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Friday, May 28, 2010

Malaysia's richest get richer

Malaysia’s top 40 richest are worth US$51 billion, up from US$36 billion a year ago, and higher than the previous record of US$46 billion registered in 2008. According to Forbes Asia in its Malaysia Rich List 2010 released today, their combined wealth has risen by 42 per cent, spurred by the country’s economic expansion.

The overall increase in wealth was also in line with the 32 per cent rise in the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index, and the Malaysian ringgit’s 11 per cent gain against the US dollar over the past 12 months, Forbes said. Topping the rich list again is Tan Sri Robert Kuok who has held the pole position since 2006 when Forbes Asia began ranking the 40 richest Malaysians.

Forbes said the biggest gainer in dollar terms this year, the 86-year-old tycoon’s net worth increased to US$12 billion, a gain of US$3 billion over last year. Top telecommunications tycoon Ananda Krishnan remains in second place with US$8.1 billion, an increase of US$1.1 billion from a year ago. His Maxis Communications, Malaysia’s largest mobile phone service provider, went public last year and raised US$3.4 billion in the country’s largest-ever IPO. Unchanged at third position is Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng with US$4.6 billion, up from US$3.2 billion last year.

The 71-year-old heads IOI Group, one of the world’s leading operators of palm oil refineries. The company is reportedly investing US$300 million to expand. Forbes said the top three tycoons were not the only ones who saw gains in their wealth, 27 others on the list also registered growth in their net worths, particularly notable is technology tycoon Goh Peng Ooi, ranked No. 16, who enjoyed the biggest percentage jump. His fortune increased to US$425 million from US$112 million previously, a massive jump of 280 per cent.

Forbes said this year a minimum net worth of US$110 million was needed to qualify for the list, up from US$90 million last year. It said the number of billionaires had also increased, with now 10 tycoons with a ten-figure net worth, compared with nine a year ago. Newcomers making the rich list this year included brothers Datuk Shahril and Shahriman Shamsuddin who shared the No. 23rd spot with a net worth of US$270 million. They have equal stakes in Sapura Group, founded by their father. Shahril is chief executive of its affiliate SapuraCrest Petroleum, the listed oil and gas contractor that makes up the bulk of their fortune.

Another new face is self-made building contractor Datuk A. K. Nathan, 54, who is ranked No. 24 and worth US$250 million. His company, Eversendai, has been involved in some of the most high-profile buildings in the Middle East including Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.

Forbes said three people were back on the list after having fallen off previously, and the most notable is Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s brother and head of financial services firm CIMB. He is ranked No. 32nd with a net worth of US$145 million.

The top 10 richest and billionaires in Malaysia are:
1) Tan Sri Robert Kuok; US$12 billion
2) Tan Sri T. Ananda Krishnan; US$$8.1 billion
3) Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng; US$4.6 billion
4) Puan Sri Lee Kim Hua; US$3.9 billion
5) Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan; US$3.85 billion
6) Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow; US$3.8 billion
7) Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay; US$2.5 billion
8) Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar AlBukhary; US$1.7 billion
9) Tan Sri Vincent Tan; US$1.6 billion
10) Tan Sri Tiong Hiew King; US$1.2 billion

Thursday, May 27, 2010

EPF Contributions : 157 Defaulting Employers Fined RM172,410 In Q1 2010

As part of its role as the custodian of members’ retirement savings, the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has taken court action against 157 employers between January to March 2010 (Q1) for defaulting on their employees’ EPF contributions.

All 157 defaulting employers were fined by the courts totaling RM172,410. The fines, which ranged from RM1,000 to RM5,400, were for offences under Section 43(2) of the EPF Act 1991, which requires all employers to remit their monthly contributions before or on the 15th day of every month or risk facing legal actions.

“While most employers are responsible and mindful of their obligations to pay their contributions in a timely manner, it is unfortunate that some employers fail to do so and default on their EPF contributions,” said Nik Affendi Jaafar, EPF General Manager for Public Relations.

“It is important for employers to understand that the EPF does not take such matters lightly and will not hesitate to take legal actions in safeguarding our members’ retirement savings.”

The highest fine of RM5,400 was slapped on Ogosin Sdn Bhd of Wilayah Persekutuan, while Pelana Tenggara Sdn Bhd and Tri Axis Automation (M) Sdn Bhd both from Pulau Pinang, Micromagna Engineering Sdn Bhd of Perak, Sediabena Sdn Bhd of Selangor as well as Chemumur Legacy Sdn Bhd of Wilayah Persekutuan were all fined RM3,000 each.

In Q1 2010, a total of 285 civil suits and 1,868 criminal cases were filed with the courts against company directors and employers that have defaulted on their EPF contributions.

The EPF has also submitted 320 names of company directors, compared to 221 in the previous quarter, to the Immigration Department to prevent them from leaving the country without first settling their contribution arrears as provided under Section 39 of the EPF Act 1991.

The courts will usually give errant employers a maximum of six instalments to settle any contribution arrears. During this period, these employers will be closely monitored by the EPF to ensure that the amounts outstanding are paid in full. Once the full amount has been received, the EPF will credit all outstanding contributions to the respective members’ accounts.

“Looking after the interest of our members is topmost on our agenda and we will use every means available to us to ensure that members’ retirement savings remain protected.

“Nonetheless we strongly urge our members to perform their part in ensuring that their contributions are in order by regularly checking their EPF statements. Should they discover anything amiss with their account, they should not hesitate to seek clarification from their respective employer or report to the EPF immediately,” said Nik Affendi.

About the Employees Provident Fund (EPF)
The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is Malaysia’s premier pension fund, providing basic financial security for retirement. The Fund is committed to preserving and growing the savings of its members in accordance with best practices in investment and corporate governance. It will always be guided by prudence in its investment decisions.

As a customer-focused organization, the EPF delivers efficient and reliable services for the convenience of its members and registered employers. The EPF continues to play a catalytic role in the nation’s economic growth, consistent with its position as a leading savings institution in Malaysia.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Blessed to Work from Home

I have been blessed to work from home for the last 6 years being in the same sports surfacing company. My job requirements include checking emails daily, replying them, search for suppliers, printing company profile, updating the web site, financial calculation, preparing quotations, etc. As long as my boss is healthy and capable, I will remain employed - hopefully for more years to come. That is why I cannot afford to be spendthrift and need to buy only what is necessary to stretch my savings for retirement. Now and then, I take up paid posts by blogging about the sponsor's link. It is not easy to work for other people and that is why employment is tough out there. But if you make it successfully via online earnings, then you are very blessed indeed. Dealing with people is not easy and it is better to work for yourself provided you have sufficient knowledge or skills that clients require.
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