we had a simple dinner that night itself at our favourite restaurant in Sri Petaling  – Restoran Makanan Laut Soon Fatt. This place serves its food fast, big portioned and it’s delicious. Price wise, very reasonable indeed.  We had the sambal belacan kangkung (water spinach), pineapple pork ribs, spicy & sour banana leaf tilapia and the deep fried egg-fused cuttlefish. The whole meal cost less than RM100.

Once we’re done with the dinner, we headed straight home to do the cake cutting and our family photo (very simple and casual ones). We had the fruit and cream sponge butter cake. Adrian suggested we have a slightly different pose this round. The ‘dabbing’. It is pretty funny to see all of us doing that – but it turned out well and serve a good memory.

Mum had a surprise gift from us and Adrian did the wrapping and the deco. Wasn’t that shabby too. Look at the stick figures. Complete with initials. Since mum and dad go for morning walks, we decided to get her a nice Adidas Cloudfoam Galaxy 3 trainers.  We hope she liked it.

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Just want to say that my mum hold a very special place in my life and we are equally happy and grateful to have celebrated another birthday with her. We love you, mum!

Understand your housing loan repayment scheme… it’s not as straight forward as it seems

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Most if not all house buyers will require financing to buy their dream homes. While there appears to be stiff competition among banks for market share and interest rates may be kept low, house buyers are ultimately at the mercy of banks when it comes to the detailed terms and conditions of the housing loan. (Banks in this context refers to commercial banks, Islamic banks and other financial institutions).

Unfair legal fees

When a borrower takes a housing loan, the borrower is required to execute a loan and other related agreements. This entails the borrower having to pay legal fees, the amount of which varies, depending on the loan amount – the higher the loan amount, the higher the legal fees although the complicity and level of work do not necessarily commensurate directly with the loan amount.

Although it is the borrower paying the loan lawyers’ fees, the said loan lawyer is actually acting for and on behalf of the bank. As such, the loan lawyer is not in the best position to advise the borrower if there are clauses in the loan agreement which are not in the best interest of the borrower.

In addition, in the event of any dispute between the borrower and the bank, the borrower cannot ask the loan lawyer for advice as the loan lawyer is acting for the banks.

If this is the case, then is it “fair or equitable” for the borrower to pay such legal fees when it is clear that the lawyer is actually acting for the banks? Obviously not. Hence, the bank should absorb the legal fees as the lawyers are clearly there to act for the bank and protect its interest.

Exorbitant fees for simple letters

The banking sector in Malaysia is a very tightly regulated industry. Any fees that banks intend to charge must be approved by Bank Negara. It is disheartening to note that borrowers continue to be charged exorbitant fees which seem to have the explicit blessings and consent of Bank Negara. Instances of borrowers being charged unreasonable fees for copies of redemption statement, EPF statement letter etc are common.

Allocation of monthly repayment to principal and interest

This is a story about three friends who took a housing loan (HL) of RM500,000 ten years ago. They were offered the same HL interest rate of 4.2% (base lending rate of 6.60% less 2.40%) but took different loan tenures as follows:

Albert took a 20-year HL. Eric took a 25-year HL and Jamie took a 30-year HL.

After servicing their monthly loan instalments diligently for the past 10 years, they decided to fully settle their housing loan using a combination of their EPF monies and own savings. When they asked for a redemption statement to find out what was the principal sum outstanding, they received a shock of their lives.

Albert, Eric and Jamie were under the impression as they had served 50%, 40% and 33.3% of the loan tenure, their principal sum outstanding would be RM250,000, RM300,0000 and RM333,333 respectively.

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So, when their respective redemption statement showed that Albert, Eric and Jamie still owed respectively RM301,654, RM359,415 and RM396,652, they got a big shock.

So, why did they still owe so much more than what they had thought? The answer lies in the allocation of the monthly instalment towards covering the principal sum and interest charged by the bank.

In an equitable world, the monthly instalments would be allocated on a “straight line basis” to cover the principle and interest charged. Thus, a borrower who served 10 out of a 20-year HL would only owe 50% of the original loan amount.

However, the reality is that the borrower still owes 60.3% of the original loan amount.

The typical borrower will always be “penalised” for settling his loan before the maturity date. Even in the penultimate year of the original loan tenure, the actual amount outstanding is still higher than the theoretical amount, which should be the amount outstanding had the allocation of monthly instalments been done on a straight line basis.

Is it fair and equitable?

Most borrowers do not know or even understand how this allocation is calculated. Is such an allocation “fair and equitable” to the borrower? Under such circumstances, are borrowers supposed to accept that the bank’s own generated computer system has calculated the interest correctly and allocated the payments in the correct manner?

To the borrower, they have paid 10 out of a 20-year loan, he should only owe balance 50% and not 60.3%. Is this manner of allocation not just another unjust way for the bank to generate higher profits after all the bank did receive the payments on time and in full every month. It is the dream of every borrower to be debt-free as soon as possible and it is not fair to the borrower to be penalised in such a manner when he wants to settle his loan early.

That said, borrowers have no choice but to accept the calculation of the bank as correct and final. If the borrower were to reject and not pay the required sum, the loan will not be considered as repaid in full. The borrower could even be blacklisted and even have his property auctioned off by the bank to recover the remaining sum outstanding if the borrower refuses to pay up.

It would be more transparent and equitable if the monthly payments made by the borrower are allocated in a “straight line basis” to interest and principal equally over the

tenure of the housing loan. Short of that, borrowers are at the mercy of banks.

Some banks operate like a “cartel” and standardise their fees to be charged to customers. One wonders whether such unfair practices are condoned by the regulators like Bank Negara.

It is also interesting to note that banks are exempted by the Malaysia Competition Commission allowing banks to agree and collude on unfair fees, penalties and practices to be charged to borrowers.

Unnecessary expenses

Loan agreement “printing charges” – sold between RM150 and RM350. The banks’ solicitors need to purchase a standard loan agreement from the bank (via soft copy) and adds the borrowers’ details in order to complete the loan agreement. The banks charge the lawyer and the lawyer charges the borrowers.

Standard loan agreements are now downloaded from the bank’s website or from the soft copy. The bank no longer needs to print them and should not charge for such documents. Alas, this has been continuing till to date.

Lopsided terms and conditions

Lopsided terms and “add-on” products are aplenty if the borrower wants to identify with them. It would be good practice to remove or qualify the banks’ arbitrary powers.

Conclusion

The National House Buyers Association (HBA) had on Sept 4, 2014 made representation to the Finance Ministry (MOF), Bank Negara. Housing and Local Government Ministry in the presence of Association of Banks Malaysia and Islamic Banks of Malaysia in the form of slides presentation on some observations and unethical practices of some banks.

HBA is looking to work closely with MOF, Bank Negar and all related stakeholders to level the playing field for housing loan borrowers in the long-term interest of the banking industry. We had proposed to set up a working committee to resolve all unfair practices. MOF and Bank Negara have a legitimate interest in the final shape of the banking industry into operating a principled and towards a “customer friendly arena”.


Article picked from http://www.penangproperytalk.com

Source: StarProperty.my

Nieyko the birthday girl!

It’s another year and another birthday surprise for our birthday girl, Nieyko! This round, we did a little more where we reserved a nice little room in HK Hot Pot @ Bangsar 香港热锅 (special thanks to Jean for getting us a place). It was a steamboat cum karaoke dinner party with the Avidians last Monday 16th October 2017.

As usual, the surprise effect wasn’t that convincing and most of the guys were late and Stephanie (our new support) has to slow her down while we prepared the room an wait for the rest to arrive. Well, can’t say Steph didn’t pull it off but that’s as much she can do. When they came in, only 4 of us is in the room! Hahaha…

Nevertheless, the rest came and finally we started the steamboat dinner immediately. The food was awesome as we know it (we came here once before) and those who like to sing got off to an early start while we waited for the rest of the food to arrive.

As you can see, the birthday girl is happy and the cake (also thanks to Jean) is absolutely marvellous. Macadamia & cheese if I remember correctly? It’ll be on my order list for sure. There is also enough liquor to satisfy all of us..

12924482_492796990915700_9209471990642873412_nI guess we were the noisiest bunch in the shop and lucky for us, it was in a well-insulated room. For those who are not familiar with this place, it is located at Lot 9 & 10, Level 2, Telawi Square, no.39 Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. They now occupy the ground floor too. The restaurant opens at 4:00pm and closes at midnight. But we went past all the way till 1:30am that night.

We really hoped Nieyko enjoyed the dinner and the not-so-surprise party.

Well, the surprised didn’t end there. Since my darling wife was still in the US during that week, we got her to get us a ladies handbag as a gift for the birthday girl.  And today, while she was leisurely working in the office, we surprised her again with the gift! Hah. Nothing really fancy but a nice solid little Michael Kors Selma Stud Satchel Medium Black.  And of course, something from NuSkin is always nice!!

So, another year, we pulled it off and she is definitely looking forward to her next one. We just want to wish her all the best in everything she does and stay happy and healthy always!  Stay cool and crazy as always!


Hong Kong Hot Pot @ Bangsar 香港热锅

https://www.facebook.com/Hong-Kong-HotPot-%E9%A6%99%E6%B8%AF%E7%83%AD%E9%94%85-484963568365709/