Friday, February 24, 2017

Investing in property to let may not be a good idea



Buying to rent may not be a good idea


RENTING out a house or apartment used to be a source of income that would help to pay back the loan instalment or increase one’s available income.

Today, this is no longer a good idea, particularly for those whose income is just enough to meet their needs in the near- or short-term. This is because many people have become less honest.

Those who buy a property with the idea of renting it out may find themselves dealing with a delinquent tenant. To illustrate the situation, I reproduce part of a letter from a reader who is having sleepless nights.

“I have rented an apartment to a Bangladeshi family for a monthly rent of RM900 for several years without a written tenancy agreement. The rental payment went on smoothly until roughly nine months ago, when the tenant started delaying payment of both rental and water.

The rental and water payment was owed several months. Every time he said he would pay, but ended up not paying. He now owes me more than three months rent and more than six months water and has refused to move out, saying he needs time to find a place.

What can I do to get him out, if he continues staying without payment? People have advised me to lodge a police report and get the Rela to forcibly move him out. Is it legal to cut off the water and/or force the tenant out?”

To start with, it is legally wrong to disconnect the electricity or water. Once rented out, the tenant acquires a special kind of right to be on the premises.

A breach by him allows the landlord to terminate the tenancy. Thereafter the tenant becomes liable to pay double rent. The landlord should get a court order to evict him. I don’t think making a police report or approaching Rela will help.

This does not go very far in hel­ping the reader, but what I have to say could help readers who are renting out their property of the type referred to, or who are planning to do so.

Such a person should consider carefully whether he has sufficient spare funds if he is taking a loan. If he is a cash buyer or has resources to pay the instalments then it is fine.

This is because rent will not roll in immediately once the property is ready. There will be a need to spend time and money on putting in some basic fixtures. Time may be required to find a tenant.

In the meantime, the loan instalments will become payable and if he is unable to pay, these will add up and attract penalty interest, increasing the amount of the loan. There will be an added problem if the tenant is only able to pay rent which is less than the instalment.

So what could a landlord do to safeguard himself? The landlord should have a written agreement, and should require at least three months’ deposit at the outset and one month’s rental in advance, with the rental to be paid on or before the seventh day of each month, if not earlier.

Breach of these requirements would entitle the landlord to terminate the tenancy forthwith and require vacant possession.

Once the landlord has put himself in this position, he must monitor the payment of the rent. The tenant may pay late, but the landlord must not keep quiet. When there is a delay in payment but he pays within the month, you must give him a warning that the late payment is a breach.

The need to do this every month is important, because if the landlord allows the tenant to do this repeatedly, the law may regard this as acquiescence and a waiver by the landlord of the obligation to pay on the stipulated date.

If the tenant has not paid for two months the landlord should, by the middle of the second month, terminate tenancy and ask him to vacate the premises. At this stage the landlord has one and half month’s deposit, which allows him to have time to take meaningful action against the Tenant.

Chances are that if the landlord proceeds with such promptness, the tenant will come forward and resolve the matter.

As a term for allowing the tenant to stay on, the landlord could require the tenant to pay the legal costs. In such an event, the tenant would in future pay the rent regularly or he would leave, allowing the landlord to let the premises to another tenant.

Going to court can be costly, but the landlord should not just give up. He should approach a lawyer who can help him with the problem. Not all lawyers are out to make big profits from every client. Some lawyers will even do it for a very low fee, just to help the tenant.

Going to court will look harsh and is something that the owner may not like to do. This is because, at the point of renting, tenants project themselves as very decent and nice people who have every intention of paying the rent promptly. The issue here is: does the owner want his rent to be paid?

If the owner wants to be kind, then the tenant is likely to take advantage of him and drag on the non-payment. Of course, if the landlord is so inclined, he must be prepared to pay the price for being nice.

Law For Everyone By Bhag Singh The star

Any comments or suggestions for points of discussion can be sent to mavico7@yahoo.com. The views expressed here are entirely the writer’s own.

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Retrenchments ahead, says Malaysian Employers Federation


The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) believes that more people will get the axe this year due to the current economic challenges.

Apart from the weak economy, contributing factors include the introduction of “disruptive technology” in some industries, it said.

According to its executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan (pic), economic challenges would see bosses reviewing their workers’ requirements.

“I think slightly more workers will be retrenched this year,” he told a press conference after the Taxation and Employer seminar jointly hosted by the Inland Revenue Board and MEF yesterday.

Shamsuddin said in 2015, about 44,000 workers lost their jobs while up to September last year, about 40,000 workers were retrenched.

He said the complete data for 2016 has not been released by authorities yet, but the numbers could be higher than the previous year.

In 2015, said Shamsuddin, about 18,000 of those who lost their jobs were from the banking sector due to the introduction of what he termed as “disruptive technology”, where banks were increasingly adopting online transactions, for example.

Other industries that could be affected, said Shamsuddin, include insurance, manufacturing and construction.

He said for the insurance industry, many prefer dealing with the companies directly for their services, which makes the job of middlemen or agents, redundant.

“However, these agents are not really part of the retrenchment rate because they are considered to be self-employed,” he said.

Asked to comment on the E-kad (enforcement card) programme by the Immigration Department, Shamsuddin said the Government should consider widening the criteria.

He said the programme should be open to illegal workers who do not have permanent employers.

Currently, only illegal foreign workers with valid employers can register and legalise their work under the E-kad programme.

Shamsuddin said by including illegal foreign workers without employers, the source pool for workers can be widened.

By Hemananthani Vivanandam The Star/ANN

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Monday, February 20, 2017

Kim Jong-nam's murder masterminds back in North Korea

https://youtu.be/fCSNNgzdgqI



https://youtu.be/D5B5jom56Sc

Official story: Noor Rashid speaking to the media during the press conference at Bukit Aman.

KUALA LUMPUR: Four suspects being hunted by Bukit Aman in the assassination of North Korean exile Kim Jong-nam are believed to be back in Pyongyang after leaving the country for Jakarta immediately after the attack.

The four – Rhi Ji-hyon, 33, (arrived in Malaysia on Feb 4), Hong Song-hac, 34, (arrived Jan 31), O Jong-gil, 55, (arrived Feb 7) and Ri Jae-nam, 57, (arrived Feb 1) – left for Jakarta from KLIA2 immediately after the attack on Monday.

From Jakarta, sources say they flew to Dubai and Vladivostok before reaching Pyongyang.

“They may have taken the long route to shake off the authorities,” sources said.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Noor Rashid Ibrahim said Malaysian police are cooperating with Interpol and other relevant bodies overseas to track them.

Bukit Aman’s first priority is to collect all evidence on the suspects’ involvement in the case.

“Next plan is to get them. We will use all resources to pursue them,” Noor Rashid told a press conference, the first by the police since the killing.

On the possibility that the murder was politically motivated, Noor Rashid said the police were not interested in any political angle.

“What we are interested in is why they committed such a crime in our country.

“Any political angle can be put aside as it is not our job to worry about political matters.

“We want to get at the truth and bring the perpetrators to justice,” he said.

He said police were also looking for North Korean citizen Ri Ji-u, 30, also known as James, along with two others to help in investigations.

Of those arrested, Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, 28, arrived from Hanoi on Feb 4 while Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 25, a spa masseuse, entered the country via Batam on Feb 2.

North Korean Ri Jong-chol, 47, was arrested on Friday and entered Malaysia on Aug 6 last year.

“We are in the process of identifying the two others sought to assist in the investigations,” said Noor Rashid.

“We hope anyone with information can come forward,” he said.

On Jong-nam’s post-mortem, Noor Rashid said that it was conducted on Feb 15 at Hospital Kuala Lumpur.

“The cause of death is still unknown. We are waiting for the toxicology and pathological test results. I think in a few days, we will get the toxicology result.

“The case will be referred to the deputy public prosecutor for fur­ther instructions and investi­ga­tion,” he said.

Priority is given to close family members or next of kin to claim the body and they have been given two weeks to do so, added Noor Rashid.

“It is very important for close family members of the deceased to come forward to assist us in the process of identification, which is based on our legal procedures and Malaysian law.

“However, as of today, we have not met the next of kin. We are trying very hard to get the next of kin to assist us,” he said.

In the event that the family does not show up, Noor Rashid said police will look at further options.

Sources: By  farik zolkepli, jastin ahmad tarmizi, merga watizul fakar, adrian chan The Star

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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Lured by Korean movie led to murder of N Korean supreme commander's half brother Kim Jong-nam


‘Siti told me she was in a North Korean movie’


A divorcee who has been arrested as one of the suspects in the high-profile murder of North Korean exile Kim Jong-nam was able to speak Korean and had always wanted to go to North Korea.

Deadly ‘prank’: Siti Aisyah.

From the slums of Jakarta, the 25-year-old Siti Aisyah moved to the bright lights of Kuala Lumpur and has now become embroiled in a high-profile murder that gripped the world’s attention.

 
A man walks past a house (red color) where Indonesian woman Siti Aishah, a suspect in the murder of Kim Jong Nam, used to live in Tambora district in Jakarta, Indonesia. - AFP

She had told her friends and family in Indonesia that she had been invited to act in a movie.

“She said the shooting would take place in North Korea,” a friend of Siti Aisyah told Detik.com, an Indonesian portal.

However, she did not give family and friends the details.

“I don’t know the details, she just said it was for a DPR office (North Korea). We ordinary people just listened to what she was saying,” said the friend, identified only as AZ.

Siti Aisyah is one of the two women who allegedly attacked Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, with a deadly chemical.

Siti Aisyah worked as a guest relations officer (GRO) at a spa in Ampang although she told folks in Indonesia that she had a job “selling tickets”.

Her nightlife job was hidden from her family in Indonesia, where she has a seven-year-old son named Rio. Rio lives with her former in-laws.

But one thing that Siti Aisyah’s mother Benah did know was that her daughter could speak English and Korean.

“I never knew she worked in Malaysia,” said Benah, 50, who thought her daughter was selling clothes at a market in Batam after divorcing her husband, Gunawan Hasyin alias Ajun.

She said that the last time Siti Aisyah went back to her village in Serang, near Jakarta, was on Jan 21. Aisyah had been sending money to Benah.

“Usually it’s 500,000 rupiah (RM170). But not every month,” Benah told the news portal.

Siti Aisyah’s mother-in-law Lian Kiong or Akiong, 56, told Indonesian Foreign Ministry officials yesterday that she and her family had no relationship with her since she divorced her husband Gunawan Hasyim.

A sealed handwritten letter of the divorce note dated Feb 1, 2012 was presented to the Foreign Ministry yesterday.

Signed by Siti Aisyah and Gunawan, with her then employer Lian Kiong as witness, the letter said the couple had opted for a divorce as they no longer “had the compatibility and harmony of husband and wife”.

Lian Kiong said that following the divorce, Siti Aisyah hardly visited her in-laws in Tambora in West Jakarta, and only came around once a year to meet Rio.

“After the divorce, she never came around. The last time she came was on Jan 28.

“She came and stayed for the night. She spent the night with my grandson and left the next day,” Lian Kiong was quoted as saying.

She added that Siti Aisyah’s son had previously even refused to meet his mother because he knew she would leave eventually.

According to another Indonesian news portal Kumparan, based on identification records held by her village of birth in Angke, west Jakarta, she had two separate entries, complete with different photos.

In the first one, her name is spelt as “Siti Aisyah” with information saying she was born in Serang, Indonesia, on Feb 11, 1992. In the accompanying picture, her hair is tied in a ponytail.

In the second entry, her name was written as “Siti Aisah” and her date of birth is listed as Nov 1, 1989. In this picture, her hair is worn loose.

The ID (identification) numbers as well as her occupation on both entries differed.

As “Siti Aisyah”, she listed her occupation as entrepreneur; as “Siti Aisah”, she listed her occupation as housewife.

Kumparan quoted Angke village head Dwi Ariyono as saying he did not know why Siti Aisyah had two separate IDs.

Siti Aisyah was arrested at a hotel in Ampang on Thursday after she was identified on CCTV footage from KL International Airport 2 (KLIA2).

Among the items seized by police in the room included three US$100 notes.

She was the second suspect detained for allegedly murdering Jong-nam. The first suspect was a woman who held a Vietnamese passport, identifying her as Doan Thi Huong, 28.

Siti Aisyah’s boyfriend, Muham­mad Farid Jalaluddin, 26, was also arrested on Wednesday.

Indonesian deputy ambassador to Malaysia Andreano Erwin said that the embassy in Kuala Lumpur had been unable to meet Siti Aisyah as of yesterday afternoon.

“We are still waiting for permission from the Malaysian authorities to see her,” he said.

Source:  The Star/ANN

https://youtu.be/UxZIqvTQPoA

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Killer women recruited by a man three months ago

 

Deadly ‘prank’: Siti Aisyah in this file picture. — Detik.com >>

The two women suspected to have murdered North Korean Kim Jong-nam were allegedly “recruited” by a man to carry out the deadly task as early as three months ago.

According to a report by China Press, both Siti Aisyah, 25, and Doan Thi Huong, 29, were not North Korean “special agents” but were possibly duped by a spy ring to commit the assassination.

China Press reported that the mystery man, believed to be a spy, got to know Thi Huong about three months ago in Malaysia, and she eventually became his escort.

The man took her on several overseas trips, including to Vietnam, where they visited her hometown and another trip to South Korea.

The man then introduced Thi Huong to the four men still wanted by police in connection with the killing.

The man got to know Siti Aisyah about a month ago, but only introduced the two women to each other recently when he told them about a “prank “ he wanted them to pull.

The two women have claimed that they had no idea that it would lead to trouble as they thought it was only supposed to be a filming of the prank.

They apparently rehearsed the “spoof” many times and were able to carry out the process proficiently.

The report also said that Siti Aisyah was tasked with using a handkerchief to cover Jong-nam’s face while Thi Huong administered an injection.

China Press reported that Siti Aisyah claimed she was paid US$100 (RM445) to pull off the “prank”.

Jong-nam, 45, was killed by two women who splashed his face with a chemical at the KLIA2 departure hall at about 9am on Monday as he was about to leave for Macau. - The Star

On the trail of a killer called Thi Huong

 


KUALA LUMPUR: The woman known as Doan Thi Huong stayed in cheap hotels, carried a wad of cash and cut her hair a day before the murder of North Korean exile Kim Jong-nam.

 

Doan Thi Huong

According to the receptionist at one of the hotels, the woman left early in the morning on Monday, the day of the assassination.

Thi Huong had told police she had been duped into what she thought was a harmless practical joke.

However, staff at two hotels near the airport gave details of Thi Huong’s movements before the killing that appeared both calm and deliberate.

On Saturday, Feb 11, she went first to Qlassic Hotel.

A staff member said she stayed in the cheapest room, which had no windows.

“I remember she wanted to extend her stay here, and was ready to pay with a stack of money in her hand,” said another member of the Qlassic’s staff, a front-desk employee identified only as Sia.

On Sunday, Thi Huong checked into the CityView Hotel, arriving with a suitcase, a backpack and a large teddy bear, the receptionist said, adding that Thi Huong spoke understandable English.

She borrowed a pair of scissors from the front desk the evening before the attack, and a member of housekeeping staff found hair on the floor and in the waste basket the next day.

“She found the scissors on the room desk. There was hair strewn on the floor in the room, (Thi Huong) had thrown some in the bin but there was still a mess,” the receptionist said.

She said the next day, Thi Huong had on the shirt she was seen wearing in an airport CCTV grab that has earned her the nickname “LOL Girl” in Malaysian media.

Thi Huong was out for much of Monday morning and, on her return, she seemed “relaxed” and “didn’t look angry or worried”.

She complained about the Wi-Fi in her room and when she was told it could not be fixed until the afternoon, she checked out and left.

She then checked into the nearby SkyStar Hotel and left after one night, an employee said.

She was arrested on Wednesday morning, about 48 hours after the murder, in the same terminal where Jong-nam was attacked.

“Do her movements indicate she was an intelligence operative, then I would say yes,” said a private investigator in Kuala Lumpur.

“That is how they operate. Change of appearance, cash transactions, no paper trail and constantly on the move.” — Reuters

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Electrical cables & wires: uncertified and substandard items are dangerous!

Deadly live wires: Mohamed Idris showing electrical cables, a smartphone power adapter, a portable charger and an electrical socket splitter that do not carry Sirim labels.

GEORGE TOWN: Consumers are at risk of home fires or being electrocuted because an alarming number of electrical products not certified by Sirim Bhd are being sold openly, claims the Consumer Association of Penang (CAP).

CAP president S.M. Mohamed Idris said items like current converters, power adapters, chargers for computers and rechargeable batteries should be regulated as they handle electricity supplies at 240 volts and are potential explosives or could be fire hazards.

He expressed shock that the List of Regulated Electrical Equipment drafted by the Energy Commission (EC) does not include many common products.

“Even most electric cables do not have either EC or Sirim approval,” he said in a press conference at CAP’s office in Jalan Masjid Negeri yesterday.

He said the Electrical and Electronics Association of Malaysia (TEEAM) recently warned that many everyday electric cables in the market are made from poor quality materials.

“These substandard electric cables are prone to overheating and catching fire,” he said.

Mohamed Idris said despite stringent regulations, they find it surprising that electrical goods without EC or Sirim approval are being imported.

He urged EC and Sirim to review and expand their list of regulated products. “Authorities should also raid the market for electrical products that carry fake EC or Sirim certification,” he added. - The Star


http://clips.thestar.com.my.s3.amazonaws.com/Interactive/incaseoffire/incaseoffire.mp4

 

Ensure electrical cables are Sirim approved, homeowners told


PETALING JAYA: Homeowners should check the type of electrical cables used in their houses to ensure no substandard wires are installed.

Substandard cables are likely to cause fire-related accidents, said The Electrical and Electronics Association of Malaysia vice president Stan Lim.

“There is a huge price difference between high quality cables and those of poor quality, so owners should first check the quotation to see if the price is too good to be true.

“During renovations, for example, they should check the wiring material themselves and make sure they are approved by Sirim,” he said when contacted.

Sirim is a national organisation that determines standards and quality of products.

Lim explained that common conductors for electrical cables consisted of copper and aluminium, but substandard wires contained other metals.

Because of that, electrical conductivity through substandard cables would be poor, eventually leading to overheating and fire.

“Substandard cables do not go through stringent checks like the quality ones.

“They are not designed, constructed, test-approved, installed or used in accordance with the right standards and specification,” he said.

Lim also urged consumers to only engage contractors who were certified by the Energy Commission or a government authority, as there were unscrupulous contractors looking to make quick money.

“Industry players need to uphold ethical practices, and ensure that they only use certified products for their clients.

“Homeowners should also be vigilant, as wrongly executed wiring or extension can cause overload and heating, which could start a fire,” he said.

The Star highlighted recently on the need to avoid using substandard cables, which, according to Lim, were already flooding the market.

At the time, Lim advised houseowners to also test the residual circuit breaker every month.

“Open up the board, look for the button with the “T” and test it every month by pressing the button.

“If it causes the electricity to trip, then it is working. Then, push it back. If it is not working, it will need to be replaced,” he said.

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Substandard cables can cause fire in homes, says association

http://clips.thestar.com.my.s3.amazonaws.com/Interactive/howtofireproof/howtofireproof.mp4

http://clips.thestar.com.my.s3.amazonaws.com/Interactive/incaseoffire/incaseoffire.mp4


PETALING JAYA: Houseowners have been advised to ensure that the electrical cables they use in their homes meet the required standards because substandard cables can cause fires.

The advice comes from the Electrical and Electronics Association of Malaysia (TEEAM), which cautions that a lot of poor quality material has flooded the market.

“The common conductors for electrical cable are mainly made of copper and aluminum but some of the substandard wires are made of other metal.

“If other materials are used instead of the two, the electrical conductivity is not good and this will lead to overheating and fire,” said association vice-president Stan Lim in an interview.

Lim said substandard cables were not designed, constructed, test-approved, installed or used in accordance with the prescribed standards and specification.

On Monday, four people died in a fire which razed a double-storey terrace house in Subang Jaya.

Lim said that people should use cables that are certified and professionally recognised for the specific application and avoid using undersized and non-Sirim approved cables. Sirim is a national organisation that determines standards and quality of products.

He advised those doing house renovations to use contractors certified by the Energy Commission or a government authority.

A wiring or electrical extension plan that was not done properly could cause an overload and heating, and trigger a fire.

A spokesman from the Selangor Fire and Rescue Department was reported as saying that the department was alerted about the incident at Jalan USJ 2/3 at about 5.30am and 80% of the house was completely burnt by the time they arrived.

Lim also said houseowners should also test the residual circuit breaker every month.

“Open up the board, look for the button with the “T” and test it every month by pressing the button.

“If it causes the electricity to trip, then it is working. Then, push it back. If it is not working, it will need to be replaced,” he said.

Standards Users Association of Malaysia CEO Ratna Devi said that the cable industry had revealed that copper wires are now expensive and some of the imported ones used uncertified mixed materials, with compromised insulation properties or fake certification.

“These are fire hazards because they cannot conduct electricity well. Consumers often are not aware of this as they did not buy the cables for their homes. So, for renovations, they need to ensure that they use a licensed contractor for wiring,” she said.

Ratna said consumers should also make sure that any electrical appliance they buy is certified and should have the Energy Commission and Sirim’s sticker on it.

http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/02/09/substandard-cables-can-cause-fire-in-homes-says-association/~/media/dc1ef24442034b63b72397fd309ec875.ashx