Peter Voon of The Borneo Post chatted with me over some teh tarik on the AGM resolutions of Sarawak Central Region Hotels Association on 27th March. Besides the AGM matters, we also touched on the proposed minimum wage policy.
Peter is very professional in reporting. Keep it up!
Plaza Melati Condominium has been renamed Medan Mega Melati Condominium and it is going to be launched soon. This is the latest development of this delayed project. Anyway, it is exciting to hear about it.
When Plaza Melati Condo was opened for pre-launch booking two years ago, the price was at RM250 psf. After two years, the pre-launch price has gone up to RM350 psf. It is a whopping 40% increase.
It seems that the property party in KL is still on!
Sarawak Central Region Hotels Association held its AGM on 25th March at 4.30pm at Kingwood Hotel. More than twenty members were present for the meeting. Besides transacting the ordinary business, the members also held election for a new committee for 2012-2013. As a whole, the meeting was smooth in running.
Immediately after the AGM, an annual dinner was held. Tuan Mutalib, the Sibu Bomba chief, was our guest of honour. In his address, Tuan Mutalib advised the hoteliers to comply with fire safety requirements. He reiterated the importance of fire certificate.
You're smart, you're financially savvy, and you'd never fall for one of those get-rich schemes. But that doesn't mean you won't get scammed. It's easy to assume that only the truly gullible are prey for con artists and scammers, but that's not always the case. Take a look at these seven popular scams.
1. ATM skimming This type of crime has been around for decades, and as technology has improved, so have ways to duplicate ATM cards. Here's one way it works: Criminals attach a device on an ATM that captures information about your account when you swipe your card. At the same time, you're being videotaped or watched by a tiny camera that's hidden near the ATM's keypad. Within a matter of minutes, a thief has your bank account information and your PIN and is able to create a duplicate bankcard and empty your account.
[Related: Why you need to change your ATM number]
To prevent skimming, avoid those ATMs that are most at risk such as stand-alone locations or non-bank-related ATMs that you find in stores or gas stations. If you notice an ATM has a device over the card reader or a note instructing you to swipe your card through a different reader, notify the bank, and before you swipe your card, put your hand on the slot and wiggle it - ATMs without skimmers shouldn't move. As always, be sure to cover the keypad when typing in your PIN, and if you notice any withdrawals on your bank statement that you didn't make, alert your bank immediately. Typically, banks will refund your money if you bring the matter to their attention within 60 days.
2. Bogus pizza leaflets You're on vacation and after a long day of sightseeing with the kids, you just want to feed them dinner and relax in the hotel room. When you return to the hotel, you find a flyer for a local pizza restaurant stuck on your windshield or shoved under the room door, and you call, place an order and give them your credit card information. As you eagerly count down the 30 minutes or less it'll take your pie to be delivered, the fraudsters at the "pizza restaurant" are using your credit card to make purchases.
[Related: 12 spring break safety tips]
This pizza flier scam recently got so out of control in Florida that the state legislature banned pizza leafleting; however, it was decided that the decision interfered with the free market and the legislature changed its mind. The best way to avoid being scammed by phony fliers while you're traveling is to consult a phone book or call the hotel's front desk to verify if the restaurant is legitimate.
3. Phishing "We suspect an unauthorized transaction on your account. To ensure that your personal information is not compromised, please click here to verify your identity."
Sound familiar? Phishing entails sending out messages that claim to be from an organization like a bank or government agency and asking you to confirm your account information - anything from credit card numbers to account passwords. Many of these emails use official company logos or direct you to websites with URLs that, at first glance, might seem legitimate.
If you get an email asking for personal or financial information, don't click on the link and don't reply - banks, credit card companies and other businesses will never ask you to verify personal information via email. Forward the message to firstname.lastname@example.org and to the organization that's being impersonated, and review your bank account and credit card statements regularly to ensure there aren't any unauthorized charges.
4. Stranded Facebook friends Have any of your Facebook friends recently appealed to you for money because they're stranded abroad and need money for a flight home? Most likely you later found out that your friends weren't out of the country - they weren't even out of town - but their account had been hacked. Scammers often look for active Facebook users with a lot of friends and then hack their accounts and attempt to solicit money from kind-hearted people.
[Related: Web-browser tool protects against tracking, spam and viruses]
If a friend contacts you on Facebook asking for money, don't send them anything until you've spoken with them and verified their story. If a friend is sending out spam on the social networking site or sending repeated messages for money, let them know their account has been hacked and report the situation to Facebook.
5. Work-at-home schemes Making lots of money by doing simple tasks from the comfort of your own home may sound too good to be true - and it usually is. Such get-rich-quick schemes have been around for decades and involve everything from taking online surveys to assembling jewelry, but perhaps the most famous scheme is the envelope-stuffing scam. In this one, workers pay a small fee to join the organization and are promised money for every envelope they stuff. However, the workers are stuffing envelopes with flyers that recruit other people to stuff envelopes, essentially just perpetuating the scheme.
While real work-from-home employment opportunities do exist, it's estimated that only one in 42 work-at-home job offers are legitimate. How do you know if it's a scam? If the pay is too good to be true or payment is required to begin work, it's most likely not a real employment opportunity.
[Related: How to stay motivated while working from home]
6. Bad checks Let's say you're selling an expensive item like a car or jewelry online, and when the buyer sends you a certified check, it's for more than the purchase price. The buyer immediately recognizes the mistake and asks you to send a check back for the extra money, which you do. However, you later find out the cashier's check you deposited was counterfeit and you've already sent your money - and the sold item - to the buyer.
If you're selling something locally, meet the buyer in a secure location and deal in cash. If you're dealing with international buyers or an online auction, use a service like PayPal or wait until the buyer's check clears. Keep in mind that it can sometimes take the bank more than a week to certify that a check is good.
7. Imposter scams In these schemes, a fraudster poses either online or on the phone as a friend or relative in desperate need of financial assistance. These scams typically play out via email with someone asking for money because they've been injured, arrested or stranded abroad. However, senior citizens are often targeted for these scams over the phone and asked to send money to bail out a grandchild or help them get home.
A Sibu-minded guy or gal has just started a new blog in the name of Sibu Bottleneck. The name itself is suggestive that it is a venue for airing grievances which are presently suffocating the beloved Sibuians.
This blog is by Sibu, for Sibu and of Sibu. Please develop a feeling for it!
Property investment firm IP Global has named London (pictured), New York and Kuala Lumpur as the top three property investment hubs in the world.
London’s bullish property market has been boosted by international investors with a five percent growth forecast for 2012 while New York, with prices still 20 percent below their peak is considered a safe investment destination. Kuala Lumpur leads the Asian region with average price increases of between five and 24 percent.
Cities were categorised under Bright, Fair or Cloudy, with London, New York and Kuala Lumpur in the Bright section. Brisbane, San Francisco, Istanbul and Perth were named the ones to watch or Cloudy, while Athens, Prague and Hong Kong were listed under cities to avoid.
London’s high standing is due to strong growth forecasts of five percent for 2012 and 23 percent in the next four years. Sales volumes also climbed 85 percent over the previous year, backed by an 11 percent price growth as well as strong rental demand.
In spite of the global economic uncertainties, New York remains a secure investment hub, seeing renewed interest from affluent real estate investors with prices still 20 percent below their peak. The Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate noted that New York is again the top city for foreign investment in 2012, holding the top spot for the second consecutive year.
Malaysia is also expected to be a top destination for foreign direct investments as the property sector delivered strong results, with Kuala Lumpur recording average price increases of five to 24 percent.
This is one of the most readable blogs I have ever come across. The blogger http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifhahttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifs got wonderful ideas and thoughts to share with the fellow Malaysians. She is really a thinking Malaysian.
Sarawak Central Region Hotel Association made a trip to Kapit on 10th March to pay visit to the members in Kapit Branch. The chief purpose was to meet up with the members to seek further understanding of the issues confronting the member hotels there.
We set off at 7.30am by an express boat. It was a comfortable trip with the exception that the air-conditioner was too strong.
We had not been to Kapit for years. The progress in this inland town is impressive.
Paul Choo of Kapit Branch arranged us to have dialogue with the members there at Chong Seng Food Court. It was a fruitful session, with issues like fire-fighting facilities, local by-laws, licensing being touched upon.
After the dialogue, we were treated to a lunch with local delights.
The meal was all thumbs up! Paul then took us for a ride around Kapit town areas. The development pace there is quite encouraging.
Before we came back, we stopped at one coffeeshop for some drinks. We spotted some German chairs being used by the coffeeshop. Cerman chairs were common during my childhood days. You hardly find them now!
The biennial election of Sibu Foochow Association shall fall on 25th March. The talk in the town is that two teams are drumming up for support in the upcoming election with the aim to lead the association.
The challengers are headed by Dato' Lau Cheng Kiong. The incumbents have yet to announce the team line-up.
Properties are sizzling hot in KL, Penang and Johor. KL and Penang are already at the forefront where prices have escalated tremendously. Iskandar in Johor is catching up with a slew of developments.
Almost all property agents eye Sibu as a potential place to promote their products. I am not particularly sure of the reason, but it may have something to do with Bank Negara's report years ago saying that "Sibu sat on piles of cash". In other words, Sibu was cash-rich!
UEM Land has plan to come to Sibu to promote some high-end properties in Iskandar of Johor. The Bank Negara's report must have come to the attention of this listed company.
Properties in Penang are doing extremely well. Lim Guan Eng won back a lot of confidence of investors ever since he took over the administration of Penang state. Guan Eng is an alumnus of Monash University, Clayton, Victoria. When I was in Year 3 of Faculty of Economics & Politics, Lim Guan Eng was in Year 1 of the same Faculty. At that time we knew him by Lim Kit Siang's son only.
The picture shows the construction site of Wellesly Residences in Butterworth, Penang.
Let's see what certain experts have got to say about gold and silver in the immediate future!
Gold and silver prices showed big volatility in both directions over the past week, indicating we may be ready to run to the next new highs.
After a big run-up in prices earlier last week, gold and silver were hammered on February 29th after manipulative comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.
It should come as no surprise that Big Ben would run to the rescue of the gold and silver shorts, trying to stem the tide of higher metals prices...
“Helicopter Ben” made comments last week trying to insinuate diminished prospects for a third round of quantitative easing. This testimony is supposed to make us believe QE3 is a figment of people’s imaginations.
But wait a minute — haven’t we heard this all before when we were told QE2 would never happen?
Premier Hotel is going to launch a chicken rice promotion on March 5 the coming Monday.
Themed The Chicken Rice Affair, the promotion would be the talk of the town. The chicken rice and the supplementary side orders are set to tickle your taste buds and give you a come-back urge!
Priced at RM6.50++ per pax, The Chicken Rice Affair promises succulent and sumptuous chicken rice which is simply the best deal in town.
It is chicken on the loose! The chicken rice is inclusive of steamed chicken with cucumber, chicken liver and gizzard, marinated boneless chicken feet, soy egg, double cooked flavoured rice and piping hot soup.
Supplementary side orders are also available at a separate charge!
Serving is from Monday to Friday from 11.30am to 2.00pm (not available if it falls on a public holiday).