Make a smart move by savings for future higher education with takaful protection

Make a smart move by savings for future higher education with takaful protection

Bit by bit, saving small amounts today really makes a long-term difference in the future when comes the moment of truth. The philosophy is simple and practical. Make it a natural habit and you will end up saving a lot of money in the end. The emergence of many innovative saving instruments in this modern era makes saving money a more rewarding experience, regardless of when and how much you start off with. What you need is a systematic and effective financial planning. Prepare yourself into the future by investing your savings in a smart financial product that safeguards your future higher education fund and provides takaful protection at the same time. Your thoughtful planning assures the pleasure and comfort of the future that you deserve. So, start saving now!

Foster saving habit through smart financial planning

Arm yourself with a focused diligence to plan for your higher education fund in a smart way to earn you a more assured future. The introduction of Skim Simpanan Pendidikan Nasional (SSPN-i Plus) by Perbadanan Tabung Pendidikan Tinggi Nasional (PTPTN – or The National Higher Education Fund Corporation) is a brilliant way to start with, simply because it yields dynamic long-term cash returns plus takaful (syariah compliant) protection as a bonus. In other words, the product is all about a guaranteed higher education fund in the future plus the very important takaful coverage against unwanted eventualities. Thanks to the partnership between PTPTN and Hong Leong MSIG Takaful, this innovative product is now made affordable to all walks of life who truly care about the future of their higher education. On a noble note, the product aims to inculcate a disciplined saving habit among Malaysians. Just as the Malay saying goes, prepare the umbrella before it rains. What you save today grants you the much-needed confidence to march into the future. Although the future is full of endless uncertainties, your smart move today holds the key to peace of mind in the future.

SSPN-i Plus – Unique and special plus it’s guaranteed by government

The very special aspect of SSPN-i Plus lies in its uniqueness. It combines the benefits of saving alongside takaful protection in one simple and easy, yet powerful package! It is a financial planning product that better reflects the realities of today and the future, taking into consideration of the ever rising living costs, including education costs. For the ultimate peace of mind, the product is fully guaranteed by our government. This simply translates into a smart financial planning that allows you to finance your future education costs right from this moment on! It is clever and secure. With SSPN-i Plus, you take charge of your personal finance through a dedicated, purpose-built saving instrument that helps reduce the financial burden on your parents. Again, the key to securing the future of your higher education with added peace of mind is to prepare well in advance through a smart financial planning.

Saving as early as possible to avoid financial bottleneck in the future

On a noble note, the launch of SSPN-i Plus aims to instil the saving habit among our people. It aspires to transform the mindset of our society to embrace saving from as early as possible. The newly launched SSPN-i Plus draws inspiration from the highly successful Skim Simpanan Pendidikan Nasional (SSPN-i) introduced 12 years ago. SSPN-i Plus made its debut on 8 June 2015 and has since captured the hearts of many depositors for its capability of combining savings and takaful protection into one dynamic and comprehensive package at affordable prices. It is specifically designed to safeguard your higher education future without relying purely on education loan. In a nutshell, SSPN-i Plus enriches the minds of the younger generation with a practical financial planning of foreseeable results. After all, your long-term savings come in really handy when it matters most at the critical moment. SSPN-i Plus helps you avoid the embarrassing situation of having to deal with a financial emergency in the future.

its capability of combining savings and takaful protection into one dynamic and comprehensive package at affordable prices

The Wow! SSPN-i Plus Draw

For 2016/ 2017, PTPTN is stepping up its effort to champion the saving habit among Malaysians by spicing up the rewards system through the Wow! SSPN-i Plus Draw. This laudable initiative aims to foster saving culture among parents who are preparing their children for higher education. SSPN-i Plus is an ideal financial product for the younger generation aspiring to excel at higher education levels with added peace of mind as their education costs are technically taken care of. In other words, the innovative product will realise its full potential as depositors begin their higher education. Again, SSPN-i Plus is possibly one of your best choices to avoid a critical financial pitfall in the future.

Amazing prizes up for grabs in Quarterly and Annual Draws

The Wow! SSPN-i Plus Draw is now open to all interested individuals, offering RM1.5 million worth of fantastic prizes. Over 300 amazing prizes await the lucky depositors of SSPN-i Plus who open a new account or increase their deposits between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2017. The Wow! SSPN-i Plus Draw consists of the Quarterly Draw (3 draws featuring a grand prize of a unit of Honda Jazz and 20 consolation prizes of RM2,000 each) and the Annual Draw (grand prize: 1 unit of Proton Perdana; second prize: 3 units of Toyota Vios; third prize: 5 units of Kawasaki motorcycles; and 250 consolation prizes: RM2,000 each). Overall, the Wow! SSPN-i Plus Draw promises greater rewards in a more enticing scheme.

Easy and convenient transactions via Ejen Online PTPTN

In line with the popularity of the internet where information and communication technology dominates the digital age, PTPTN has also introduced a very convenient channel to market SSPN-i Plus through Ejen Online PTPTN. The online marketing programme intends to facilitate certain transactions, including account opening, at the touch of a button anywhere and anytime without a visit to the PTPTN counters.

Great rewards await Ejen Online PTPTN

PTPTN has also introduced a special programme for its Ejen Online PTPTN. Rakan Niaga Affiliate and Ejen Pemasaran Online are entitled to a commission of 15% and 25% respectively under this programme. The scheme also allows Ejen Online PTPTN to begin their career with PTPTN without any capital investment. Furthermore, they get to enjoy flexible working hours along with regular training and guidance from PTPTN. The good news is that all of them do not involve any cash transactions. Other incentives include Anugerah Ejen Online PTPTN Terbaik for the top achievers who hit the marketing targets, together with international holiday packages and cash rewards up to RM4,000.

Can one make living playing Pokémon GO?

Can one make living playing Pokémon GO?

Can one make a living out of playing Pokémon GO?

25

JULY, 2016

Pokémon GO has undoubtedly reached a level of success most mobile apps only dream of, with data showing that it’s become the most successful mobile game in US history. And as with any other thing that has the potential to get people hooked, there are some that take their obsessions a little too far.

A 24 year old bartender from New Zealand has recently quit his job to become a full time Pokemon hunter. He plans to take a two-month long, country-wide tour hunting virtual monsters through the financial support of his friends and family. He’s become somewhat of a mini celebrity, with transport companies even offering to help him hunt for rare pokemon in remote areas and people all over the world sending him messages of support through Facebook.

It’s the kind of story that would make you wonder if you should be glad that the modern world is finally creating more job opportunities catered to those with unconventional skills or worried about what seems to be a sign of a declining rate of sanity in young people.

But besides the absurdity of it all, it does beg the question; can you really make a living off of playing Pokemon Go?

Well, there are easy ways to make a little money out of it here and there, but turning it into a full time job would require you to put in a lot more effort and be more skilled than the average player.

Sell accounts

The best way to make money playing Pokemon is to offer your services to other players. Take advantage of how popular the game has become. Such an engrossing game would, without a doubt, strengthen the competitive spirit in most people and you’d be surprised just how much people would be willing to pay for the bragging rights they obtain once they’ve managed to surpass the level all their friends are at. A quick search for higher level Pokemon Go accounts on ebay will show you just how desperate some players can get, with some accounts attracting bids even up to thousands of pounds.

Based on craigslist and ebay listings, most accounts above level 20 are priced around at least $100-200.

Let’s say you’re able to get one account to level 20 each week, and sell it for RM250, you’ll be able to make RM1000 a month. It’s definitely possible, provided you have a good strategy and know the right moves to make.

Become a PokéStop driver

When taking breaks from playing the game, you could make the most of your free time by becoming a PokéStop driver. Playing the game as often as you do, you should have a good idea of where to go for popular PokéStops and gyms.

Malaysian weather is not kind to pedestrians and so a service shuttling gamers around would do pretty well.

Make sure you have a decent vehicle and charge an amount that would ensure a fair profit and you should be good to go. If you’re also in the business of selling Pokemon Go accounts, being a PokeStop driver would benefit you as well.

Become an egg hatcher

Eggs are special items in the game that require the player to walk a certain distance in order for them to hatch into Pokemons. The current eggs available need walks that are either 2km, 5km or 10km long.

Like the PokeStop driver, your success from this gig relies a lot on the laziness of the general public and the fact that no one wants to walk for 10km in the scorching heat because let’s be honest, most Malaysians have never in even thought about running a 10K, let alone walk it.

You could charge about RM5 per kilometer and, to maximise profits, carry multiple phones with you at once. Even if you spent just one day a week walking 10km and only had five customers, you could make RM1000 a month.

Set up concession stands at PokéStops

A lot of PokéStops are conveniently placed near restaurants or cafes, with news that some places might even soon partner with Pokémon GO to become sponsored locations. However, quite a few PokéStops have been placed at pretty odd locations that are far from anywhere you could get snacks or drinks.

If you want to go all out and bake cookies and cupcakes everyday, it’s very likely that you would do rather well, especially if you made themed products, like a Pikachu-shaped cookie or a cake that looks like a pokéball. However, even a small stand selling lemonade would attract a satisfactory crowd.

Market Pokémon goods

Pokémon goods have always brought in a lot of revenue, but are likely to bring in even more now that the whole craze has resurfaced again. Maybe you’re an artist and would like to sell some fanart, or perhaps design some T-shirts. There are numerous things you could do to use the game as a marketing opportunity.

An attractive or unique product would be high in demand now that Pokémon has once again become the most talked about trend. There are even items up for sale, taking advantage of the resurfaced craze, that have no relation to Pokémon, such as this bike on Craigslist that’s great for Pokémon GO hunting.

So, can you really make a living playing Pokémon? Well, it depends. Not the answer you wanted to hear, but a lot of your success depends on how long the newfound Pokémon fever lasts. The game hasn’t even been released in Malaysia yet so it is still uncertain how much Malaysians would be willing to pay for hacked accounts or Pokédrivers. We’ve also yet to touch on the questionable legality of most of these gigs. Whether or not you’d be successful in making a career out of Pokémon is a pretty murky area, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying. Perhaps quitting your job right now to become a Pokémon hunter is a little too ambitious, but working on building your career in your free time might bring unexpected returns.

Pokémon Go : Gotta CASH Em’ All!

Pokémon Go : Gotta CASH Em’ All!

We understand your need to fund your Pokémon adventure, but parents are hard to convince. We believe a little effort with a dire passion may lead to some profit, and you might as well catch em’ all. Listed below are by far the most realistic Pokémon based cash cows.

1. Record

Youtube is an incredible platform for any fan of any kind. It is the third most visited website and second largest search engine in the world. YouTubers can get paid via ads revenue, or by a network. The latter requires a certain amount of subscribers. Check out Patreon, a service that is often used by YouTubers and Twitch for live streaming. Your personality or knowledge will determine your choice of format. If you have a deep knowledge of the game or Pokémon in general, consider doing guides or walkthroughs. Add a good sense of humor to your videos, and do a “Let’s Play” series, which is a play along experience. You need a decent computer to edit your videos, and a good microphone to record your voice. You may also outsource editing works to freelancers.

2. Discuss

Players discuss and share gameplay mechanics or tactics on online forums. You may grab the opportunity to start one of these. Besides giants like Reddit and Stack Exchange, localized sites get a lot of attention as well. If creating a website looks difficult, you may as well take part as a moderator. Moderators are key to ensure smooth discussions. Forum websites gain revenue through ads or sponsorships.

3. Write

If writing is your thing, why not about Pokémon Go. This will work well with all the methods above. There are many article banks these days which you can submit your articles to. Make sure you understand the terms and agreements. An alternative to article banks is a personal blog. Services like WordPress and Squarespace offers great service to get you started. A good improvement is to have a professional editor to edit your articles. Articles can range from 250 words up to a few pages. If permitted, you may insert ads to gain revenues.

4. Trade

Rare Pokémon merchandise can fetch a hefty sum these days. Trading cards and old game cartridges are trending now since the release of Pokémon Go. You may buy these merchandises online and resell to closer buyers, for a small profit. Make sure items are genuine, and always be aware of the quality of the product when purchasing. , and you can start an online store with services such as Etsy. Social media platforms are also great to promote your Pokémon products.

5. Drive

Pokémon Go emphasizes explorations and adventures. But, this can take an ample of players time. You may offer a localized service to drive around players and lead them to Pokéstops or PokéGyms. Include extras like snacks, portable chargers, and a good WiFi connection. Pokémon Go attracts young adults and children, so cater both groups. Parents would be glad to know their children have a chaperone while they are busy hunting for Pokémon. Appear reliable and stay professional. But, check with local authorities about legal issues. In some countries, you may need to get a passenger driver’s license.

 

Kota Raya Migrant Workers Community [Interactive map]

Kota Raya Migrant Workers Community [Interactive map]

John Hanke: Creator of Pokémon GO

John Hanke: Creator of Pokémon GO

John Hanke: Creator of Pokémon GO

18

JULY, 2016

By JiaHer Teoh

For now, Pokémon GO is still a no go in Malaysia. An official statement from fortyseven.com – a Niantic representative – stated that “The team is currently heads down working on the game. We do not have any announced plans for countries beyond New Zealand, Australia, US and Germany at the moment.

Fret not, for there is still hope that you’ll be able to catch ‘em all soon. Word on the street suggests that Pokémon Go aims to be released worldwide by the end of the month.

Meanwhile, here’s a little background on John Hanke – the creator of Pokémon Go, the first MMO (Meridian 59) and Google Maps.

Cover of the PC game – Meridian 59

Back in 1996, John Hanke worked on what is often credited as the first graphical MMORPG – Meridian 59. Like augmented reality, massive multiplayer online games hadn’t really taken off and developers were still trying to understand what worked and what didn’t. Multi-User Dungeons (MUDs), an early foray into massive multiplayer gaming often constrained itself to being text-based. This breakthrough was built upon by many others, with World Of Warcraft (WOW) dominating today’s market.

Despite the exponential adoption of Pokémon GO, this might only be a spark in the explosion of augmented reality games in the near future.

In fact, Pokémon Go is only the second game to have been released by Niantic Labs. Their first, Ingress, was released in 2013 and garnered over 7 million players.

The functionalities of Ingress and Pokémon GO are similar, but Pokémon GO has a nostalgic allure for the 20 – 30 year olds who are thrown back to their Gameboy and Nintendo DS days.

Another similarity you might take for granted is that between the map on these two games and Google Maps. One might imagine that the similarity ends with the fact that an augmented reality game of this scale would of course have some working relationship with Google but the truth is much more.

Promotional graphic on the Ingress official website

© Niantic Inc.

© Niantic Inc.

Niantic Labs is formerly owned by Google and is still invested in by them. And it doesn’t end there. Founder and CEO of Niantic Labs, John Hanke, was also the founder and CEO of Keyhole, which was acquired by Google and had its flagship product renamed and developed into what we know as Google Earth. Google Maps, and Google Street View.

Getting to know PM2.5

Getting to know PM2.5

What is PM?

PM is short for “particulate matter”. It refers to particles found in the air, including dust, dirt, soot, smoke, and liquid droplets. Particles can be suspended in the air for long periods of time. Many man-made and natural sources emit PM directly or emit other pollutants that react in the atmosphere to form PM. These solid and liquid particles come in a wide range of sizes. Some particles are large or dark enough to be seen – like soot or smoke. Others are so small that individually, they can only be detected with an electron microscope.

What is the difference between PM2.5 and PM10?

PM is usually measured in two size ranges: PM10 and PM2.5.
PM10 refers to particles with diameters that are less than or equal to 10 microns in size (a micron, or micrometer, is one-millionth of a meter), or about 1/7 the diameter of a human hair.

PM2.5, also called “fine particulates,” consists of particles with diameters that are less than or equal to 2.5 microns in size. That’s about 1/30 the diameter of a human hair. PM2.5 is a more serious health concern than PM10, since smaller particles can travel more deeply into our lungs and affect your health.

Where does PM2.5 come from?

Fine particles are produced from all types of combustion, including motor vehicles, power plants, residential wood burning, forest fires, agricultural burning, volcanic eruptions, dust storms and some industrial processes. Some are emitted directly into the air, while others are formed when gases and particles interact with one another in the atmosphere.

Why is it so dangerous?

The health effects of PM10 and PM2.5 are well documented. Over-exposure to PM increases the risk of heart and lung illnesses and can reduce an individual’s lifespan. Alarmingly, there is no evidence of a safe level of exposure or a threshold below which no adverse health effects occur.

Numerous studies have linked long-term particle pollution, especially PM2.5, with significant health problems including:

  • Increased respiratory symptoms, e.g. irritation of the airways, coughing or difficulty breathing
  • Decreased lung function
  • Aggravated asthma
  • Development of chronic respiratory disease in children
  • Development of chronic bronchitis or chronic obstructive lung disease
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Nonfatal heart attacks

Premature death in people with heart or lung disease, including death from lung cancer Short-term exposure to particles (hours or days) can:

  • Aggravate lung disease causing asthma attacks and acute bronchitis
  • Increase susceptibility to respiratory infections
  • Cause heart attacks and arrhythmias in people with heart disease

Even if you are healthy, you may experience temporary symptoms, such as:

  • Irritation of the eyes, nose and throat
  • Coughing
  • Chest tightness
  • Shortness of breath

How can I find out about PM2.5 level in my community?

Unfortunately, unlike neighbouring Singapore and even Indonesia, Malaysia does not publish any PM2.5 data.

While the Department of Environment (DOE) Malaysia releases its Air Pollutant Index (API) readings taken at 52 stations hourly, the air pollutants measured do not include PM2.5. The five pollutants currently measured are ozone (O3), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and PM10. The pollutant with the highest concentration is then taken as the API reading and this is usually PM10.

The DOE in its website said it is in the midst of finalising the new Malaysian Air Quality Guidelines to include the standard limit of PM2.5 in the ambient air based on World Health Organisation’s (WHO) 2006 guidelines. “Subsequently, we will need to come up with a PM2.5 Air Quality Index System and data integration with the existing system in our Environmental Data Centre (EDC) prior to including it in our API calculation.” Adoption is likely to happen by end-2016.

How does our API readings compare with, say Singapore?

Singapore uses the PSI (Pollutant Standards Index) which measures what Malaysia’s API does, plus PM2.5. Both Malaysia’s API and Singapore’s PSI are standards developed for measuring pollutants by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and have similar categories — a reading of 0-50 is considered ‘good’, 51- 100 ‘moderate’, 101-200 ‘unhealthy’, 201-300 ‘very unhealthy’. A reading above 300 is ‘hazardous’. But a straightforward comparison between them will be like comparing apples to oranges.

Reading for API
0 – 50 Good
51 – 100 Moderate
101 – 200 Unhealthy
201 – 300 Very Unhealthy
Above 300 hazardous

As Malaysia does not measure PM2.5, its API shows substantially lower readings. This creates a more positive but ultimately illusory picture of the state of our nation’s air quality.

Blueair Aware

Be Aware of Indoor Air

What can I do to reduce exposure to PM2.5 when the haze is bad?

  • Stay indoors in a room or building with filtered air. PM can get indoors, so consider getting an effective air purifier. Air cleaners that remove particles include high-efficiency mechanical filters and electronic air cleaners, such as electrostatic precipitators
  • Keep your activity levels low. Avoid activities that make you breathe faster or more deeply to reduce the amount of particle pollution you inhale into your lungs.
  • Don’t add to the air pollution. Avoid using anything that burns, e.g. cigarettes, candles, incense.
  • Keep the indoor environment clean but don’t vacuum unless your vacuum cleaner has high-efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA) filters. Otherwise, you will just stir up the particles already inside your home. Wet mopping can help reduce dust.
  • Don’t rely on dust masks for protection. Paper “comfort” or “dust” masks are designed to trap large particles, such as sawdust. These masks will not protect your lungs from small particles such as PM2.5. Scarves or bandanas won’t help either. Disposable respirators known as N-95 or P-100 respirators will help if you have to be outdoors for a period of time. It’s important that you wear the respirator correctly, however.

Blueair’s HEPASilentTM filtration process captures 99.97% of airborne particles down to 0.1 micron in size

Blueair’s HEPASilentTM filtration process captures 99.97% of airborne particles down to 0.1 micron in size

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