Sunday, 30 September 2012

FHM Magazine: Congrats Leng Yein!!!

Great to see the career and international exposure of my good chum Leng Yein goes from strength to strength. This month (October) she is on the cover of the region's top men's periodical FHM. Congrats Jie!!! See you at Mean Machines!!

You can also vote for Leng Yein for in the FHM 100 MOST WANTED list by by sending mails to '' and write "I VOTE FOR LENG YEIN". I did already!!! She needs your vote to win so get mailing alreadyyyyyyy :-)

Event: Mean Machines - Auto City, Juru (13 & 14 Oct)

Billed as "the largest performance and motor sports event in Malaysia" Mean Machines is now less than two weeks away and well worth a visit.  I shot the event last year and will be there to do so both days this year.  Against a backdrop of entertainment, shows and audience participation stands there will be literally dozens of auto related outlets represented at the show which runs from mid-day to midnight on both Saturday and Sunday.  But of course the stars of the show will be the spectacular range of performance cars and bikes on display (and which will also feature in demonstrations and competitions) and, it goes without saying, an equally dazzling array of models promoting the various suppliers represented.

One of the highlights for me again will be working with my chum Leng Yein who, as ever, will add a real sparkle to the event.  I attended both days last year and intend to do both this year.  Further details about the event can be found at the above link and also on the Facebook event link.

Event: Penang Jazz Festival (29 Nov - 2 Dec 2012)

Just by way of a reminder, the fantastic Penang Island Jazz Festival starts on 29 November and will run for four days at numerous venues across Penang.  Details of the event and the various artists can be found here, the site is updated regularly.  They also have a Facebook Page.

Too all my readers who celebrate it:

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Hard Rock Penang: Forthcoming Events

Of the many F&B outlets in Penang the Hard Rock Hotel and it's various bars and eateries rank amongst my favourites.  Good food, good beer, good prices and pleasant staff.  All you need for a great night out.

Hard Rock is also locally renowned for hosting some very happening events and the next few weeks will see a couple more in their hectic calendar, events that I am particularly looking forward to.

The first of these events happens on 6 October and features Nylon Pink, a California based all-Asian female rock band that are currently on a Hard Rock special tour and most recently (in fact, right up until 30 September) were playing at Hard Rock, Macau, China.  Nylon Pink will be playing between the 3rd and 6th of October (inclusive) and I plan to slip up to the Hard Rock Cafe on the 3rd to get some early shots of the band in action.  Nylon Pink also have their own Official You Tube Channel.

The Full Schedule for Nylon Pink is as follows:

Weds 3rd October 10.30pm – 11.30pm: Hard Rock Cafe Penang
11.30pm – midnight (Meet The Fans photo session)

Thurs 4th October 10.30pm – 11.30pm: Hard Rock Cafe Penang
11.30pm – midnight (Meet The Fans photo session)
Fri 5th October 9.45pm – 10.45pm: Hard Rock Facebook 100K Pool Party
10.45pm – 11.15pm (Meet The Fans photo session)
Sat 6th October 9.15pm – 9.45pm & 10.00pm – 10.30pm      
Pinktober Breast Cancer Awareness Charity Lingerie Fashion Show

I am particularly interested in the event of the 6th though as it will also feature a lingerie fashion show laid on by the Academy owned by my friend, and Asia's top super-model, Amber Chia.  Doubtless Kelvin (also of the Penang based, and ACA Penang affiliated, Iconic Model Management) and Nelson from the Academy will be going flat out to ensure the show is a success, as the Academy's events always are.  Details of the PINKTOBER event and how to book tickets can be found here.  It is a breast cancer charity event, so all in a very good cause, and tickets are currently RM 50 each, including one drink.  A very good deal indeed.

Following the above, the Hard Rock will also be hosting Miss Hard Rock SE Asia on Sunday 17th November from around 8pm and information about this event can be found here.  I think this will also be an event not to miss!

Finally, the Facebook Events listing page for the Hard Rock can be found here.

See you there!!!

House / Apartment Purchase: LHDN number online

Without going in to all the whys and wherefores, anyone buying or selling a property in Malaysia will be required to take out an income tax (LHDN) number.  This is primarily as a safeguard to ensure that your tax details are registered so that any Capital Gains Tax due is paid buy sellers.

It is possible to take out an LHDN number by going to a LHDN office, which in Georgetown is on the corner of Beach Street and Light Street.  It is however very easy to do it online, either from home or from your lawyers office.

To apply online you go to the LHDN website and:

1) Click ezHASIL at the top

2) From the drop down menu select 'e-Daftar'

3) From that page select the top left tab 'Daftar Pembayar Cukai Individu'.

4) Complete the form (Google Translate can help with the form fields as it's all in BM but is easy).

5) Select Submit and it will provide an e-voucher with your application reference.

6) You then go back to the e-Daftar page and select 'Muat Naik Dokumen Syarikat' to mail (in our case, mostly) a scan of your passport and MM2H visa page.

You can also check back on the e-Daftar page and click 'Semak Status Syarikat' to check your application's status.  After a week or so your LHDN number will arrive by email.  Very straight forward and very easy.

House / Apartment Purchase - Associated Costs

So, after a very long break in posting, largely brought about because of being busy getting ready to move out of rented accommodation (at last) and move into my permanent home, normal service will now be resumed!  Apologies to those followers for whom the content fizzled out for a few months and thanks to those that have stuck with it.  To those, and to new readers alike, I hope that previous and subsequent posts will continue to to provide useful information about Penang (and MM2H) and indeed give some insight into some of the highlights of Penang life.

To kick things off I thought it might be useful to provide a rough guide to the costs that are associated with house / apartment purchase (at today's rates) which will of course need to be factored in to your overall costs.  All prices are in RM:

       60  Land Searches (x2 @ RM 30 ea)
       30  CTOS Searches (x2 @ RM 15 ea)
       30  Bankruptcy Searches (x2 @ RM 15 ea)
       40  Stamp Duty (for Sales and Purchase Agreement)
       10  Adjudication
     150 Cheques (written by lawyer)
       50 Mileage 
  1,000 Registration Fee
10,000 State Consent Fee (up until recently this was RM 1,000 but rose at the same time as property purchase threshold limits changed for Penang Island).

12,370 Sub Total

The above costs cover the general admin fees due and will likely be the same for all purchases.   The Registration Fee is also subject to change.

On top of these costs you will have to add the cost of your lawyer fees which are likely to be around RM 6,000 and the Stamp Duty Fee for transfer of title (Strata).  At the time of writing this is worked out on the following basis:

1% on the first RM 100k of the property cost
2% on the next RM 400k
3% on the next RM 1.5m
4% thereafter

As can be seen, these costs can rack-up quickly.  So, for example, on a 750k property you'd pay RM 16,500 in Stamp Duty.  So, adding all of the above together:

12,370  Admin Costs
  6,000  Legal Costs (approx.)
16,500  Stamp Duty

34,870  Total

Finally, when you own a condo here, over the course of the year, in addition to regular utility bills, you will incur a number of other charges for:

Service / Maintenance
Sinking Fund
Fire Insurance
Quit Rent
Water (sewerage services)

These charges will vary depending on the property and I may well cover these in due course with an updated article about the 'domestic' costs that people need to cater for.  I mention the charges here simply because at the time of completing on a purchase your lawyer will advise you of any additional sums that may be payable by you by way of 'apportionment', essentially paying back the vendor for any such charges they have paid in advance but calculated only from the date you become the owner of the property.  Many of these charges are collected only once or twice a year so you could find yourself having to reimburse 3-5 months depending on where your purchase date sits in the billing cycle and the cost could be anything between a few hundred to a few thousand RM.

The Sinking Fund and Maintenance charges also deserve a special mention.  Depending on how these are handled by the condo management, over time owners will generally build up a sum which is held in credit against your property.  This credit is passed on to the incoming owner and if not used, will also be passed on to any subsequent owner.  As such you may well also need to reimburse the vendor for any credit that may be held by the management in respect of your apartment.

Hopefully the above will provide a rough idea for people interested in what other costs they may need to take into account when buying a property.  I'd stress that the above is an indication of prices at today's rates and clearly you would need to check with your lawyer as to both THEIR precise rates and the whether or not any of the state fees have risen.

Finally, one thing worth bearing in mind is that if buying a new property from a developer they will often bear the cost of the admin and legal fees but you should also be aware that, as far as I know, stamp duty will become payable when you come to sell the property, at or before which time you will need to apply for strata title.