Wednesday, April 17, 2024

10 College Majors That Practically Guarantee a Fat Salary

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For most young people, a college degree remains the ticket to a life of prosperity. That is especially true for those who choose the right field of study. Recently, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York identified the college majors that result in the highest salaries for students who graduate with those degrees. These rankings focus on the median wage that graduates can expect to earn during…



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Many Hospitals Sell Website User Data — Without Telling You

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You’d think that it’d be required for your online activity on medical websites to be private. It’s not, and many hospitals aren’t disclosing that fact either. According to a recent study, almost all hospital websites share website user information with third parties. This data typically includes at least a website visitor’s internet protocol (IP) address and the URLs (uniform resource locators)…



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8 Things People Lose After Retiring

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When preparing to retire, remember a steady paycheck is not the only thing grinding to a halt when you end your daily grind. If you’re not careful, disrupting your familiar habits, roles and relationships could make you feel aimless, isolated and depressed instead of free, relaxed and fulfilled. Retirement is not just about ceasing work but redefining what works for you.



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25 Things You Should Never Buy — and What to Buy Instead

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American consumers are swimming in a sea of products. Any need, want or whim can be met with a quick trip to the mall or click of a keyboard. In this retail wonderland, it’s easy to make a few mistakes. We’ve all fallen victim to aggressive marketing and been lured in by budget-busting convenience products, impulse buys and things that simply don’t make sense. (That reminds me…



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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

15 States Where Farms Use the Most Water

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With 42% of annual freshwater withdrawals in the U.S. used for agriculture, where are farms irrigating the most? To mark National Agriculture Day on March 19, LawnStarter ranked 2024’s States Where Farms Use the Most Water. We compared all 50 states by the prevalence of irrigated agriculture, including total irrigated farm acres, share of irrigated farmland, and average water use per irrigated…



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The Top 10 Places Americans Are Traveling to This Summer

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Trying to avoid other tourists, or hoping to jump on the same flight as them? Either way, we have the list you need. Google released a ranking of the most searched-for destinations on Google Flights by U.S. travelers booking trips between June 1 and Aug. 31, 2024. Take a guess at which locales ranked highest, and read on to see if you’re right.



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Monday, April 15, 2024

15 Cities With the Most Single-Family Homes

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The ongoing repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to shape the U.S. real estate market, influencing both the geographical preferences of families and their housing choices. Initially, the pandemic prompted a migration of families from densely populated urban areas to more spacious homes in rural or suburban settings. In recent years, however, return-to-office mandates by employers…



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From crisis to confidence – the importance of financial protection

FINANCIAL stability is a universal goal, pursued by individuals saving for a multitude of reasons.

People save for retirement, to purchase a home, to start or expand a business, for travel, to care for elderly family members, or simply to have a safety net for unforeseen events. Life’s unpredictability, such as an accident or illness, can rapidly deplete these funds, redirecting them from long-term dreams to immediate needs.

The impact of such events extends across the population. In Malaysia, statistics from 2023 show that while some have a sufficient safety net, many are only a few months away from potential financial difficulty. This precarious balance affects many including parents, entrepreneurs, homeowners, retirees and those with aspirations to travel or invest in their future. For these individuals, the numbers represent a lived experience of financial vulnerability that influences their mental and emotional well-being, as well as their future planning.

Financial protection, however, is a powerful shield against these fears and anxieties, offering instead, peace of mind in knowing that you can handle life’s curveballs without the fear of drowning in debt.

The benefits of financial security extend beyond the immediate. With financial security, you can plan for the future with confidence, knowing that you have the resources to support your goals and ambitions. It brings a profound sense of stability and peace of mind.

Still, we must consider the fact that Malaysia’s financial landscape is overshadowed by the significant burden of household debt, with a daunting debt-to-income ratio exceeding 146%. This heavy reliance on borrowed funds leaves little flexibility for unforeseen challenges. But here is where proactive financial planning steps in. Let us explore the types of safety nets customised for different situations:

i) Health insurance plans shield against medical emergencies, reducing the burden of unexpected bills. For instance, having such a plan in place could have relieved you and your family from crippling medical debt, allowing focus on recovery and future plans.

ii) Life insurance provides financial security for loved ones in the event of a sudden loss, maintaining their standard of living, particularly crucial if dependents rely on your income.

iii) Syariah-compliant legacy plans, such as PruBSN WarisanGold, are affordable protection plans for families and operate on Islamic finance principles, fostering community support through ethical giving. These plans ensure financial security while promoting social responsibility.

One of the biggest misconceptions of financial planning is that it is only for the wealthy. The truth is, financial security is a universal need, and there are plans designed to fit every budget for individuals and families. The key is to start early and take that first step towards securing your future.

Educating yourself about financial responsibility and the power of planning is a valuable investment in the long run. Financial planning is not just about protection, but also freedom. It provides you the ability to dream big and take control of your financial destiny.

This article is contributed by Prudential BSN.



Source: The Sun Daily

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Tax Matters – Understanding the relevance of source for income tax purposes

THE concept of source is fundamental in the taxation of income in Malaysia. If there is no source, there cannot be income.

The analogy is of a tree and a fruit, and for tax purposes the tree is akin to the source and the fruit that comes from the tree is akin to the income. Throughout our income tax legislation, reference is consistently made to source.

Why is source important?

Malaysia only taxes income that is derived, arises or received in Malaysia. Most countries in the world will tax income that is derived from both within and outside the country. For example, a Malaysian individual will only be taxed on the income he derives from Malaysia. Foreign income or capital gains derived or sourced outside Malaysia is taxed only upon remittance into Malaysia.

It is therefore important to differentiate between domestic source income and foreign source income.

How is source determined?

This is a question of fact. You have to look at it from an ordinary persons’ perspective and ask simple questions: Where does the income come from? How does the income arise? What activity gives rise to that income? What assets give rise to that income and where are those assets located?

There are different approaches for determining different sources of income. Business income is usually determined based on where the contract is entered into, where the services are rendered, where the activities relating to the business are carried out, where the management and control decisions are made, etc. Employment income is determined where the employment is exercised.

Director’s fee is where the payer company is resident. Pension and annuity income is determined based on where the fund is located together with the locality of the fund which generates the pension and annuity. Rental income is based on where the property is located. Interest income is based on where the money is lent.

Differentiating domestic and foreign sources

Since Malaysia only taxes domestic source and foreign source is only taxed upon remittance into Malaysia, it becomes crucial to segregate the sources of income.

It is often misunderstood that once a business enterprise performs services or conducts activities outside the country, it is automatically foreign sourced, and unless it is remitted, it will not be taxed in Malaysia. This is incorrect.

Such income can be taxed in Malaysia if the Malaysian business enterprise does not have a business presence in the foreign country and brings such income to tax in that foreign country. The reason being the activity carried out overseas is controlled and managed in many cases by the Malaysian enterprise and therefore it becomes Malaysian sourced and becomes taxable in Malaysia although the monies earned from those transactions may not be remitted into Malaysia.

This will be the similar treatment for employees who principally perform their employment duties in or from Malaysia, and, at the same time, travel overseas to complement the activities they carry out in Malaysia.

Having dual contracts of employment to segregate domestic and foreign sources will be challenged by the tax authorities unless you are able to clearly show that the activities are performed only in the respective countries.

Is it compulsory for all your income to be taxed?

It is not compulsory that a taxpayer must pay tax on all his income somewhere in the world. If the taxpayer can organise his affairs in such a way that he is legally not taxable on a portion of his income, that is his personal prerogative.

Tax authorities cannot force you to pay taxes that do not come within the tax regime. However, most tax authorities around the world have signed on to the global minimum tax where they expect the larger companies whose turnover exceeds €750 million (RM3.75 billion) a year to pay at least 15% tax on their global income.

This article is contributed by Thannees Tax Consulting Services Sdn Bhd managing director SM Thanneermalai (www.thannees.com).



Source: The Sun Daily

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Sheraton Imperial KL in talks with Malaysia Airlines to supply inflight meals

KUALA LUMPUR: Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel is in talks with Malaysia Airlines Bhd to supply inflight meal service for the national carrier’s first class and business class, sources familiar with the matter told SunBiz.

This development comes after an exclusive partnership between Sheraton Imperial and Malaysia Airlines for an exclusive Hari Raya menu at the airline’s airport lounges between April 10 and 17.

The special one-time offering is available at KLIA Terminal 1’s Golden Lounge Satellite, Golden Lounge Regional, and Golden Lounge Domestic.

Guests can indulge in Malaysian delicacies at the lounges, under the guidance of chef Mohd Azizan Mohd Apande, chef Abdul Hallim Sultan, and chef de cuisine Muhammad Aliff Akhbar Zakaria from Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur.

The buffet features dishes such as Sup Tulang Rawan Pattani Dondang Sayang, Nasi Minyak Kismis Gemersik Takbir and the Senandung Manis Si Pulut Hitam dessert, among others. Additional exclusive dishes are available in the Platinum Lounge.

Malaysia Airlines provides extensive premium services for passengers and frequent flyer members across different classes to enjoy these Hari Raya Aidilfitri meals.

Meanwhile, economy class passengers have the option to purchase lounge access through the Journify website or app.

During Ramadan previously, Enrich members were offered the Retro Ramadan D’ Sheraton Imperial staycation package, which included exclusive benefits such as Marriott points and discounts on the Nostalgia Retro Ramadan Buffet. Additionally, Enrich members interested in enjoying the buffet at Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel received a special discount.

Marriott International Inc is an American multinational company that operates, franchises, and licenses lodging brands that include hotel, residential, and timeshare properties. Marriott International owns over 30 hotel and timeshare brands with 8,785 locations and 1,597,380 rooms across its network including Sheraton Hotels & Resorts.



Source: The Sun Daily

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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Nextgreen IOI Pulp inks MoU with Xiamen C&D for pulp production facility

KUALA LUMPUR: Pulp and paper manufacturer Nextgreen Global Bhd’s subsidiary, Nextgreen IOI Pulp Sdn Bhd (NIP), has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Xiamen C&D Paper & Pulp Group Co Ltd for the development and operation of a green and sustainable paper pulp production facility.

Xiamen C&D is a wholly owned subsidiary of Xiamen C&D Inc under Xiamen C&D Corp Ltd, a Fortune Global 500 company.

Under the MoU, NIP and Xiamen C&D will establish a joint venture company, with equity interests of 75% and 25% respectively. The paper pulp production facility is set to be developed across 43 acres of land within the 410-acre Green Technology Park (GTP) in Pekan, Pahang, which is part of the Eastern Corridor Economic Region.

The initial production capacity is expected to be 100,000 tonnes of paper pulp per annum, made from oil palm empty fruit bunches, using Nextgreen Global’s patented Preconditioning Refiner Chemical-Recycle Bleached Mechanised Pulp (PRC-RBMP) technology.

NIP will take the lead in feasibility studies, project preparation, procurement, and business development, while also engaging with stakeholders and external financiers. Xiamen C&D will lend support in business development, assist with securing external financing, and manage the off-take of the facility's output.

Nextgreen Global managing director Datuk Lim Thiam Huat said, “This strategic collaboration marks a shared commitment to innovation, sustainability, and economic development that is a win-win for both parties. By scaling up the utilisation of the innovative PRC-RBMP technology with our China-based partner, a leading enterprise in terms of paper sales, pulp imports and sales in China, we aim to pioneer a new era of eco-friendly industrial practices, driving progress and accelerate prosperity for the region and beyond.”
The MoU comes on the back of Nextgreen Global’s recent announcement that it entered into a shareholders’ agreement with IOI Paper Pulp Sdn Bhd, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of IOI Corporation Bhd, paving the way for the development of the first large-scale zero-waste paper pulp plant at GTP.



Source: The Sun Daily

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Saturday, April 13, 2024

It’s Worth Spending More on These 14 Purchases

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During the lean, early years of my marriage, saving pennies was a necessity. However, as my spouse and I got older and our financial situation improved, I continued to pay as little as possible for anything and everything. I could afford more, but I just didn’t want to spend more. Eventually, my shopping philosophy began to shift. After years of being surrounded by poorly made stuff that never…



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26 Hazardous Products That Were Recalled This Week

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Advertising Disclosure: When you buy something by clicking links on our site, we may earn a small commission, but it never affects the products or services we recommend. We expect manufacturers to know what they’re stocking the shelves with. We trust those products to be safe. But things have a way of slipping through the cracks. Fortunately, several federal regulatory agencies monitor for…



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Money in a Minute for the Week Ending April 12

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Every weekend, I recap “news you can use” from the week — a handful of quotes from major (and often expensive) news sources — so you can stay up to date on the news that affects your money without spending a dime and in less than a minute. Here’s an overview of what happened this week. Jamie Dimon warns that inflation, wars and Fed policy pose major threats ahead (April 12, CNBC): JPMorgan…



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13 Features That Can Make Your Home Sell Faster in 2024

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Smaller homes — averaging 2,411 square feet, the lowest size in more than a decade — with more customization are in this year, according to a recent survey. For its 2024 What Home Buyers Really Want report, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) surveyed recent and prospective homebuyers to pinpoint features they deem essential or desirable. Based upon their report, here are the top…



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Friday, April 12, 2024

8 Things Still Getting Hammered by Inflation

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After falling last year, prices continue to creep up in 2024. In fact, overall inflation increased 3.5% over the past year and 0.4% over the past month, according to the latest federal data on consumer prices. Both those rates are the highest they’ve been since September 2023. In other words, in March, inflation was the worst it’s been in six months. Some goods and services have seen…



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Costco Just Released Dozens of New Deals for April 2024

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Advertising Disclosure: When you buy something by clicking links on our site, we may earn a small commission, but it never affects the products or services we recommend. Costco has released its latest monthly deals — dozens of discounts worth thousands of dollars in savings. They’re available until May 5, although some of these deals are available in clubs only or online only.



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Why Portugal Is Great for Seniors

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“Gosh, I am old.” This thought came to me unexpectedly the other day. The term “old” can have negative connotations. My inner voice was certainly using it in a critical way when that thought surfaced. I haven’t heard that critical voice for four years. I wonder if my 75th birthday being around the corner has anything to do with its return. My critical inner voice was louder back when Jeff…



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Thursday, April 11, 2024

Here’s How Much Your Social Security COLA Might Be in 2025

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Inflation is back to running a bit hot. And while that is bad news for shoppers, it might offer a silver lining to Social Security recipients. The Social Security cost-of-living adjustment — or “COLA” — is now expected to be 2.6% in 2025, according to a new forecast by The Senior Citizens League. On Wednesday, the federal government announced that the Consumer Price Index for All Urban…



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8 Genius Ways to Invest $100,000

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Advertising Disclosure: When you buy something by clicking links on our site, we may earn a small commission, but it never affects the products or services we recommend. If you’ve got $100,000 in savings, congratulations! You’re now in a great position to make that money work harder for you and turn it into lots more. But with all the options out there, figuring out what to do next can be tricky.



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Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Britain's Tesco expects profit rise in 2024/25 year

LONDON: Tesco, Britain's biggest retailer, forecast a further increase in profit in its new financial year as strong demand and new customers helped it to post an 11% jump in 2023/24.

The supermarket group on Wednesday forecast retail adjusted operating profit, its key profit measure, of “at least” 2.8 billion pounds ($3.55 billion) for its 2024/25 year.

It made 2.76 billion pounds in the year to Feb. 24 2024, slightly ahead of guidance of 2.75 billion pounds and up from 2.49 billion pounds made in the previous year.

ALSO READ: British economy grew faster than expected in first quarter

Group sales, excluding VAT sales tax and fuel, rose 7.4% to 61.5 billion pounds, with UK like-for-like sales up 7.7%.

Tesco has a 27.3% share of Britain's grocery market, up 40 basis points on the year, according to industry data.

The group, whose shares are up 9% over the last year, is benefiting from a strategy of matching the prices of discounter Aldi on key items, and the popularity of its Clubcard loyalty scheme, which provides lower prices for members. ($1 = 0.7890 pounds)

ALSO READ: UK economy declines by more than expected in July amid strike impact



Source: The Sun Daily

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Does Drinking Decaf Coffee Raise Your Cancer Risk?

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Does your morning cup of decaffeinated coffee put you at a greater risk of cancer? Some health advocacy groups worry about that possibility. Several groups and individuals have banded together to ask the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ban methylene chloride, a chemical used in the most common decaffeination process, known as “European method decaf.” The groups include the Environmental…



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11 of the Most Dangerous and Crime-Filled Places to Live in America

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How safe is your home? Recent data can help you compare. The Zebra, an insurance site, used data from the FBI on property crime rates, robbery rates and arson volume to compile a list of America’s most dangerous cities for those types of crime. The site only looked at data from the 50 most populated metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) and substituted city or state data when necessary to fill…



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Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Malaysia’s labour market seen remaining stable with jobless rate at 3.2 pct in 2024

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s labour market is projected to remain stable in 2024, with the average unemployment rate at 3.2 per cent, consistent with the 2023 rate of 3.4 per cent, according to Kenanga Investment Bank Bhd (Kenanga IB).

It said this reflected the continuous employment growth observed recently.

“This is largely attributed to the expected steady expansion in economic activities driven by strong domestic demand. We project gross domestic product (GDP) growth to reach 3.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2024 (4Q 2023: 3.0 per cent) with an overall 2024 GDP growth forecast ranging from 4.5 to 5 per cent.

“Additionally, we expect a recovery in the manufacturing sector, driven by technology upcycles, as well as the realisation of approved investments recorded last year, to further boost hiring activities in the coming months,“ it said in a note today.

Nevertheless, Kenanga IB said structural issues in the labour market remain concerning, particularly the persistent youth unemployment rate (age: 15-24 years), which remained at 10.6 per cent in February for the fourth consecutive month, affecting 306,600 people.

Additionally, Kenanga IB noted that skill-related underemployment stood at 37.4 per cent, reaching a record high of 1.94 million in 4Q 2023.

Hong Leong Investment Bank Bhd (HLIB) stated that Malaysia’s labour market is expected to continue benefiting from a further rise in tourism activities and its positive spill-over effect on related sectors such as wholesale and retail trade, food and beverage, and accommodation, as well as the implementation of national projects.

It reckons that the improving global trade environment and the implementation of foreign direct investment projects in the pipeline could lead to better employment conditions in export-oriented sectors.

HLIB further highlighted that the National Human Resource Policy Framework, which is set to be launched by the government in May, is expected to help achieve the target of a 35 per cent skilled workforce by 2030.-Bernama



Source: The Sun Daily

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Is Daylight Saving Time Hurting Your Wealth?

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Each year, the nation “springs ahead” and adjusts its collective clock for daylight saving time. The result is millions of folks who stumble around in a groggy haze until their bodies adjust to the new reality. Previous research has shown that the disturbance in our circadian rhythm that accompanies the transition to DST can have a detrimental impact on our ability to make sound decisions.



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20 Products That Stop Groceries From Spoiling So Fast

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14 of the Weirdest Things You Can Rent

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You wouldn’t think twice about renting shoes at a bowling alley. And, depending on where you live, renting your home might be cheaper than buying. However, when it comes to borrowing a casket for your great-aunt’s funeral or getting a couple goats to clear your lawn, you might have some reservations. But if you want to, you can rent these unusual items, and many others. Don’t believe us?



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Monday, April 8, 2024

10 Fun, Uplifting Remote Jobs That Are Hiring

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Bringing positivity and happiness to our lives can sometimes be a struggle. It takes intention and dedication to overcome many of the harder things life throws our way. But your job doesn’t have to be one of those harder things. Many jobs have some element of positivity and happiness — or just sound fun to do. That’s why we compiled a list of fun, uplifting remote jobs hiring now. We hope you’…



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Tax Matters – It’s time to file your tax returns

IT IS the time of the year for individuals to file their tax returns.

Personal tax returns of individuals not carrying on a business will be due by April 30. However, as a concession, the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) has extended the filing deadline for submissions done by way of an electronic medium or by way of electronic transmission to May 15. If you miss the deadline, there will be a penalty for late submission.

Should everyone file a tax return?

Employees who only earn employment income which have been subjected to monthly tax deduction need not submit any tax returns as their taxes deducted under the monthly tax deduction scheme will be regarded as the final tax. Individuals who do not have any taxable income or are below the taxable income thresholds need not file tax returns.

However, if an individual has been filing tax returns in the past and in the current year they are not required to file tax returns, it is still advisable to file a NIL tax return in case they come back to a taxable situation in the future years.

Even if you are an employee already subject to monthly tax deduction, it is still advisable to file a tax return to ensure that you get a complete benefit of any tax reliefs available, because it is possible under the monthly tax deduction, all your reliefs may not have been taken into account.

Tax reliefs available for year of assessment 2023

All reliefs are available in the e-filing system. Once you enter the e-filing system, the information on the tax reliefs is automatically displayed and it is easy to pick the ones that you are entitled to. In addition to the existing reliefs, the new reliefs available for year of assessment 2023 is the increase and expansion of relief for medical expenses for self, spouse, and child, extension of relief for childcare centre and expansion of the tax treatment of donations.

Please note that you can no longer claim a special tax relief of an additional RM2,500 for the purchase of personal computer, smartphone or tablets for own use. This will be limited to RM2,500 under the existing lifestyle relief.

Keeping records

It is compulsory under the law to keep the relevant bills to support your relief claims for a period of seven years. In any tax audit, you will be asked to produce the underlying records supporting your claims, and in the event you are unable to produce these records, your relief claims will be denied and you will be subjected to penalties on the grounds that you have underpaid your taxes.

All donations you wish to claim tax deductions should be supported with Section 44(6) receipts issued by the approved charitable body or institutions.

Other matters to be declared

The tax return form is now requesting you to declare whether you have foreign bank accounts, and whether you have remitted any foreign-sourced income which is exempted from Malaysian tax into Malaysia. You have no choice but to answer these questions honestly, otherwise your return will be incorrect.

It is possible that this information could trigger questions from the IRB on the source of the funds and may lead to the individual being requested to explain how the overseas source was funded and in certain cases, may lead to a request for capital statements to be provided by the individual.

In case you have foreign bank accounts, or you are remitting overseas funds into Malaysia, be prepared to explain the source of the funds and whether the amounts remitted have already been subjected to tax overseas in a country where the headline tax rate exceeds 15%.

If you happen to be a high net worth individual whose net assets could run into millions, it is advisable to be prepared for any scrutiny by the IRB with a capital statement explaining the growth in your wealth and the source of your overseas funds.

This article is contributed by Thannees Tax Consulting Services Sdn Bhd managing director SM Thanneermalai (www.thannees.com).



Source: The Sun Daily

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Anticipate shift towards stricter sustainability rules, real estate sector told

PETALING JAYA: Anticipate a shift in regulatory frameworks towards stricter sustainability requirements within the real estate sector, says Andermatt Swiss Alps regional director Maureen Yeo.

She said that along with imposing stricter requirements, there will also be measures put in place to encourage and reward developers and stakeholders to adopt environmentally friendly construction methods and practices.

“The concept of green buildings will expand to not just cover energy and water efficiency but also to encompass occupant health and wellbeing, biodiversity, and resilience to climate change,” Yeo told SunBiz.

However, she said more transparency on sustainability practices and performance data from developers is needed.

“True sustainable efforts usually come with a high level of openness and detailed information sharing,” she added.

The challenge in the real estate sector, Yeo said, is that its sustainability impacts are measured over years, even decades, unlike consumer goods where claims can often be verified more immediately.

“The technical nature of building sustainability .. factors like energy efficiency and materials sourcing ... requires specialised knowledge, making it harder for consumers or investors to assess claims accurately,” she remarked.

To navigate these challenges, Yeo said, transparency and education are crucial.

“Developers should aim to provide detailed, accessible reports on their sustainability practices – including metrics such as energy consumption, water usage, and materials used.”

Yeo said warning signs or red flags that indicate the potential presence of greenwashing in real estate projects include the use of vague environmental claims, like the term “green”, without any specifics or evidence of real sustainability measures.

Another warning sign is the absence of third-party certifications from recognised standards such as Malaysia’s green rating system Green Building Index, which can validate a project’s environmental claims.

“Projects that emphasise minor green features as major achievements are also suspect. Genuine sustainability involves integrating environmental considerations from the beginning rather than as an add-on.

“Finally, an over-reliance on promises about future sustainability features, without a clear implementation plan, is a significant indicator of greenwashing,” she added.

Yeo said awareness of these indicators can assist consumers and investors in distinguishing truly sustainable real estate projects from those that use green claims merely as a marketing strategy.

In Malaysia, there are standards such as the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, the Green Building Index and the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method.

Switzerland follows the Minergie Standards – a Swiss quality certification for buildings designed with a focus on sustainability and reduced energy needs.

Yeo said these tools are effective in combating greenwashing, offering a level of assurance to stakeholders that a project developer’s sustainability claims are not only sincere but also substantiated.

“These certifications set rigorous benchmarks for sustainability which require detailed documentation and regular assessments to ensure projects meet high sustainability criteria,” she added.



Source: The Sun Daily

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Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur projects positive outlook for 2024

PETALING JAYA: Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur projects a positive outlook for the year, driven by robust recovery post-pandemic, according to its general manager Daniel Kaeflein .

“We anticipate continued growth in both domestic and international markets. We will continue to focus on adapting to changing consumer preferences, leveraging technology and maintaining flexibility in our operations to capitalise on emerging opportunities,” he told SunBiz exclusively.

He said its primary target in 2024 is to enhance guest satisfaction by providing exceptional hospitality experiences, while optimising operational efficiency.

“We aim to achieve this by focusing on service excellence, innovation and sustainable practices across all aspects of our operations. We want to be the best-loved company in the industry, fostering deep connections with our guests and exceeding their expectations at every touchpoint,” he added.

On challenges, Kaeflein said the past three years have proven the need for industry players to remain agile, innovative and competitive in all areas.

He noted that while it is not a new requirement, it has become more pronounced due to the increased change of pace.

He said industry players must persist in adjusting to an environment where there is a growing drive towards seeking unique experiences. He pointed out that the prevalence of social media and constantly connected society exposes all to global happenings, shaping perspectives in new ways.

“Creating or finding innovative experiences and bringing them timely to our guests are key. The other focus we always have is to remain a leader in providing state-of-the-art and reliable technology to guests who more than ever before need it nowadays to keep up with their lives and loved ones,” Kaeflein explained.

In addition, he said, social media and international travel have increased awareness for environment, social and governance.

As part of its efforts to operate sustainably, the Shangri-La group has begun to phase out plastic usage at meetings and events across its hotels. Furthermore, it aims to reduce the hotels’ usage of single-use plastics per occupied room by 50% by 2026, using the 2019 level as a baseline, through offering filtered water in glass bottles and mobile water dispensers.

Kaeflein pointed out that Shangri-La Asia Limited was the first hotel group to be recognised by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices Asia Pacific Index.

“As awareness of environmental issues and personal well-being continues to rise, travellers are seeking destinations and accommodations that prioritise sustainability and offer opportunities for rejuvenation and mindfulness.

“Embracing this trend requires us to integrate sustainable practices into our operations and curate wellness-focused offerings that align with the preferences of today's conscious travellers,” he said.

Touching on market saturation, Kaeflein said the Malaysian market has exhibited dynamism, particularly in the hospitality sector, with a rebound in activity and the opening of new hotels following the pandemic.

“It shows the confidence of investors and hospitality players in the country. Malaysia with its strategic location, great connectivity, business friendly environment and fascinating cultural heritage paired with worldwide known iconic landmarks like the Twin Towers and world-class leisure destinations has all it takes for our industry to strive. Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur is exceptionally positioned to offer you a lot of these experiences at the utmost convenience,” he added.

Kaeflein said that the legacy of Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur is deeply rooted in the history and nostalgia surrounding the brand.

“We differentiate ourselves through our strong brand presence in Malaysia and our heartfelt Asian hospitality that has been part of the country’s leading hospitality scene since decades. Our property offers a unique sense of place, designs and vistas inspired by our location and a team that is among the finest in Kuala Lumpur.

“We are proud to say that we can provide a full range of luxury services and excel catering to virtually any type of occasion you or your company may want to celebrate and organise with us. Our expertise paired with our prime locality and presence is unique in the KL market,” he remarked.

On expansion, Kaeflein said the group has several plans in the pipeline, namely with Shangri-La Phnom Penh and JEN Kunming by Shangri-La (2024), Shangri-La Kunming (2025) as well as Shangri-La Melbourne, which is yet to be announced.



Source: The Sun Daily

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Sunday, April 7, 2024

Leading Singapore, Malaysia EV charging operators in roaming deal

PETALING JAYA: Leading electric vehicle (EV) charging operators Charge+ from Singapore and ChargeSini from Malaysia have signed a roaming collaboration agreement that grants EV drivers from both parties access to each other’s charging networks.

Both the Singapore and Malaysian governments have identified the EV sector as a key growth area and have rolled out pro-EV policies to encourage the uptake of EVs. This roaming partnership between Charge+ and ChargeSini will enhance the convenience of cross-border EV charging and increase the confidence of EV drivers in long-distance driving.

The agreement was signed and announced in Singapore by Charge+ CEO Goh Chee Kiong and ChargeSini founder and CEO James Goh.

Charge+ is a leading EV charging operator in Southeast Asia, with about 2,000 EV charging points implemented in Singapore and across the region. Charge+ aims to install 30,000 EV charging points in Southeast Asia by 2030.

The roaming agreement is highly synergistic with Charge+’s ongoing implementation of an EV charging highway that spans 5,000km across five Southeast Asia countries, namely Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, the longest EV charging backbone in the region.

Charge+ had earlier announced roaming partnerships with several key EV charging players in the region, namely Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand and Indonesia’s Perusahaan Listrik Negara. The latest announcement with ChargeSini represents another major milestone in enhancing the cross-border charging experience in Southeast Asia and will help address the longstanding concern of prospective EV buyers about the inconvenient signing-up process with multiple mobile apps.

ChargeSini (Chargehere EV Solution Sdn Bhd) is Malaysia’s leading EV charging solutions provider. ChargeSini boasts a network of 701 operational EV charging bays across 224 hubs, strategically located across Malaysia. The network includes 122 DC charging points and 579 AC charging points. These are accessible through ChargeSini’s proprietary app that is available on both Apple (iOS) and Google (Android) devices.

The roaming partnership will grant ChargeSini app users access to the Charge+ EV charging network in Singapore, Thailand and other countries in Southeast Asia.



Source: The Sun Daily

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ABB plans to expand footprint in Malaysia, support net zero ambitions

KUALA LUMPUR: Swedish-Swiss electrification and automation leader ABB Ltd is looking into expanding its footprint in Malaysia through partnerships in supporting key projects.

ABB’s Asia president for the energy industries, Anders Maltesen, said the multinational is supporting some key projects in Malaysia, including Batang Ai, the Petronas Liquefied Natural Gas floating liquefied natural gas facility, and Malaysia’s biggest crude oil refinery in Malacca, among others.

“We will continue to explore and nurture partnerships in Malaysia that will help accelerate net zero ambitions,” he told Bernama.

Maltesen noted that while there is a shift towards renewable energy, oil and gas will still be part of the energy mix by 2050, and it is important to continue to leverage existing and emerging technologies to ensure a balanced transition.

“Today, technology enables a progressive energy transition. Therefore, the transition is not an ‘either/or’ scenario but rather an ‘and’ situation – where we aim to minimise carbon emissions per kilowatt-hour from hydrocarbons and ensure that any new additions are net zero,” he said.

Maltesen said that achieving net zero requires significant investments and the question of funding will be critical.

“This is why efforts to facilitate and accelerate the energy transition journey require strong support from both central and state governments, given the evolving nature of technologies and concerns regarding implementation costs.

“This collaborative approach fosters a level-playing field in the renewable energy sector, stimulating competition and expanding job opportunities,” he said.

Maltesen also said that Malaysia is making significant strides toward its goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

“The 12th Malaysia Plan reflects the government's commitment to this target by announcing a halt to the construction of new coal-fired power plants. The introduction of the National Energy Transition Roadmap underscores Malaysia's active effort towards this goal, aiming for 70% renewable energy (RE) usage within the next six years,” he said.

As of March last year, Malaysia had already reached a 25% RE capacity level, with projections indicating continued growth, supported by initiatives such as the Green Technology Financing Scheme which facilitates investments in green products.

“Ensuring sufficient green financing is crucial for expanding energy transition and RE development capacities, and Malaysia has implemented the necessary policies to achieve its 70% RE usage target by 2030,” he said.

Maltesen added that in terms of the future of energy, the most sustainable form of energy is the energy conserved.

“Malaysia possesses significant untapped potential in its ongoing energy transition efforts.

“Hence, we anticipate robust public-private partnerships in coming together to tackle challenges while collaborating on opportunities for a greener Malaysia,” he added.



Source: The Sun Daily

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Berjaya Air eyes 6% year-on-year revenue growth with new aircraft, destinations

KUALA LUMPUR: Berjaya Land Bhd’s aviation arm, Berjaya Air Sdn Bhd (BAir), is aiming for a six per cent revenue growth year-on-year in the next five years, supported by two new turboprop aircraft, capacity expansion and possible new routes both in Malaysia and the region.

Speaking to Bernama, BAir general manager Mohd Amri Mohd Akib said the carrier is considering capacity expansion, particularly to destinations where Berjaya owns resorts such as Langkawi and Penang.

“This expansion is part of our three-year plan,” he said, adding that BAir is also looking at Koh Samui, Thailand, as a potential destination for its service.

Mohd Amri said he is confident with the prospects as the company remains a non-schedule carrier, which makes it niche and agile as an operator.

BAir latest service sector is from Seletar Airport in Singapore to The Taaras Beach & Spa Resort, Redang.

He said Redang Island has huge potential to grow as a holiday destination due to its premium resorts with pristine beaches, and attractions such as turtle sightings and water sports.

“Additionally, enhanced connectivity, including seamless flights to and from Singapore, opens up possibilities for more international transit, potentially attracting visitors from various parts of the world,” said Mohd Amri.

Commenting on the new fleet, he said two new VIP-configured ATR 72-600 aircraft are scheduled for delivery in 2025 and 2026, respectively.

“These planes are perfectly suited for accessing island airports and destinations which are not easily reachable via regular commercial flights,” Mohd Amri said.



Source: The Sun Daily

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Saturday, April 6, 2024

5 Tax Benefits of Owning Overseas Real Estate

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Americans are at a disadvantage when it comes to taxes … I don’t think I need to elaborate too much on that point. Only two countries in the world operate citizenship-based taxation systems rather than residence-based ones: the United States and Eritrea, a tiny country in northeast Africa. As an American abroad, no matter where in the world you move, you’ll still have to file a tax return with…



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25 Hazardous Products That Were Recalled This Week

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Advertising Disclosure: When you buy something by clicking links on our site, we may earn a small commission, but it never affects the products or services we recommend. We expect manufacturers to know what they’re stocking the shelves with. We trust those products to be safe. But things have a way of slipping through the cracks. Fortunately, several federal regulatory agencies monitor for…



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Friday, April 5, 2024

Rent a Home in Portugal for $600 a Month

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Nestled on the banks of the Tagus River, to the south of Lisbon, Portugal’s capital, lies Almada, a city that blends history, modernity, and natural beauty. While you won’t find historical landmarks at every corner, its rich history spans millennia and its many attractions include its key geographical location, stunning coastal areas (which include over 9 miles of beach area)…



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14 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

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