Forex Trading In Malaysia

It was an interesting morning today, when a friend told me that his brother received a job offer in a Forex trading company in Shah Alam. It was great news that he was able to get something after searching for opportunities for quite a while. However since my niece experienced this more than once, I am skeptical about such companies in Malaysia.

I asked him to check with the Securities Commission and whether or not the company presented an offer letter to his brother.

At first I thought that Forex is administered by the Securities Commission (SC) but I was wrong. When called, SC said that Forex is administered by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).

BNM Foreign Exchange Administration said:

In Malaysia no company or individuals are given license to do forex trading except for registered merchant banks

Which corresponds to this List of Authorised Dealers of Foreign Currency. One thing that disappoints me the most is that BNM did not ask the company name, showing that they have no immediate interest in closing such fraudulent businesses.

Signs that a company might be working on something fraudulent:

  • They don’t really have a proper business sign at their office
  • They ask candidates to go to training first, before they provide an offer letter
  • They have options whether the employee would like to be paid based on commission or on a fixed rate

It is a great thing that my friend’s brother told him about it. My unfortunate niece did not share the news with me so she ended up wasting weeks without getting paid. And imagine if the office is raided by the authorities. I wouldn’t want to be a part of that, would you?

So the lesson to learn here is that you should always tell someone about your opportunities, and never immediately trust just any company no matter how desperate you are for a job.

And of course, always get an offer letter first before you start working. This is the most important thing of all, when getting a new job.

Malaysia PayPal Users Can Now Add Local Bank Accounts

My better half told me yesterday that we can now add our local bank accounts in PayPal. It was too good to be true so I decided to check. I went to check my PayPal emails first just in case I missed an announcement. However, I don’t see any. It’s kinda weird that when a new language is available PayPal sends us an email but not for something as important as this?

▼ A d v e r t i s e m e n t

Oh well, not a big deal. I am all hyped with this new ability, and am already thinking of ditching my Al-Rajhi account (debit card account used for withdrawals).

Adding a bank account is very easy. On your “My Account” page, click on “Profile” which will reveal a drop down where you select “Add/Edit Bank Account”.

malaysia-paypal-step0

Next, you just enter your details:

Details

Don’t put in the wrong routing code. Always double check. This routing code is also sometimes referred to as the SWIFT code. I am amazed on the considerably long list.

malaysia-paypal-bank-routing-code

And that’s it. The next thing you will see is that it’s listed in your bank account page:

malaysia-paypal-done

Please, be sure that you entered the correct bank name, account number, and routing code. As the fee list suggests, you will be charged RM15 for every rejected transaction:

malaysia-paypal-fees

You’ll be charged RM3.00 for amounts less than RM400, free otherwise. I think it does not get any clearer than this.

Enjoy your new ability! It does not involve in eating brains this time.

Another AdSense Payment

Today I managed to cash out my latest AdSense payment via Western Union. This is just to show a prove, and to motivate the unmotivated. Although the amount is not that huge, it’s still money and after subtracting the hosting cost there is some profit.

Next objective is getting significant monthly payments (I currently put my account on hold until a few months).

On Property Purchase and Money3

As some of you might already know I bought a property in August, and the banking procedures were dragged until September where RHB Bank suddenly wished to change the loan amount. My agent, agent S was a 22 year old mobile agent I found through word of mouth. She was not helpful because she didn’t really know what she was selling, and I suspect she is new in the field. Right now I realized how dumb I am not to realize with that age she must be a fresh graduate. (I have nothing against fresh graduates in other fields but I do think experience is critical when it comes to money related matters).

I was afraid that RHB bank will impose the 1% penalty to me because I wanted to cancel the loan (how can I proceed there is not enough loan amount!?) so she gave me her best advice – keep quiet so that the bank will cancel the loan. And I did just that and got off the wagon without having to pay any penalty. I also immediately looked for other options.

Al-Rajhi was fast, they contacted me immediately after I filled in the web form but too bad they currently don’t provide loans for properties under construction although the property was 90% completed back then.

And then I contacted Money3. They were also very fast and with the network they have with banks they were able to assess my loan requirements and made several applications. Agent K was helping me with everything and he was very professional. OCBC Bank approved my loan in September and it was time for signing the offer letter but agent K was not available because he was on paternity leave. Agent J took over and it was overall a pleasurable experience as he handled everything for me.

Everything were excellent until it was time for the MRTA (Mortgage Reducing Term Assurance). He was also an AIA agent and tried to sell the Wholelife package (payable yearly) to me which was quite a good package as I will be able to break even and get some profit after ~15 years. He was stressing on how important to get an insurance otherwise OCBC will not be releasing my funds. If the bank does not release my funds on time there will be interest to pay to the developer. When he first prepared a quote, I had to pay ~RM3600 yearly but when he called me back in early November it was at ~RM4969 so I told him I want to look for other options. He said that is not possible, the bank will block my funds. He never called me back until today.

I made the ultimately correct decision when I decided to call OCBC directly and I was told that OCBC does not have any requirements for me to have the insurance. It was optional! So agent J lied to me in my face. At that moment I lost all my respect for the guy. When OCBC released the funds to the developer it was proof that agent J was lying.

I realize the importance of MRTA and I was planning to take it via OCBC itself or using Prudential but I suddenly went busy. I will do that soon.

Back to the RHB issue, it was such as a waste of time and money. For instance agent S took RM10 for account opening and never returned it (she called me afterward telling me I had to open a current account because of the facility I requested). RHB bank penalized me RM20 for closing the current account earlier than 3 months. The lawyers charged me RM160 for the cancellation. That’s already RM190 there not including my gas cost for traveling. And the worst case of all is that the developer is now charging me with ~RM4280 for the late interest fee (period between when RHB approved my loan until when OCBC released my funds). I have already sent them an appeal to remind them my case and can only hope that they can consider exempting the fees.

That’s it people, my only advice is to find the right people (agents) and even if you find a good one please avoid trusting them 100% as when it comes to money people will try to trick you. In the RHB case I do blame agent S and the bank itself and in the Money3 case I don’t blame Money3 but the agent himself for being an as***le. And if you’re wondering, you don’t pay Money3 for the services. The bank pays them commissions.

PayPal in Bahasa Melayu

I recently received an email from PayPal announcing that they now support additional languages. One of them is my native tongue, Bahasa Melayu.

However when I clicked on the Malaysia flag it directs me to the same page as Bahasa Indonesia. Although many part of the Internet has already acknowledged and are well aware that these two languages are different, I am a tad surprised that PayPal is not one of them 🙂

Web Hosting Reviews

As a technical person in the office, and as a person who maintains (not own) more than 20 blogs my friends at work will usually ask me advice on their hosting requirements. The most important concern they have is usually the cost, and speed is usually second.

I often ask them to use a portion of my huge hosting for free, but I warn them that my hosting service is located in the US so access from Malaysia will be quite slow. Some of them don’t care as long as it is free and happily use the FTP account and a single database I throw at them.

Some of them do care about speed and they choose Malaysian hosting companies.

The shy ones usually will refuse my offer and ask me which hosting company is the cheapest. Honestly, from the top of my head I don’t have hosting companies ordered by price. I order them by customer support excellence. I am willing to pay good money for good service.

I stumbled upon a website that can help us choose the best web hosting around, depending on our own requirements. And for those who wants to have many domains, there’s Multiple Domain Web Hosting.

Good luck. May the host be with you 😉

Chitika Oh Chitika

On 10 April 2007 I tried to apply for Chitika eMiniMalls just to try out my luck even though my number of visitors is much lower back then. I received a reply which I totally understand and accepted:

In an effort to bring value to our publishers, we carefully consider each submission. During our review process we have determined that Chitika | eMiniMalls might not be a good match for your website.

On 27 June 2008 I received an email from Chitika:

Hi Ady,

Great news! There have been a lot of changes over at Chitika recently – so although our ads were not a good match for your website in the past, we believe that we may be a much better fit for you now. Why? Because the Chitika network now serves Premium ads for ALL types of site content like: Finance, Health, Travel, Family, & more. (Previously we focused mainly on product-related websites.)

We now offer a LOT more than eMiniMalls too – our new Chitika|Premium ads target your search traffic, and are showing extremely high CTRs and eCPMs for our publishers. So if you have a good amount of US search traffic, Chitika|Premium will be a great fit for your site!

Re-open your Chitika application here, to get started. (You will be able to edit your information such as website, email, and PayPal info before you submit) or head over to the “Chitika | Premium” page for more information.

And I received a reply:

Hello,

The email address you used doesn’t match the domain that you submitted, and it also does not match the email that was used to register the domain, so we cannot tell if you actually own this website.

If you do own this site, please re-open your application using the link below and supply an email address from the domain, or the email address that was used to register the domain.

If you cannot do this, then please re-open your application and tell us why in the “Comments” field. Thanks. Looking forward to your comments.

This is because I used my GMail address for the registration. If I enter my email address for this blog domain I immediately get “Invalid Email ID!”. I stated in the comment field of the registration form but I guess it was not taken into anyone’s attention. But then again, the reply did mention “If you cannot do this, then please re-open your application and tell us why in the “Comments” field. Thanks. Looking forward to your comments.” WTH?

Not that Chitika is bad or anything but as an Internet user I expect an established site updates the list of TLD frequently. I also had the email not matching problem with Nuffnang but they received my application without any problem.

Local Ponzi Schemes Sprouting Everywhere

I don’t know about you but since several past weeks I have been receiving emails that claims to make you rich. Almost everyday, yeah. The unique thing about these emails are that they are in Malay, and originating from Malaysia and Singapore.

So far I can easily classify these emails into a few categories:

  • Mobile Wallet – pay as low as RM100 to them, activate your account via SMS and you can sell mobile products such as prepaid reloads. How can you be sure that they will not just take your RM100 and flee?
  • Easy Funds – pay some money, refer friends, and be paid. Ponzi!!!
  • Money pools – participate in a money pool. Pay about RM52 and be in the run for the jackpot of RM60,000+
  • Email Referrals – refer people via email and get paid.
  • Classic Ponzi or Matrix System – nothing special about this one. Everyone knows how a pyramid or matrix system will end.

Almost all of these emails claimed that you can be a millionaire in a couple of months if you join them. Are you kidding me?

One word of advice, it is better if you keep your money for something useful or invest it in a Government certified fund.

I know the Malaysian Securities Commission has been actively blocking many foreign sites for offering fraudulent investment programs, but I wonder how are they going to handle these which are originating from the country itself. Despite of warnings issued by the Government the number of people who fell into these traps are still surprisingly high. And when they realize what actually has happened they will blame the Government. Duh!…

Paypal to Debit Card, and AdSense to Western Union

In spite of being extremely busy, yesterday I had a chance to glance over some of my daily readings. I am excited to find out that PayPal is now allowing Malaysians to withdraw money to Visa branded debit card.

I need to check with Standard Chartered whether I can use my savings account which is a 2 in 1 account having Visa number and Visa Electron branding. Maybe the fees are lower than using Virtual Money card?

One thing for sure is that there will be no monthly fee, while the withdrawal fee is US$5.00. Just make sure you can really transfer or you’ll suffer paying the return fee. Also needs to be check is whether the local bank will impose any fee on the transfer.

Mininum transfer is US$10.00 and maximum is $US500.00 per day.

Additionally, AdSense publishers can now withdraw money via Western Union.

All you need is the 10 digits MTCN (Money Transfer Control Number) from AdSense and your ID (passport or MyKad). One thing to stress here is that the name from AdSense should match your ID for this to work. LiewCF has written a nice how-to change AdSense Payee Name.

No more bank fees for payout. The maximum payout is US$2,800.

Since I have been earning decent stream from both accounts this is indeed an exciting news for me. For Cyberjaya people – CIMB is the nearest Western Union agent 🙂

Google AdSense Allowed Sites

Have your publisher ID ever been used in other sites than yours, without your knowledge? I have never experienced the same problem but I guess some prominent publishers must’ve experienced this.

AdSense now have an Allowed Sites feature where you can specify on which sites your publisher ID will be considered active.

This is indeed a very useful feature, especially if someone decides to use your publisher ID with bad intentions such as to get your account suspended!

Read more about it in Inside AdSense: Allowed and clear.

Quote:

To create your Allowed Sites list today, visit your AdSense Setup tab, click the Allowed Sites sub-tab, and choose the radio button for Only allow certain sites to show ads for my account. You’ll then be able to enter allowed URLs for all your sites. Make sure to keep your list up to date when you add your code to new sites, too.

So if you decide not to use it, no change is necessary!

Photography As Passion

Do you photograph? I have owned a Nikon D50 DSLR for about a year now, and also a Sony T30 for casual shots. It is indeed an expensive hobby as many people would put it once they see my camera. But this hobby can be converted to a source of income, and that is what I like about it. I haven’t reach that level yet though.

Nikon D300

The Sony T30 is classified as a prosumer or a point and click camera, while the Nikon D50 is a DSLR. Nikon D50 is the most affordable DSLR at the moment I bought it, but even now that D40 and D40x has been released I was thankful that I got my D50 on time before it was taken off production. The D40 models are not preferable in the sense that it does not have a built in auto-focus motor and if you use lenses that don’t have built in auto-focus motor you’ll have to manually focus each time. One great example of such lens is the AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D.

Even though the Sony T30 have more megapixel (7.2 to be exact), shots from the Nikon D50 (6 megapixel) seems to be much much better. This is actually very normal as there is a huge difference in the size of sensor and lens between those two. And with a DSLR you can tweak the settings any way you like which can result in a very good result, or an ugly one 😉 Trust me, when you have been learning and shooting with a DSLR you can feel the freedom and satisfaction after you process the results in your favorite “darkroom” software.

I have an eye on the new Nikon D300 that will be released very soon but I don’t think I will get it anytime soon. I need to practice more!

This post is brought to you by RitzCamera.com

Nuffnang Error

Today the site loads very slow, and as I was about to blame the network when I saw this:

Nuffnang Error

It seems that Nuffnang may be currently experiencing some difficulties. Since the ad block loads inline, the whole site waits for it. Oh by the way visitors from outside of Malaysia & Singapore will not see this as it is a geo-targeted block (AdSense is there instead).

And Nuffang site is down as well, with these errors:

Warning: mysql_pconnect() [function.mysql-pconnect]: Lost connection to MySQL server during query in /home/nuffmy/public_html/Connections/nuffnang.php on line 9

Fatal error: Lost connection to MySQL server during query in /home/nuffmy/public_html/Connections/nuffnang.php on line 9

Quick guys! Fix it! 🙂

Online Backup

Do you have any backups of your data? Are you willing to lose precious data such as your digital photos, accounts, letters, spreadsheets, and the list goes on and on. Today, you hardly keep so many paper documents as everything is kept digitized for easy handling. Who are we kidding, it is convenient to travel with a portable disk or a notebook computer than a business briefcase!

Even better, there is now IBackup – an Online Backup service starting from $9.95 per month for 5GB. It includes scheduled backups, access to drive letters on your machine, and access from browsers. This means that your backed up data can be accessed from anywhere.

This is a great alternative to that off site backup requirements for ISO17799 certification!

Another intriguing feature is the ability to backup open files, for example the Outlook files when you are logged on to an Exchange server. I am currently running scheduled backup using rsync via cygwin but the in use files will fail to be transferred over.

Additionally, if your business use SQL Server, Oracle, or Exchange – IBackup offers hot backups specific to these applications and many more. Go ahead and take the free trial now and let me know what you think.

This post is brought to you by IDrive

Google Referrals 2.0

Have you checked in to your AdSense account lately? Try and see the Referral setup page and see whether you have been upgraded to Referrals 2.0. I was surprised by this notification when I logged on to the AdSense account of one of my clients. This is what I saw:

Google Referrals 2.0

Some of us are lucky enough to be given the chance to test this out, like Auntie Lillian a.k.a. 5xmom. I am not as lucky, though. Maybe because my AdSense performance is not so well. 🙁

With Referrals 2.0 you can select targeted ads to display on your site, and not the boring old banners to refer to Google products and services. This opens a lot more doors and endless possibilities for you to customize the ads that will be displayed. They look just like normal AdSense ads, with the only difference is the tag Referrral Ads by Google.