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asked on Aug 26, 2011 at 23:55
edited on May 19, 2016 at 04:24
The Star Online > Nation
Published: Friday August 26, 2011 MYT 3:24:00 PM

PTPTN to adopt friendlier approach with loan defaulters

KUALA LUMPUR: The National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) is prepared to negotiate with blacklisted defaulters or those who have been issued with summonses to help them repay their loans, its chairman Datuk Ismail Mohamed Said said.

He said that through a much friendlier approach, the corporation would open its doors to negotiation and work out the loan repayment structure.

"The borrowers and PTPTN officers will discuss the amount of deposit to be paid by the borrowers and the amount of monthly installment as well as how the payment should be made, either through salary deduction or bank's order," he said.

Speaking to reporters after handing over 2,500 goody bags at the Gombak toll plaza here Friday, Ismail said the borrowers could come to PTPTN to negotiate the repayment process.

He said up to July 31 this year, a total of 961,346 borrowers still owed the corporation a total of RM5.43bil.

Of the amount, 715,086 borrowers have started to repay their loans, with RM2.63bil collected thus far.

Some 246,260 or 25.62% have yet to make any payment for their loans, totalling RM1.39bil, while the arrears for those who have started to make repayment but at irregular intervals is RM1.42bil. - Bernama
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answered on Sep 4, 2011 at 00:51
The Star Online > Nation
Saturday September 3, 2011

Refunds for study loan borrowers


TEMERLOH: Borrrowers who obtained study loans after 2008 will get a refund if they opt to convert their 3% administration charge to 1% under the ujrah scheme.

National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) chairman Datuk Ismail Mohamad Said said however, this would not apply to four categories of borrowers: those who have changed their course of study, obtained loans from other sponsors, have had legal action taken against them or have already settled their loans in full.

“The reduction will reduce the burden by borrowers.

“Borrowers also need not pay back the loan if they graduate with first class honours as the loans would automatically become scholarships.

“Some people think that the 1% or 3% is interest but it is actually strictly for our administration cost,'' Ismail said after he hosted a Hari Raya open-house in his Kuala Krau constituency in Kampong Peragap, here Saturday.

He said only 800,000 borrowers who have not settled their loans by June 1, 2008 are eligible to have their loans converted to the Islamic loan system of ujrah.

“Others, are not eligible as they belong to the four categories of borrowers mentioned," he said.

However, he said, they could still appeal for the 1% administration charges and are given 90 days from the beginning of this month.

On Friday, PTPTN announced plans to convert 800,000 conventional study loans to the ujrah scheme. Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the conversion was applicable to all borrowers and not limited to Muslims.
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answered on Sep 4, 2011 at 01:16
The Star Online > Focus
Saturday September 3, 2011

14 years’ service down the drain

I HAVE come across letters telling pensioners to be grateful and be content with what the Government is giving for their past services.

I was employed as Budak Pejabat in 1966, a post later re-named as Pelayan Pejabat.

When I retired as a Pembantu Am Rendah in 2006, I had given 39 years and 11 months of grateful and sincere service.

Although I was an office boy, my duties included going to the post office and district education offices to deliver letters and notices to the teachers, send and collect class registers and to keep the office clean.

And it didn’t end there. Because I took the initiative to learn and progress in my work, I started to help the only pembantu tadbir in the school with administrative work.

I had to follow teachers to help them in their registration for UPSR examination and other relevant computer-related briefings.

Back in school, I had to enter the names of the candidates on diskettes and send these to the relevant authorities.

Should there be any mistake, I would have to re-do it for the teachers, which is not within my job scope. I spent 39 beautiful years and 11 months in just one school in my town, which is also my alumini.

When I retired, my pension was based on only 25 years’ service.

The other 14 years and 11 months went down the drain. Is it wrong of pensioners to appeal to the Government to calculate pension based the total number of years of service?

People in the private sector, when they retire, receive a big sum in EPF savings, whereas in the government sector, contributions to the EPF would have been only for three years or so.

Like any retiree, there are quite a number of pensioners with school and college-going children. Is it wrong of us to send our children to higher institutions of learning?

Parents will always want to see their children come up in life. Hence we have to spend on their studies, too.

I hope our beloved Prime Minister will consider this appeal from pensioners in his coming 2012 Budget.

Sungei Petani, Kedah.
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answered on Sep 16, 2011 at 20:41
The Star Online > Nation
Published: Friday September 16, 2011 MYT 10:06:00 AM

Most Asian nations realising Internet cannot be tamed

SINGAPORE: It's not just dictators. Governments around the world, many of them popularly elected, have tried for years to control the Internet and social media, dismayed by their potential to incite violence, spread mischief and distribute pornography and dissent.

But in Asia, home to everything from free-wheeling democracies to totalitarian regimes and others in between, many governments are increasingly realising that controlling online content, including dissent, just will not work. Even China, which strongly regulates the Internet and is grappling with how to deal with the extremely popular microblogs read by hundreds of millions of its people, is highly unlikely to block them completely.

"Governments are committing quite a bit of resources and time to block websites and I think it's a panic reaction," says Phil Robertson, Bangkok-based deputy director of the Asia division of Human Rights Watch.

"They have some temporary, immediate discouraging effect but over the longer term, they won't be effective because people will still find a way to get the news they want to hear.

"Once people have been exposed to the Internet and see the power of getting information free to your computer, it's a very addictive feeling of empowerment."

That snowballing of sentiment has played out this year in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, where governments have been overthrown by movements bolstered by the Internet.

The United States tried to block dissemination of the Wikileaks cables and British Prime Minister David Cameron threatened to temporarily censor social networking sites after riots last month.

Asia is also learning first-hand about the ubiquitous power of the wired world.

In India, authorities were taken aback last month when an anti-corruption campaign multiplied on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites and drew tens of thousands of people to protest sites.

But there were no signs the government tried in any way to crack down on the online crusade, even if it could have.

"At the rate in which it gained momentum, I don't think the government actually had the time to ban the movement," said Vijay Mukhi, a cyber-security expert. Mukhi said the government did selectively block some sites, but added Internet users in a nation with millions of tech-savvy engineers and software developers could easily bypass controls.

"The Indian government doesn't realise that blocking websites is a futile task because nowadays it has become so easy to find other means to get access to banned sites," he said.

"They are just helping to popularise those particular sites and inviting more traffic."

South Korea, the world's most wired nation with 80 percent of households having access to the Internet, is one of two electoral democracies in the world to substantially block access to some sites, said a study on 37 countries this year by U.N.-funded watchdog Freedom House. The other is Turkey.

South Korea heavily filters online content involving North Korea, with which it is still technically at war. But its citizens continue to lobby the government for more access.

Singapore blocks a symbolic list of 100 mostly pornographic sites but does not bar any site for political content. And despite strict controls on open political discussion, it allowed freewheeling criticism of government policies in the run-up to general elections this year.

The ruling People's Action Party easily won the election, but it scored its lowest ever percentage of the vote, and the opposition made historic gains.

Neighbouring Malaysia pledged in 1996 not to impose controls on the Internet and was rewarded with investments from foreign technology companies such as Microsoft Corp and Cisco Systems.

The decision led to vibrant online political commentary. Analysts say the government had since quietly considered some form of filters on the debate, but decided against it.

"The government feels largely helpless in trying to manage online dissent because methods such as threatening to close down newspapers and targeting bloggers makes netizens angrier and more likely to lash out against the government," said Ong Kian Ming, who teaches at UCSI University in Kuala Lumpur.

"Netizens have clearly been emboldened and it is hard to see how the government can try to turn this tide without reaping a lot of negative reaction," said Ong.

Across much of Asia, the feeling is growing that imposing any sort of controls on online political debate backfires.

"Usually all it does is draw attention to the person and the message, who tend to be small players anyway," said Cherian George, an associate professor at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University.

"The general pattern is that the blogger who gets censored becomes far more famous than he otherwise might be.

"The only situation where it might work in the short-term would be highly volatile, fast-moving situations. Governments can shut down all communications during violence or a riot, but this can't be a long-term solution."
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answered on Sep 28, 2011 at 18:54
The Star Online > Nation
Wednesday September 28, 2011

MEF: Increasing retirement age from 55 to 60 is ideal

PETALING JAYA: Increasing the retirement age of workers in the private sector from 55 to 60 is ideal, the Malaysian Employers’ Federation (MEF) said.

Its executive director Shamsuddin Bardan said it was high time the retirement age was reviewed in tandem with the rest of the world.

“In the past, many people did not even live past their retirement age but now, people live longer – some by up to 20 years after retirement. That is a long time without a job,” said Shamsuddin, adding that many people had inadequate Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) savings.

According to last year’s EPF report, active members at the age of 54 had an average of about RM146,000 in savings.

A 2003 survey commissioned by the EPF found that 70% of retirees used up all their EPF money within 10 years after they stopped working.

“If they can work up to 60, they can probably boost their savings by RM15,000 to 20,000. It’s not much, but it helps,” he said, adding that about 100,000 people retired from the private sector every year.

He said Malaysia was the only country in South-East Asia to have a retirement age of below 60.

The retirement age for workers in Indonesia and Thailand is 60, while in Singapore it is 62.

EPF chief executive officer Tan Sri Azlan Zainol said the fund’s wish for Budget 2012 was for the retirement age to be raised to 60 because a long retirement period was one of the factors that contributed to inadequate retirement savings.

Senior Consumers Association of Kuala Lumpur president Captain (P.A) Francis Kerk said many retirees could still contribute to the economy, adding that the retirement age could be gradually increased to 65.

Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) president Tan Sri Mustafa Mansur said the body strongly objected to the proposal.

“Extending the retirement age should only be considered when the present rigid and inequitable laws on hiring and firing have been amended,” he said.

Employers should decide on a retirement age that was most appropriate to their organisation, he said, adding that its survey of 260 members showed that 87.5% did not agree with the proposed mandatory retirement age.

FMM northern branch chairman Datuk O.K. Lee said the manufacturing industry in Penang did not welcome the proposal to raise the retirement age in the private sector beyond 55.

The Star Online > Nation
Wednesday September 28, 2011

Can’t afford to retire

PETALING JAYA: For M. Sawnderen, retirement could not have come at a worse time. Apart from having a car loan to service, he also has to support four children.

The 57-year-old had no choice but to leave his hometown of Taiping because jobs there were low-paying.

The former Telekom Malaysia technician used to earn RM3,000 monthly with overtime. But the jobs he found after retirement only got him RM40 a day.

Hotel receptionist Patrick Teh, 67, and night porter Osman Ibrahim, 58, behind the reception counter at their hotel in Penang. Both feel they have many good working years left in them despite their age and that the retirement age should be raised.
He now handles maintenance at an apartment in Cyberjaya where he is on-call 24 hours. The pay is RM2,000 with free accommodation. His family moved in with him a few months ago.

Sawnderen’s income is still not enough and he has to dig into his RM100,000 EPF savings with RM2,000 monthly withdrawals.

Patrick Teh is luckier.

Although 67, he is still working as a receptionist at a budget hotel in Penang, a job he has been doing for the last 30 years.

“I’m fit and able to discharge my duties well,” he said.

Teh welcomed the proposal to raise the retirement age in the private sector from 55 to 60.

Teh’s colleague Osman Ibrahim, 58, works as a night porter.

“My three children are working. But I don’t want to burden them. The retirement age should have been extended years ago,” he said.

Related Stories:
/MEF: Increasing retirement age from 55 to 60 is ideal
/New retirement age yet to be set
/Not all are in favour of calling it a day at 60
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answered on Oct 3, 2011 at 03:01
The Star Online > Sarawak
Sunday October 2, 2011

Why workers should retire at 60

Union YES

Attracting and retaining talents, boosting productivity of workforce some of the reasons why this should be a non-issue.

I HAVE been writing on the need to increase retirement age since the 1990’s, not just to benefit workers (not every worker wants to work until they drop) but as an economic tool to increase overall productivity of the nation.

I have been chastised by many an employer and policymaker.

It is encouraging that of late the consensus has shifted in favour of an increase in retirement age. Employer groups like MEF who had opposed it initially has come out in support of the move. The EPF has also publicly stated its support. The arguments are too compelling to ignore.

Attracting talents: Youths listening to counsellors at the Agriculture Sector Career Carnival
in Kuala Lumpur in this file pic. — Bernama

I am again calling the Prime Minister to announce in his budget speech the raising of the retirement age of civil servants to 60 to make it more compelling to introduce Mandatory Minimum Retirement Law to compel private sector employers to do the same.

One of the strong arguments against raising the retirement age for civil servants is it would incur additional expenditure for another two years. Nothing can be more wrong. The government actually saves money.

This is how the editor of The Star put it: “It will mean having a person at a top salary bracket serve an extra five years instead of giving that person a golden handshake, pay him 50% of his salary for the rest of his life doing nothing, and replace him with another person at the salary of the retired person.”

(Of course there are some who claim that some civil servants are not working anyway, but that is another story).

There have been a lot of debate in the public domain the past few weeks. I would like to add to the momentum and revisit some of my writings on this lifelong issue.

The retirement age for civil servants was set before World War II to enable British officers serving in Malaysia to return home to England with a pension. The retirement age in the UK at that time was already 60. The Malaysian retirement age was finally raised to 56 in 2005 and to 58 in 2009.

By and large, the private sector stuck to 55 instead of going for 58 like the public sector although some employers have retired their senior employees at 60.

Airline stewardesses are retired at a much younger age, and quite a lot of other private sector employers retire their female employees at 50.

There is therefore gender inequality and discrimination against lower ranking employees.

Malaysia has among the lowest retirement age and among the highest life expectancy (79 years) in the world. Singapore, Philippines, Laos, Thailand and even Brunei have extended the retirement age to between 60 and 65.

We are grouped with Nigeria and Burkina Faso, Guinea, Bangladesh and Nepal. This is unacceptable in a country that aspires to be fully-developed in nine years.

Empirical evidence and studies have shown overwhelming support for an increase in retirement age to address the following issues:

*Increase in life expectancy. In 1950 our life expectancy was 49 years and retirement age was 55. Now we live up to 79 due to better health.

*Reducing the cost of pension and burden on governments to provide healthcare and old age welfare.

*Boosting public finance through increased tax collection as people work longer and thus pay taxes longer.

*Changing demographic patterns and family structure. This puts tremendous pressure on the younger working population to support the increasing older non-working population if retirement age is not raised. Malaysians are entering the workforce at a later date after having completed tertiary and professional education. They are also marrying and having children at a later age which means that at age 55 they will still have to support their school-going children.

*Boosting the overall productivity of the workforce. This is achieved as more people stay in employment longer. It can boost enterprise productivity by encouraging better human resource management, and facilitate introduction of performance pay system.

This is because companies can no longer rely on retirement as a manpower attrition tool. It will also help in restructuring employment to allow younger workers currently in low value added jobs (example, toll attendants) to higher value jobs.

*Attracting and retaining talents. The government is trying to attract Malaysians abroad to return home. A lot of these talents are 50 and above and are working in countries with retirement age that are much higher than Malaysia’s. It is unlikely that they will want to uproot their families and return home to work if they are forced to retire at 55. We are also losing a lot of talents when employees retire at 55 and quite a number of them migrate to other countries to continue working.

*Raising levels of household income. Allowing workers to continue in gainful employment longer (on similar terms and benefits) will increase household income and reduce incidences of poverty.

*Contribute to domestic demand and GDP. Studies in the UK have shown that raising retirement age by five years would increase GDP growth by 0.2% per year. The economy will benefit from older workers’ precious skills and experience and their increased purchasing power.

*Ensuring adequate retirement savings when workers finally retire. EPF figures show that 82% of contributors do not have enough retirement savings to live at the poverty line. This can be drastically reduced to less than 25% if retirement age is raised to 65 years. A higher retirement age reduces the pressure to increase EPF contribution rates.

*Reducing reliance on foreign workers. Just compare Changi airport in Singapore where Singaporeans in their late fifties and early sixties are efficiently maintaining the airport, while KLIA is flooded with Bangladeshis.

I would also like to address some misplaced concerns over raising the retirement age:

*Unemployment — Raising retirement age could deny a younger person entry into the workforce. Our unemployment rate is 3.9%, which is considered full employment in accordance with World Bank standards. We have at least 2.3 million foreign workers - almost 25% of the workforce. As such, this concern is misplaced.

Older workers remaining in the workforce longer actually create more employment opportunities for younger people through increase in domestic demand for goods and services needed by a larger working population.

*Promotion opportunities. Increasing retirement age will deny promotional opportunities for younger employees. This view is only valid in the old fashion human resources thinking that promotion should be based on age and seniority. Promotion must be based on relevant skills and competencies and experience.

*Productivity and deadwood. This is very insulting to all Malaysian workers and implies that those who are 54 years are all sick, unproductive and problematic.

Productivity and efficiency is not an age issue. It is a human resource performance management issue. This must be addressed whether retirement age is increased or not.

If at all there are deadwood then it reflects a sorry state of affairs and dismal human resource management in companies that allow employees to remain deadwood.

The benefits to the country of an increase in retirement age cannot be hijacked by employers who have failed to manage their workforce so much so that they now have so many deadwood. And the claim by the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers that our labour laws relating to termination is rigid is not supported by evidence.

*Cost. The belief that older employees cost more than younger workers and are less productive is not substantiated by empirical evidence.

Studies have shown that workers over 55 are five times less likely to change jobs than those age 20 to 25.

This increased rate of retention will result in dramatic savings in recruitment cost and greater investment returns on training.

Mature workers also help maintain corporate memory and showed much lower rate of absenteeism.

Higher life expectancy indicates better health and debunk the myth that older workers are sickly.

Studies have shown that older workers are less prone to work related injuries, substance abuse and lifestyle health issues.

And older employees show less absenteeism, lower turnover, fewer accidents, higher job satisfaction and more positive work values than younger workers.

*Exemptions. Another issue is that some employers are lobbying for certain sectors to be exempted from the proposed increase, arguing that construction industry for example requires heavy manual labour and a 56-year-old person does not have the physical strength to carry on.

I would reject this view because those who think that a person aged 56 cannot pick up a shovel and push a laden wheelbarrow are those who have been sitting in an air-conditioned office pushing pen and paper.

Just because they themselves require a caddie to carry their golf bags does not mean that a manual labourer who has been doing manual labour for the past 30 years cannot continue for another five years.

*Some employees may not want to continue working. Some claim that mandatory retirement age may force employees to continue to work when they themselves don’t want to.

Please note that private sector employees do not have a pension system. So anyone who does not want to continue working can easily resign by giving the requisite notice as stipulated in their contracts.

There is no substantial material difference in the retirement benefits between employees who resign or retire as almost all private sector employees contribute to the EPF for the retirement.

*Re-engaging retirees on year to year contract. This is often limited to high ranking employees only. Given the unequal bargaining power, employees are often forced to accept inferior terms and conditions of employment.

It is my strong belief, supported by all empirical evidence that setting the retirement age at 60 by Jan 1, 2012 and increase it by one year every three years until the age of 62 by 2018 and 64 year by 2024, is in line with our aim to be a high-income nation.

This will allow companies to make the necessary adjustments to their manpower planning and allow employees nearing retirement to adjust their retirement plans too.

So over to you Mr Prime Minister.
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answered on Dec 11, 2011 at 06:27
edited Dec 21, 2016 at 04:10
Finance Ministry explains Criteria for RM500 BR1M Assistance

Friday, December 9, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR – The Finance Ministry today explained that the gross household income criteria of RM3,000 and less for those applying for the RM500 Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) referred to the total income of a family living in the same house.


RM500 aid to be paid in January

November 30, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — The RM500 in aid for households with a total monthly income of RM3,000 and below will be paid in January, Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah announced in a statement today.

Bernama Online reported the second finance minister (picture) as saying the registration of eligible applicants is scheduled to take place over the course of one month from December 10.

He also said application forms may be obtained for free from the Federal Development Department and its branch offices, Inland Revenue Board (IRB) service counters as well as state agencies.

For those who wish to apply, the head of each household is required to register with the IRB which has been tasked with implementing the programme.

Completed forms should be submitted together with a copy of the head of household’s MyKad to the Federal and State Development Department, selected schools and IRB branch offices, the statement read.

The list of those who qualify will be made known via mass media and they may then collect the aid from banks and post offices.

Ahmad Husni said the one-off aid payment amounting to a total allocation of RM2.6 billion will benefit 5.2 million households, or the equivalent of 79.5 per cent, across the country.

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answered on Jun 30, 2012 at 04:08
How to get rid of Malaysian talent

— Cass Shan
The Malaysian Insider
May 11, 2012

MAY 11 — It’s no secret that our graduates who study overseas don’t come back.

Many skilled workers have emigrated citing social injustice (60 per cent) and compensation (54 per cent) as reasons for leaving this beautiful country.

Can you blame them though?

We here in Malaysia are stuck with outdated meritocracy benefits and no minimum wage, not to mention low starting pay for fresh graduates.

About 57 per cent head off to Singapore while the rest move to the US, the UK, Australia and other countries. It has to be mentioned that non-Bumiputeras make up the majority of those who have emigrated.

In place of the talents we’re losing, unskilled workers who have primary school education or less are being taken in.

It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to realise that we are headed towards becoming a nation of low skills.

What can we do about this devastating scenario? For one, we must acknowledge the reasons why people are leaving.

There is a lack of opportunities for locals unless they go abroad. This alone is the main factor. To address this issue, we must effect a change in our social fabric. We must recognise our talents for what they can do and not what skin colour they are born with. People who work hard for their talents and skills must be recognised for the talents and skills in themselves — not whether they carry Bumiputera status on their MyKad or otherwise.

Government bodies are most prone to this trap. More often than not, they hire Bumiputeras — often neglecting more qualified non-Bumis. This is a fact that I’ve witnessed myself: a friend of mine was the only one with experience among a group of fresh graduates applying for a job at a government body and she was not selected. It also goes to show how far backwards we are as she was castigated for wearing a cross to work.

The entire episode unfortunately displays the low mentality of government bodies when it comes to selecting staff. “Skills” do not seem to actually come into their consideration.

I also personally know of a highly talented Malaysian who was denied the top post of a government agency simply because of his skin colour. He earns a top-tier salary and pulls his weight but was denied the post simply because a certain quota had to be fulfilled.

How do we expect smart graduates who have left to return when we flatly deny them their right to fair employment?

Opportunity must present itself based on merit and not race. For too long the race card has been played on to us. The time to dismantle race-based policies is long overdue.

And then there is the issue of salaries.

Take a quick glance at Jobstreet’s salary report and you’ll see how low the average salary is. A fresh graduate is only able to earn about RM2,000 per month while a manager in a small company will only make RM4,000 per month on average (though this increases with the size of the company).

With living costs having risen exponentially in recent years, how are we expected to eke out a decent living with these figures? Those who want to pursue their master’s must either take up the PTPTN loan or earn a scholarship (or work in Singapore for a while — which is what one of my friends did).

Larger companies fork out RM2,000-3,000 for a simple customer service position and RM6,000 for assistant manager roles. Since most middle-class Malaysians earn within this average, it’s easy to see how one would be hard-pressed to afford a house, especially since property prices continue to skyrocket.

For example, a condominium today costs roughly about RM450,000 — translating to a RM45,000 downpayment. With an average salary of RM4,000, one may perhaps save RM500 per month (after deducting expenses) and take up to 90 months to save up for a condominium. That’s 7.5 years! How would young married couples cope with such costs?

Corporations and businesses must increase wages in tandem with the cost of living. This ensures quality staff and better productivity. It’s the norm that employees hate their jobs and simply do them as a means to an end. Where are the days where employees were passionate about their work? How does a company rise without its people?

It should be in the company’s vision to ensure that staff are paid well enough to house and feed themselves. This is not even scratching the surface of the problem as there are many other Malaysians who earn less than RM3,000 or even RM1,500 for that matter. If we were to broach that part of the subject we’d be able to understand why Malaysians would opt to leave the country at the first opportunity.

In summary, the diaspora exists and will most likely grow due to the factors that have been discussed. To reverse the outflow of talent, we desperately need to look at the key issues involved. Then drive home changes that will bring our best and brightest home to serve and develop this nation. —
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answered on Aug 12, 2012 at 01:49
edited May 19, 2016 at 20:06
The Star Online > Focus
Saturday August 11, 2012

Bafia ensures confidence

IN reference to Azmi Sharom’s article "Oddity in law" (The Star Aug 8), I found it difficult to accept his argument that the spirit of the law has been broken by prosecuting certain people for using privileged information for political gain.

Privileged financial information is the cornerstone of a solid financial market and any leakages — no matter how well intended — would only create distrust in the system especially by foreign investors.

This is where the Whistleblowers Protection Act comes in.

If conscientious people come across information that contain wrong doings — not only corruption but information that can threaten the security of the country, then they should turn to the Whistleblowers Act.

The Act is drawn up to protect the informer in all ways possible by providing all the correct channels for that person to "blow the whistle" on the wrong doers.

Therefore, if one does not use the Whistleblowers Protection Act to "blow the whistle" then is it fair to expect the protection of the very same act?

PKR’s Rafizi Ramli chose to reveal privileged information via a press conference and did not bother to pass on the information to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission until after several days.

His intention must then be questioned. Was he interested in "blowing the whistle" or was he more interested in scoring political points?

I do not want to delve too much into this case because the two men have been charged under Bafia and the NFC official has also been charged.

They should be allowed to defend themselves in court.

But to say that the Whistleblowers Protection Act is an oddity is odd.


Lincoln’s Inn
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answered on Dec 9, 2012 at 20:33
edited Aug 12, 2017 at 10:23
Don’t wait till debt takes you apart

Free advice and help are available for those who are facing bankruptcy.

MALAYSIANS are too busy earning a living, doing their work very well, spending most of their time researching and improving on their work that they have no conscious management of their finances, says Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK) CEO Koid Swee Lian.

These days, after people graduate and start working, they want to buy a car straight away, and banks are also quick to offer them a credit card.

Koid says students should bear in mind that the minute they graduate, most of them would have a student loan to pay off.

“So ask yourself Do you really need that car' and Can you afford it?' We are not saying don't buy a car but maybe don't buy it until you are financially more stable. It shouldn't be your priority. Try taking public transport for a while.

“Or if you buy a car, buy a small one or a second-hand one and be mindful of usage because petrol costs money. Don't spin it around the city like there is no tomorrow,” she advises.

She has also noticed that when young couples get married these days, they want their house to be fully furnished, and so they buy all their household furniture and utensils on credit.

And if they can't pay in full at the end of the month, that would incur interest payment and finance charges, which Koid says are “unnecessary additional expenses.”
“Youngsters buy on credit. Maybe it's peer pressure but they will buy something like six pairs of shoes in one go with their credit card which will take up their salary for a month. What they should be doing is spend within or below their means and be comforted (by the fact) that they are financially stable.”

Koid also believes parents have a role to play in educating their children to appreciate the value of money.

“Youngsters tend to be self-centred. Parents have a role to play to manage their children's expectations. Parents are so used to financing the children that they don't know when to stop and the children are so used to taking money from their parents that they too don't know when to stop,” she says.

Parents have to look after the welfare of all their children and not just one, and they also have to save up for their own retirement, she adds.

AKPK, which Koid heads, is a Bank Negara subsidiary that offers service and advice for free to people on how to manage their finances and debts. It also has a debt management programme to assist financially distressed consumers.

Poor financial literacy

Koid says Malaysians still have quite a long way to go on financial literacy.
“They seem to think that it is fine to pay the 5% minimum payment on credit cards because the banks allow it. And when the banks give them a higher credit limit, they think it is because the bank respects them!”

The Nielsen Global Survey on Investment Attitudes 2012 shows that less than 50% of Malaysians pay their credit card debt in full at the end of each month, a dismal figure when compared to Singapore, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan where 80%, 87%, 85% and 89% respectively settle in full.

If you have a credit card debt of RM10,000 and pay only the 5% minimum payment each month, it would take 7.3 years to pay it off and with an interest rate of 17.5%, you would have to pay RM3,897 in interest alone, in addition to the RM10,000.

She also cautions against standing as a guarantor for anyone who takes out loans.
Youngsters who want to buy cars sometimes mutually act as guarantor for each other, she says.

“They don't appreciate that a signature has a lot of significance. They should bear in mind that when the primary borrower doesn't settle the loan, as guarantor the bankers will go after them. When the borrower doesn't pay, your guarantee means that you will pay if he doesn't.”

A number of people also find themselves financially strapped because of medical expenses in private hospitals. When they can't pay, they can be made bankrupt.

So Koid suggests that people who can't afford treatment in private hospitals go to government hospitals instead. She says her sister who had a major heart surgery at a government hospital paid RM407 in total for the procedure. The same heart surgeon who was also operating on patients in private hospitals was charging RM50,000 for the same surgery, she says.

She also tells borrowers not to run away or move from house to house to avoid their creditors.

“If they can't serve the papers on you after three times, they will publish it in the newspapers and the process to obtain a judgment sum against you will continue. And if they still can't get you to pay the judgement sum, they will go ahead and declare you bankrupt.

“If you have an outstanding balance of just RM300 and don't pay, over the years, with interest, penalties, and cost of legal proceedings, that amount can balloon to over RM30,000,” Koid says.

At AKPK, she assures, borrowers are taught how to approach bankers and talk to them about how they are going to repay their loan or to ask for waivers.
“Bankers can be open and helpful,” she says.

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answered on Dec 6, 2014 at 02:55
edited Dec 29, 2018 at 00:01
How does your Credit History Affect you?

The main thing that your credit history affects is your eligibility to apply for credit products, including credit cards and any kind of loans (housing, auto and personal). CCRIS and DCHEQS are internal systems within Bank Negara, and CTOS, RAM and FIS are private 3rd party companies which hold credit information and are frequently used by banks, insurers, suppliers etc. to determine your credit history/rating.


Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS) is the computerised database maintained  at the Credit Bureau, Bank Negara Malaysia since 1982 under the Bank of Malaysia Act 1958. Financial institutions in Malaysia will send a monthly report of all their borrowers to the Credit Bureau.

Data received by the Central Bank regarding loans given by financial institutions will be processed by CCRIS in order to format a credit report. This report can be accessed by any financial institution upon request. The financial institution is required to inform the applicant,in writing, that a credit check is to be conducted under the applicant's name and that the credit facility application will be reported to the Credit Bureau.

How Does CCRIS Affect You?

A CCRIS report contains factual and historical information on the loan amount, interest and charges outstanding on each loan (like housing loan, personal loan, hire purchase, credit card and overdraft). It also shows the amount of each monthly payment to be in arrears to the bank for one year (12 months). By having this CCRIS report, the financial institutions can assess your credit rating by analysing each loan by the loan balance and payment record of the loan.

Typically, financial institutions will reject an application if there are 2 month in arrears of loan payment for each loan the applicant has undertaken. However, some financial institutions will reject loans if there is a debt ratio of 50% or more. Ultimately, lending decisions depend on the risk evaluation by the financial institutions. It highly depends on the financial institutions’ policies.

Using the same information from the credit report and other sources, one lender may approve an application while another may not. The Credit Bureau does not express any opinion on the information provided in the credit report.

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