Sunday, 20 November 2016

Kuching Waterfront: Bazaar far from bizarre

East Malaysia, on the island of Borneo, has many appealing qualities and the Sarawak capital of Kuching offers a relaxed and yet, vibrant setting. The riverfront district along the Sarawak River, in downtown Kuching, is now an open space used mostly for recreation. It’s a lively pedestrian-only precinct that is frequented by the locals who use it for leisure activities, to enjoy a sunset drink, or have a meal beneath shady trees.

A fascinating part of this riverfront area is the street named Main Bazaar which runs alongside the river. Retail shops, bazaars, and a few dining outlets front the street but there are numerous uniquely Sarawakian and Bornean products sold in the shops here to ensure that the bazaars are a bit more bizarre than mainstream.

The former trading houses, or go-downs, along Jalan Main Bazaar offer an intriguing insight to the area’s historic activities before it became a major tourism precinct. With awnings providing shade, it’s easy to amble along here, and the best place to start your walk is at the former Court House which has recently been converted to an amazing lifestyle concept under the ChinaHouse banner.

What were once go-downs for goods unloaded at the riverside docks are now mostly craft and souvenir shops selling items from Borneo. These old shops with captivating names present a face of a bygone era – names such as Dayak Art, Sarawak Steamship Berhad, and Haiyen Bird’s Nest offer some intrigue before you even step inside.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Will You Be Able To Keep Your Home If You Lose Your Job?

After saving for years to buy your home, it seems too careless to lose it because of disability, illness or retrenchment. If you don’t have a plan B for these instances, how will you be able to make your home loan repayments?
Disability and death are covered by Mortgage Level Term Asssurance (MLTA) or Mortgage Reducing Term Assurance (MRTA), but what about retrenchment?
If the word ‘retrenchment’ doesn’t send chills down your spine, the stats below would likely make you shudder.
From January to September 2015 alone, more than 20,000 employees lost their jobs in Malaysia, and the retrenchment trend is expected to continue in 2017.  The truth is, job security is not what it used to be, and if you are unfortunate enough to be retrenched by your employer, getting another job immediately may not be as easy as well.
Hiring has also slowed significantly. Monster, a global online employment firm, said its year-over-year study of job postings on the Internet showed a 39% drop across all occupations and sectors in Malaysia.
Even jobs in the public sector were also harder to come by as the government froze hiring of civil servants except for critical positions last year.