Will Uber and Airbnb be given a free hand in Malaysia?

Will Uber and Airbnb be given a free hand in Malaysia?

Will Uber and Airbnb be given a free hand in Malaysia?

written by CY Ming

While the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) had drawn up plans to regulate ride-hailing services such as Uber by proposing amendments to relevant laws for tabling in Parliament next month, there had been no announcement on private shelters used for renting out for a fee.

Local authorities must wake up from their slumber as other countries in the region are much more proactive in dealing with the sharing economy.

For example, the Singapore government was among the first to embrace it and Temasek had invested into Grab, similar to Khazanah investing in Uber. The city state is also hosting the Asian headquarters for Uber and Airbnb.

But Singapore authorities could see that such services are disruptive and could deteriorate if given a free hand, and has taken measures to keep them in line.

All Singaporean Uber and Grab drivers are required to obtain a vocational licence. Those without may be fined or jailed.

The ride-hailing company can be suspended for up to a month after three of its drivers are caught without proper licence or insurance, and enforcement is strict on the island.

In Malaysia, all ride-hailing drivers would also be required to obtain a vocational licence, which may be called public driver licence (PDL) or public service driver (PSD) licence, after they are regulated from next month.

These PDL or PSD licences will replace the current public service vehicle (PSV) licences issued by the Road Transport Department for taxi and bus drivers.

In South Korea and Japan, authorities have limited Uber’s operations, while its service in Taiwan was suspended.

In Singapore, officials have the right to force their way into homes to check whether residents are renting them out illegally, as local laws do not allow private properties to be rented out for less than six months.

In Malaysia, no enforcement agency has stepped forward to take the lead in addressing a potential time bomb. Needless to say, there will be plenty of finger pointing should many guests perish in a fire at one of the shelters booked through Airbnb.

Uber and Airbnb are facing increasing scrutiny by regulators globally and these new economy businesses are throwing up unprecedented growth challenges.

The sharing economy business is headed for explosive growth from around US$15 billion last year to an estimated US$335 billion by 2025.

Our regulators should not be caught flat-footed as many of them appear to be in suspended animation while licensed hotel operators are pulling their hairs out over Airbnb.

Don’t suffer in silence

Don’t suffer in silence

Don't suffer in silence

Praise Maukazuva, 21 February 2017

1 in 4 women experience Domestic Violence during her lifetime and more than half of these women have children that watch them helplessly as they are abused.

Repercussions of Domestic Violence vary from woman to woman depending on the type abuse they would have experienced. It can be from their partners, members of the family or total strangers.

The different types of abuse are:

Physical This includes Slapping, hitting, kicking, choking, restraining or any other torture that involves human contact.
Emotional In this type of abuse comes intimidation, degradation, being yelled at or being given a silent treatment. This will also lower their self esteem.
Sexual Sexual activity without her consent and without any contraceptives.
Verbal When you are being called names, being accused of doing things that you haven’t done, when for example your spouse lies to you.
Social Yes! This is actually a form of abuse, that includes a lot of things like a controlling husband, being ill treated in the public or stalking you wherever and whatever you do.
Financial Financial abuse varies from not being able to support the family making them starve, Or it’s the woman who is working but her money is being used by her husband for things that do not benefit the family.
Human Trafficking Although this stands as another different and serious issue, it still remains a type of abuse, as women are forced work in terrible conditions as prostitutes, servants or in farming areas. They are often beaten up, drugged and starved. If she refuses, her children will be at risk.

According to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital Emergency and Trauma Department, 4000 cases have been reported from January 2016 to January 2017 in Malaysia. With the highest of 498 in Selangor and most cases reported from Malays compared to Indians and Chinese.

Apparently reports have increased rapidly compared to other years. This is because more people have become aware of Domestic Violence as a crime, and are now reporting.

Examples of Malaysians who suffered recent domestic violence are Ana and Shona Roy.

Ana experienced domestic violence for 13 years. Her husband forced her to stop working and he treated her like a slave. She faced physical abuse and the only thing that made her endure all this was for her two sons. Read more

Shona Roy was married to a Saudi-Arabian man, and endure domestic violence for 8 years. The husband was cheating, violent to the extent that he chased her around with a knife, refused her custody of her children and then tried to kidnap them from the hands of their mother.

Shona Sinha Roy // image via says.com

Imagine the pain that these two women have endured. Would you want to suffer the same fate? Take not, it can happen to anyone. That brings us to the next issue, how can we stop Domestic Violence. In Order for us to prevent this trivial issue we need to be aware of the causes.

Remember, the abused is not the cause of the problem. It is the abuser who is in total control and who takes full responsibility for us.

Abusive relationships, early marriages and violence make women susceptible in marriage. They will not have the courage to say no to an abusive husband. In cases where there are financial problems and employment is scarce, they are scared they will not be able to take care of their children so they’d rather be abused and have their children safe.

Those that stay in an abusive relationship for the sake of their children are making the biggest mistakes of their lives, and also their children’s lives because they are greater chances that your children will also resort to Domestic Violence thinking it’s a normal way of living.

But is it fair for women to be caught in such a dilemma, and in this day in age? No matter how many times women beg for help, society turns a blind eye to them, families put pressure on them, and people around trampled on them, make them realized that they don’t have a voice in this world. But after all, they’re still living and fighting for themselves until now. Their perseverance is admirable though they were treated badly. Without women, can the world be advanced like this? And why must these unfortunate people suffer severe consequences and unjust though they have devoted a lot for humanity?

In conclusion, violence against women is a difficult problem to solve. This is not always under control to be able to fix at all. But people will always have the most reasonable resolutions. I hope that this issue will soon be resolved smoothly so that all of the women will no longer have to suffer from those pains.

WOMEN’S AID ORGANISATION (WAO) HELPLINE

WAO Hotline: 03 7956 3488

WhatsApp/SMS TINA: 018 988 8058

WAO Hotline: 03 7956 3488

WhatsApp/SMS TINA: 018 988 8058

Understand the common causes that lead to domestic violence and ways to prevent it.

How to get better at small talk

How to get better at small talk

How to get better at small talk

Praise Maukazuva, 15 February 2017

Most people find it difficult to socialize or simply engage in a small conversation. Which is normal, because it is not an easy task. You probably have absolutely nothing in common, or they are too sophisticated that you might feel like you are insulting them accidentally. I have been in such situations and they normally end with an awkward pause, or silence.

So how can we get better at this? You might find the tips below useful:

1. Show interest in the conversation

You can show interest by asking more about themselves. Let them talk about themselves. That way you are also able to pick up some areas of interesting that you can discuss on. Show that you care about what they are talking about and be a good listener.

2. Ask open-ended question

Avoid questions that will end up with a “yes” or “no” answer. That will end the kill the conversation.

3. Try to practice with anyone

It can be your house cleaner, or the security guard. This will help you maintain interesting conversations. It will also make you comfortable with starting up conversations.

4. Pass out positive comments

Or to flatter them. People like to be praised and they always want to be associated with people who make them feel better.

5. Learn from reality show hosts or comedians

Master how they ask questions and how they handle different expressions or answers, positive and negative both. The order of questions they ask also. It is very important. Questions that are too mumbled will kill the conversation.

6. Be Honest

Honesty is an important aspect when it comes to communication. Especially when you want to start a relationship, as it promotes relationships of trust.

7. F.O.R.M.

In case you forget or run out on what to ask. F is for family. You can talk about about family. O is for occupation, where they work or if they are still a student, what they are studying. R is for Recreation, what they do for fun or places they have visited so far. And lastly M for Money. Now this doesn’t mean you have to ask them what they earn or how much money they have but simply economy issues or current affairs.

And most of all. Body language is very important. I will leave you with the last acronym SOFTEN.

S Smile often, this shows that you are interested in the conversation
O Open posture
F Forward lean
T Touch by shaking hands
E Eye contact should be kept always
N Nod your head, to show that you are listening and you can actually relate with what they are talking about

Forever Alone… CNY Aftermaths

Forever Alone… CNY Aftermaths

Forever Alone... CNY Aftermaths

Zameen Datta, 6 February 2017

What it’s like being single on Chinese New Year

Millions of 20 somethings look towards the Chinese New Year with dread each year. While many of them enjoy the chance to meet up with their families, it also means having to sit through all the questions from various older relatives, including the inevitable…

“Why aren’t you married yet?”

Social commentator Yolanda Wang believes that a lot of this pressure to get married is due to cultural reasons. “In Chinese culture people really care about how others look at you, how they judge you. If you are good enough, why are you still single?” Wang said. For some people, the problem comes from relatives who may be a little too old fashioned.

Image: Carbonate.TV

In an interview with Asia One, 44-year-old Singaporean Miss Ng spoke about her relationship with her own parents.

“It’s natural for parents to worry over their children’s marital status, and my parents happen to belong to the traditional type who think that a woman’s job is to marry and have kids. So being successful in your career and being self-sufficient mean nothing to them, unfortunately.”

So why aren’t people getting married?

The answers can be boiled down to two main reasons: money and power. Specifically, the fact that young people have less money and more power than their parents did.

At a time when so many young people are struggling to own a house and car, most 20 somethings are more focused on their careers than their love lives.

“I can always find someone later,” they think.

Apart from that, young men and women are no longer content to remain stuck in a bad relationship. According to Professor Dr Low Wah Yun, a chartered psychologist with University Malaya’s Faculty of Medicine, views have altered dramatically over the years.

“Before, you had to stick to being married whether you liked it or not. But these days, people look at it differently because so many more people are getting divorced. Parents are slowly changing to accept divorce, especially if that’s what makes their children happy.”

Dr. Low pointed out that modern young women are much more willing to be picky about their choice of husbands. “Women are becoming more liberated and educated,” she said. “So they are braver about speaking up and saying, ‘hey, I’m not gonna put up with this anymore!’”

As a result, people are taking longer and longer to get married. In the 19740s, the average age of marriage in Malaysia was 18. In the 1970s, this had risen to 22. By the time we reached 2013, the average median age of marriage among Malaysians is 26.9 years old, one year younger than the United States (27.9), and a few years younger than most European countries like the Netherlands (32.7) and the United Kingdom (32.5).

1940s

1970s

2013

Average marrying age over time

Being a “leftover”

In China, they’re known as “sheng nu” (剩女:leftover women). In Japan, the term “Christmas Cake” is often used (because they’ve “gone bad” after the 25th birthday). Whatever you call them, Asian culture tends to frown upon women who have reached a certain age without getting married.

On the flip side, men are also under a lot of pressure to get hitched, with older unmarried men being given labels like guang gun” (光棍:bare branch) – branches that don’t add to the family tree.

Tired of the questions and prodding, some young singles have gone to extreme lengths in order to satisfy their families.

Boyfriend for rent

In 2015, a man called ‘Liu’ from China’s northeastern Liaoning province was arrested for kidnapping a woman he intended to take home as his wife for CNY. For those who aren’t quite as desperate, websites like rent-a-girlfriend.com allow you to choose between thousands of profiles to find the right (fake) partner for you this Chinese New Year.

The idea of hiring someone to pretend to be your boyfriend may seem like the plot of a bad comedy, but the emergence of international online agencies like Rent-a-Gent is a sign of just how big this business can be.

A spokesman from Rent-a-Gent explained why people use their services, mentioning that while some people hired escorts to spend the holidays with, others “specifically use our service to get their families to stop asking them about their boyfriend and marriage plans”.

Before you get too excited, you should be aware that most of these agencies have a strict “no touching” policy. Hand holding and hugs may be acceptable, but kissing is a bit iffy and anything further is considered a big no-no.

Rental lovers don’t have it easy either – not only do they have to act like they’re in love with someone they barely know, they also need to keep up with all their client’s requirements, some of which can be rather unusual. One of the job descriptions from a woman looking for a fake boyfriend includes a request for someone who “can play mahjong and drink a lot”.

On the bright side, the job pays pretty well.

Prices for a rental boyfriend or girlfriend starts from at least USD200 (RM625) an hour or USD3,000 (roughly RM 9,378) a day!

Would you ever consider renting a lover? Tell us!

Top Online Bouquet Delivery

Top Online Bouquet Delivery

Top Online Bouquet Delivery

for Valentine's Day or any other occasions!

Happy Bunch

Price: From RM48
Image from: Happy Bunch Facebook

50Gram

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Image from: 50Gram Facebook

Breathe better with cleaner air

Breathe better with cleaner air

Breathe with Better Cleaner Air

Which air purifier will you choose?

The transboundary haze plaguing Malaysia annually has raised the public’s awareness on the importance of good air quality. Consequently, there are now a plethora of air purifiers in the market. As such, shopping for one can be a daunting task.

We surveyed the market to give you a brief review of what is available in Malaysia. Below, we compare the attributes of air purifiers from five popular brands – Coway, Cuckoo, Dyson, Panasonic and Sharp.

A good air purifier is effective in both removing airborne particles and improving indoor air quality. The objective of the air purifiers is to minimize the hazardous health effect of polluted indoor air in a user friendly manner by continuously reducing the concentration of particles in the air to a minimum, especially the smallest particles (nano particles, below 0,1micron) as these are considered causing the most severe health problems.

Coway has four air purifiers available in Malaysia. The Dolomities has a 4-step filtration, the Indicator and Tuba have 5, and the Lombok II has 6. All of them feature Coway’s Anti-Flu HEPA™ Filter that eliminates cigarette smoke, micro dust, bacteria, viruses and germs. Indicator and Lombok II have a resistive barrier discharge (RBD) plasma and filtration system that generates charged ions that capture airborne particles and sterilise moulds and germs like Aspergillus, Nigermand and E.Coli and decompose harmful gases like formaldehyde. All but Dolomities have a deodorisation filter.

Source: Coway

Cuckoo only has one air purifier in the market, simply named B Model, which is certified with the Clean Air Mark by the Korean Air Cleaning Association. It features an 8-level filtration, which consists of 5 filters – “Pre-Filter, Allergen Plus, Harmful Gas Relax, Deodorixing, 4-in-1 HEPA” – and a plasma ionizer. Cuckoo boasts of filters that are 1.5x larger than those of regular air purifiers (300x465).

Dyson, meanwhile, boasts of filters capable of capturing pollutants as small as 0.1 microns. Moreover, Dyson’s 360° Glass HEPA filter is engineered to draw air from all around, allowing free positioning of the machine. A layer of activated carbon granules captures odours and potentially harmful toxins like paint fumes.

Dyson’s patented Air Multiplier™ technology draw air through the filter and accelerate it through the machine, creating a long-range stream of smooth air. It’s the same technology used in Dyson’s bladeless fans.

The Dyson Pure Cool™ and Pure Cool™ Link are also low maintenance. Some purifiers rely on you changing, washing and drying your filters every month or so. Waiting for the filters to dry can result in up to six hours without a purifier. It takes fewer than 60 seconds to replace Dyson’s filter, and only after using it for 12 hours every day for a year.

Dyson’s 360° Glass HEPA filter is engineered to draw air from all angles

Panasonic, meanwhile, feature long-lasting filters (other than the pre-filters). The filters of the F-VK655A last 5 years while those of F-VXK70A lasts 10 years.

The key technology in Panasonic air purifiers is nanoe™ – it claims that this technology inhibits 99.9% of viruses and bacteria, reduces 90% of odour after 30 minutes, and even restores moisture back to your skin! A nanoe™ is a fine (5-20nm) and weak acidic water particle with a reactive substance and an electric charge. nanoe™ possesses the characteristics of removing hydrogen from viruses, bacteria, odours and allergens. It has a lifespan 6x of normal ions. The nanoe™ dimension is one-billionth parts of vapour, which enables it to easily penetrate textile fibres and eliminate bacteria and odour.

Sharp has a similar technology, which it calls Plasmacluster Ion technology, that powerfully and quickly removes airborne particles.

Mechanism for removing bacteria from the air using Plasmacluster (for illustration purpose only)

Source: Sharp

Filtration aside, there are other unique characteristics that may sway you to consider them.

Sharp, for example, has two air purifier models that can also double as a mosquito catcher! Some of the Panasonic and Sharp models are also humidifiers. Cuckoo has voice guide enabled — you can choose between English, Malay and Mandarin.

Dyson air purifiers double as fans and arguably the most aesthetically-pleasant air purifiers in the market. Not that because they are fans, they tend to be louder than others when on higher fan speeds. Nonetheless, they are quieter than regular blade fans. Moreover, while other air purifiers rely on big AC motors and large filters to purify the air, taking up valuable space in your home, Dyson purifier fans use a small efficient DC motor. Its compact footprint makes it smaller than conventional purifiers.

Dyson purifiers can be set to automatically monitor, react and purify the air — multiple sensors  detect changes in conditions, before automatically adjusting airflow to maintain your target air quality. Live air quality metrics are then sent straight to your Dyson Link app (for Pure Cool™ Link machines). You can also control your purifier remotely via the app.

Brand Model Power Consumption Airflow Rate Noise Level (dB) Pollution Indicator Weight (kg)

Indicator

5.6 – 38.0W 1.9 – 5.1 m³/min 21.1 – 48.0 Colour Indicator 7.9

Lombok II

13 – 72W 1.6 – 7.1 m³/min 20.0 – 70.5 Colour Indicator 12.0

Tuba

106W Max 4.2 – 16.8 m³/min 31.2 – 52.5 Colour Indicator 25.0

B Model

16.4 – 33W n/a n/a -Colour indicator

-Contamination figure

-Voice Guide

11.4

Pure Cool™

56W 33.4 litres/s 63dBA
(Max Setting)
Colour indicator. Detailed reported shown via Dyson Link App. 3.03 (desk)

3.2 (tower)

Pure Cool™ Link

56W 418 litres/s 63dBA
(Max Setting)
Colour indicator. Detailed reported shown via Dyson Link App. 3.03 (desk)

3.2 (tower)

F-VK655A

12 – 54W 1-5.5m³/min 10 – 58 Colour indicator 11.9

F-VXK70A

n/a 1.1-6.7m³/min 18 – 54 Colour indicator 10.2

 

Brand & Model Power Consumption

Airflow Rate
Noise Level

Pollution Indicator
Weight (kg)

Indicator

5.6 – 38.0W

1.9 – 5.1 m³/min

21.1 – 48.0

Colour Indicator

7.9

Lombok II
13 – 72W

1.6 – 7.1 m³/ min

20.0 – 70.5

Colour Indicator

12.0

Tuba
106W Max

4.2 – 16.8 m³/ min

31.2 – 52.5

Colour Indicator

25.0

B Model

16.4 – 33W

n/a

n/a

Colour indicator, contamination figure, voice Guide

11.4

Pure Cool™

56W

33.4 litres/s

63dBA
(Max Setting)—Colour indicator. Detailed report shown via Dyson Link App.
3.03 (Desk)


3.2 (Tower)

V6 Entry

56W

418 litres/s

63dBA
(Max Setting)—Colour indicator. Detailed report shown via Dyson Link App.
3.03 (Desk)

3.2 (Tower)

F-VK665A

12 – 54W

1 – 5.5 m³/min

10 – 58

Colour Indicator

11.9

F-VXK70A

n/a

1.1 – 6.7 m³/min

18 – 54

Colour Indicator

 

10.2

Decent air purifiers are not cheap. Coway and Cuckoo air purifiers can also be rented if you prefer not to buy them outright.

Coways range from RM2,500 to RM4,500 or RM85-150/month to rent. The Cuckoo B Model is RM2,988 or RM120/month to rent. Dyson’s Pure Cool™ Link tower costs RM3,399 while the desk model costs RM2,599. Panasonic models range from RM599 for the entry level F-PXJ30A with 20m2 coverage, to RM2,999 for the F-VK655A. Sharp air purifiers range from RM549 to RM2,619, with the two mosquito catcher models costing RM769 and RM1,049.

Dyson's Trade in Campaign

If Dyson tickles your fancy, you may want to take advantage of its trade-in campaign running from 10 Dec 2016 to 29 Jan 2017. Enjoy 15% off all Dyson technology (vacuum cleaners, bladeless fans and purifier fans). When you trade-in any vacuum cleaner, desk/floor standing fans or air purifiers. Terms and conditions apply.

Trade-in now

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