Case studies, Family, Malaysia, News, References

May I present to you, Malaysia’s 7th Prime Minister – Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad

mahathir-mohamad-photo-zaid-blog

How do you pull a country deep in turmoil, smash the corrupted government and bring  it back to the summit? Bring back the ‘Tunminator’ of course! LOL!

Yes, that’s what us Malaysian did on the 9th May 2018 General Election. We literally pulled ourselves together, stronger than before, even better than in 2013 to make our voices and votes count. With emotions and intention running high to replace the then current government, the ‘rakyat’ – the Malaysians made an unanimous decision to vote them out!

After 5 years of feeling aggrieved and cheated during the 2013 election (the well known blackout strategy), the people just could not wait to cast their vote this time round knowing exactly only the strongest support from everyone everywhere is able to bring down this tyranny of a despicable government to their demise. And that’s exactly what happened.

Yesterday, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad was officially sworn in as Malaysia 7th Prime Minister after several delays, which is still quite a mystery to all why it is so. Nevertheless, the nation waited and when it’s finally over, the whole of Malaysia released one of it’s greatest sigh of relief after years of injustice and sorrow under the Barisan Nasional regime.

Although it still remain unclear whether the new ruling government is able to carry out whatever they’ve preached leading to it’s victory, but what we know, or felt now, things already feeling fresher and the black veil lifted from the peoples head. It will take time for things to change and taking into consideration the damages done previously, it is not as easy as it seems. But we trust that our new and pretty ‘aged’ Prime Minister (yeah, he is 93 in two months time) and it’s heroes will do all they can to at least stabilize the country and revert it to be the Tiger of SEA once again!

For one, I am especially proud of this achievements like many of us and eagerly anticipating the changes that will be brought forward to the nation. Its a fresh dawn and new beninging to everyone.

Hidup Malaysia! Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka! is once again relevant as the people of Malaysia is given a new lease of freedom and chance to move forward. We have shown the world what patience, perseverance, fighting spirit and relentless effort can do to salvage back our beloved country without violence and chaos.

Advertisements
Family, Malaysia, News, Uncategorized

Voting time!!

480760966

It’s the 14th Malaysia General Election (GE14 or PRU14) tomorrow 9th May 2018. This is the moment where all us Malaysian stand up and do our part for a better future for generations to come!

Malaysia has had a fair share of criticism and jokes coming from all corners of the world for the past few years due to some major flailing in terms of administration and scandals involving high-ranked officials.

As a true Malaysian, I would love to see my beloved country returned to its former glory and be envied thru its success and achievements, not else-ways. I am sure most of us know what had happened and what is happening to the country. If you want to make a change for the better, there no time like this time!

Vote with intelligence, not by convenience!

Cast your vote. Make the change. Live with hope!

Saya anak Malaysia! A MALAYSIAN!

Case studies, Houses, Luxury condominiums, Marketing, News, Real estate, References

AFTER general election, the property market transactions to increase

Picture1

We should always leave the predictions to property experts. So, who are the experts? Actually, most of us are property experts in our small way, especially those who stay in some not so popular areas. Haha. You would know exactly about new shop openings in your area. In fact when McDonald’s and a new bank branch opens, it will tell you that the population for the neighbourhood has grown to a good number. By the way, when many shops start to open one after another every few weeks or even months, you have bought at a really good potential area. Hold on to your unit and enjoy… By the way, when you see shops closing one after another and even the local bank branch is closing, it may also mean that they are not having sufficient support from the local population. May not be positive. 🙂  Oh yeah, coming back to our topic for the day; general election and the property market.

Reported in TheMalaysianReserve, Property consultancy firm Savills (M) Sdn Bhd  executive chairman Datuk Christopher Boyd said, “We have seen a lack of confidence in the market. I think there is an issue of affordability in the residential market, which has been overplayed. I feel very sure that once the general election is over, whatever the outcome would be, there will be increase in demand for the overall property market.”  (Positive statement)  Boyd went on to share that even when the market starts to pick up, the current excess unsold units in the market would prevent prices from suddenly explode. He said that developers would have to clear quite a number of units before any major price corrections could take place.

In the same article in TMR, Axis Real Estate Investment Trust Managers Bhd head of investment Siva Shanker says something similar. He said, “Everything is on track, but it looks a little bit quiet now because everyone is worried about the election.  Barring something really unfortunate, I think as soon as the election is over, the economy will kick-start and the sector will move along nicely. So, 2018 should see the start of a small recovery in the property sector.”  In terms of the future for the office market, Boyd shared that the demand for co-working spaces would mean a reposition of the supply and demand in the market. He said, “As time passes, co-working spaces will definitely spread out to the suburban areas, satellite offices, as well as other cities such as Penang, Johor Baru and Kuantan driven by the flexibility and lifestyle amenities, which would meet the youths’ current wants and needs.” Full article here for reference. 

I also think the property transactions should normalise (means growing slowly again) after the general election. Yes, just an hour ago, a friend said he is sure it will be end April 2018 or latest first week of May. I love his confidence. These few weeks, the actions from potential buyers have really reduced in intensity. In one bank property auction just last week, instead of the usual 20-30 bidders / guests like usual there were just 6 people in the auction hall. Actually, this may present an opportunity to all potential bidders in property auctions because every property may have just one bidder! So, one may get to buy the property at the reserve price which sometimes may already be 20 percent below market. Happy anticipating the actual election date announcement yeah. Yes, should be pretty soon.


Article first published in

Case studies, Houses, Luxury condominiums, News, Real estate, References

Landlord, agent held after locking up tenant inside Subang Jaya condo

PETALING JAYA, Feb 26 — Two men who locked a woman inside a Subang Jaya, Selangor condominium unit over the weekend for failing to pay her monthly rent have instead found themselves in the police lock-up.

778017_82128fcfed94425b869e80530b855428

The tenant, a 26-year-old woman, believed her landlord and his agent had padlocked the grille door to her rented unit at Pandora Residence in Tropicana Metropark at about 7.30pm Saturday, leaving her stuck inside for about 16 hours.

She was finally able to leave at 11.30am yesterday, after contacting her family who filed a police report on the incident.

“The victim was forcefully confined to her own home after she failed to pay the monthly rent of RM1,100 to one of the suspect. She was unhurt during the ordeal,” Subang Jaya police chief Assistant Commissioner Mohammad Azlin Sadari said.

He added that police tracked down and arrested a 44-year-old salesman and a 29-year-old real estate agent yesterday.

The case is being investigated under Section 342 of the Penal Code for wrongful confinement which carries a imprisonment for a term which may extend to a year or a fine which may extend to RM2,000 or with both upon conviction.


Article courtesy of Malay Mail Online by BY KENNETH TEE | Published: February 26, 2018 10:12 AM

Case studies, Family, Food & Reviews, Houses, Marketing, News, Real estate, References

Our maiden 19 Perdana show unit open house

Just wrapped up our first show unit open house for 19 Perdana last weekend and it is quite a showcase. We had visitors and buyers from nearby mostly and despite some morning and afternoon showers, a good bunch did turned up to see what this is all about and they left with good impression! A couple of them came twice across the 2 days too. Now, just a little follow up should do the job!

Would like to thank the whole team to make this happen. Thanks to Steph, Glenn, Ray and Caroline for taking their weekend off to help out. Can’t imagine myself taking on a few clients at the same time. And also thanks to Nieyko for preparing most of the pre-open day stuff from the marketing perspective.

Did a few selfies as I kept forgetting about having some shots with those nice people. Also, thanks to the man behind the houses, Mr.Tang for giving us this opportunity and stayed with us most of the time during the event to discreetly help us monitor the progress of the sessions.

We’ll be having another round soon and we hope to seal some deals in the coming days and complete the 12 units and call it a day soon! See you guys then. Watch this space..

Entertainment, Family, Food & Reviews, News, References

Nu Skin EcoSphere water purifier

ad-landing-banner

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.

full-glass-of-dirty-water

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.

Case studies, Food & Reviews, Houses, Infographics, News, Real estate

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

taking-a-personal-loan-for-repayment-of-home-loan-vm

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.

loan2

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

Entertainment, Family, Food & Reviews, News, References

Jacky Cheung Classic Tour | 学友 · 经典世界巡回演唱会 2018 Malaysia edition

Those who are close to me know I’m a huge Jacky Cheung fan. I’ve been to a couple of his concerts here in Malaysia and absolutely thrilled by the performances from the start to the very last second. Usually, his concerts are the highest of quality and his performances are immaculate. His Baritone and falsettos are what sets him apart from many old and new performers for the past 2 decades.

I’m particularly impressed with singers who sing without heavy breathing sound -especially from a recorded session. Listen to singers like Jacky Cheung, Sam Hui (許冠傑), Alan Tam (譚詠麟), Hacken Lee (李克勤) and to a certain extent, Leslie Cheung (張國榮), and you’ll notice that they have a very special skill of not letting their breathing sound entail their singing. Not that it matters to many, but once you realized the difference, you can’t help but feel amazed how they do it.

Jacky_KL Concert

Back to the concert. Yes, this could or would be his final multi-destination performance in the foreseeable future. At the age of 56 (born 1961), the quality of his voice has not really regressed, just a little more matured and heavy on the tenor style. He can still hit the high notes not many are able to do.  And, after a few concerts, I wish to take one last shot at this too!

Few tiny problems here. The price, the sessions and the availability. Starting at RM 258 and all the way to RM 988 per seat, this is definitely going to burn the wallet more than the previous sessions. And to make it worse, only 2 performances on the 26th and 27th. Not enough for the fans. And if I were to choose the higher range but still affordable seats, say the RM 488, I’ll be competing with the majority of ticket buyers since they’ll probably think like me. Ouch!

So, for my favourite artist with his could-be last mega show in Malaysia, why not all out? Nope. As much as I loved the singer himself, I’ll never fork out that much for a show. Can’t really say it’s because of the price, but just the fact that I’m not the one that is willing to pay that price for a 3-hour show. Yeap, final.

22254941_10155014373553181_5278279432647476975_o.jpg

For those who have not seen any of his concerts, liked him as a singer and have a huge spare of money to spend, well, do go ahead. You won;t regret it. The props and the acts for the 3-hour show more than justify the price actually. And he is a legend in Cantopop.

Since this is held at Axiata Arena @ Bukit Jalil, and with the above-illustrated layout, one can’t go wrong with any seating locations. This would be a 360-degree stage and you can witness the high-octane performance from every corner. Technically speaking, I would recommend the Green Zone for it is about the right distance be it visually (definitely not saying The Red Zone isn’t better hahaha) or auditory. If they have the high rise platform like how they did it 6 years ago, the better!

800x-1

On a side note, many of my friends asked me which is my favourite JC’s number. Not many know of this. In fact, no one does. Probably not the one you think though… and I would say…. (drum rolls please…) – ‘来来回回’ (back & forth in simple translation). Surprised?

I loved the fact that this song is simple, catchy and it captures Jacky’s flawless voice for his more romantic numbers during his peak somewhere around the mid-90s. The song is about a journey of a courtship where one faces love and separations – back & forth and eventually, a happy ending. There are no high vocals, excessive music pieces and falsettos, but the song is simply lovely and perfect for couples in love.

jacky-cheung-classic-tour-2016-01

So. There you go. Go watch Jacky Cheung live and you will know why he is the undisputed God of Song of Cantopop. There will be others setting a different path in this category in the near future, but Jacky Cheung has this aura and charismatic figure as an entertainer that is hard to replace or replicate. He is a performer of the highest order that is brimming with quality and ever improvements!


Pictures courtesy of Hype Malaysia, UnUsUaL Group of Companies and The Hive Asia

Case studies, Houses, Luxury condominiums, News, Real estate, References

No to African and Middle Eastern tenants? Why..??

Recently, while I was around town talking to one of my clients, we spontaneously brought up the issue about renting out to Africans, China Chinese, and Middle Easterns. Not that this is new or even something we want to talk about but recently, there seemed to be this spark from residents, especially condominiums’ about the refusal of renting out to specific races, especially the Africans. She was quite insistent on not having her unit rented out to the above categories. I’m not too particular about this but having her asking me what is my view on this is a little awkward.

To be honest, a tenant is a tenant. As long as they entered the country officially and legally and most importantly, able to pay the rentals on time, who are we to turn them away? I would usually request for some background details before proposing the potential tenant to my client. Although not much we can get from these profiling work, at least some due-diligence was executed nonetheless.

Yes, we (estate agents) have encountered or somewhat heard from our counterparts about how some of these tenants wrecked the place, lousy paymasters and sometimes, even disappeared after awhile running away with some of the items from the house/condominium. But this happens even with local tenants. Why are we looking at the black dot on the whiteboard rather than acknowledging the white spaces around it that more or less represent a healthy rental market from these categories of people?  We can’t generalize the entire nation just because one or few of them behave that way.

I have really good Middle Eastern tenants and they can be the nicest and most flexible tenants to work with. They also pay their rentals on time too. Well, about wrecking the place, it’s a 50/50 thing. After a few years staying in the same place, especially more than 2 years, using the same items and utilizing every space available, it is fair to say that the wear and tear usually turn out slightly worse than those after a year. Some are born more ‘heavy handed’ (more careless and reckless) hence a little rough in handling the appliances and such. Therefore, nothing much you can do about it but to dig into the Tenancy Agreement and re-highlight the T&Cs which would trigger the security deposits.

And to be honest, yes, I’ve heard and seen that the locals are terrified when they are in close proximity with the Africans. They are pretty imposing at times and the stuff we heard about some of them do make the case. But generally, they are friendly people. At least they greet the people they meet in the lift.

But demanding the owners to refuse renting to these races by the resident committee or the condominium management at certain extent is really out of place in Malaysia. It’s a blatant act of racism if you ask me. Maybe I don’t know what happened between these folks and the Africans, but it doesn’t warrant them to issue a blanket order as pictured above. Coupled with 2017 KPI of 0% rentals to the Africans some more… that’s is a little absurd. Really people?? Seriously?

Take a look at the following video. You sort of feel for the African guy looking for a place.

Is there racism in the Malaysian property rental market? Three R.AGE journalists of different races called the same 30 listings to find out

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10156301014844741&id=95743749740

Image result for really??

Then again, I’ve come across owners and landlords that are very accommodating too. They acknowledged the current soft market and think nothing more than to be able to rent out their units asap. Yes, they do have concerns about the type of tenants tenanting their place but if they try to be picky and discriminating as what we discussed earlier, it would only eat into their pockets and making life difficult for themselves.

Agents like us play an important part in profiling these potential tenants to the owners. Commission aside. We are the bridge for the tenants and the landlords. We have a job to do besides just introducing the units and getting the deal over the line. The good sense of responsibility and accountability separates a good agent and those fly-by-nights.

I am more curious if the banner of requesting the owners not to rent to the Africans, if at all legal and law abiding? Who sanctioned the move and did they seek the proper authority for execution before they do so? What would the impact be for the owners, the agents, the tenants and the nations?

Racists and racism is a strong word. We would avoid it at all cost if we could. There is no room for that everywhere. Think about our actions and what we can do to mitigate the issues before going down the path of branding ourselves as racists. And for the agents, please, even if you are representing an owner who doesn’t want to be associated with such tenants, at least, be more tactful when declining the offer. We all have emotions and feelings too.