VEP in Johor, Malaysia

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So it seems that the Malaysian government is unable to resist the temptation of quick and fast money afterall.

Despite the fact that the success of the Iskandar project in general is greatly dependent on the spending of foreigners (chiefly Singaporeans and Malaysians working in Singapore), it seem counterproductive for the  government to try gain additional tax revenue through the VEP, only to lose hundreds of thousands in the broader economy.

That said, the VEP isn’t confirmed yet, and given how things are done in Malaysia, there is a chance that there might be a U-turn in the decision ultimately (remember the ridiculous and extremely costly biometric custom system that caused massive jams and that was later abandoned?).

The government really needs to hire a better PR agency to vet the comments of their ministers, and other political leaders. I find it ludricrous that the Malaysian government took the suggestion from their UMNO youth so seriously to the point of implementation. Like, hello!  The basis for this suggestion is retaliatory in nature, and comes from a total political greenhorn! :(

Here’s an excerpt of what the UMNO Youth Chief said…

 

“Even if we impose the fee, they will still come because where else are they going to go? They have no where else to go. They are still going to have to come to Malaysia.

“We don’t have to feel inferior about imposing the fee… they have no choice they are going to come. Let’s not feel so inferior… what is 10 or 20 dollars to them?”

“Let’s not sell ourselves short,” he said.

 

The main basis for the wanting to impose a higher tax seems like greed and ego!

To be very honest though, I am not surprised at how the Malaysian government is behaving – after all, they are not known to have a good track record in following through plans (think: crooked bridge, biometric system, etc). I guess this is the danger of investing in a foreign country. It could be that I am too used to the straight and narrow in Singapore (in this case, it’s a good thing) where the promises and plans made by the government are next to always seen through.

More importantly though, how does this impact one’s decision in wanting to make a move over into JB to live? Things have changed a lot in the last 2 – 3 years. When we first decided to move over to live in JB, the house prices were MUCH lower, the jams were predictable (and therefore avoidable), there were no massive plans for condos, and crime rate in Nusajaya in general was lower. It is definitely different now eh?

I still think living in JB has it’s perks, and I believe I will continue to stay here for a few more years as benefits (space, quality of life) still outweigh the cons. However, if Malaysian government implements the VEP, and the jams continue to worsen, and if the road systems in JB itself are not improved to ease traffic within the city itself, who’s to say Singapore won’t start looking more attractive again? :P

Car break-in at Bukit Indah

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Crime seems to be rising in Nusajaya lately…..and while I thought it’d never happen to me, I too became a victim of a car break-in recently.

It happened last weekend in Bukit Indah when me and some friends went for breakfast. We parked our cars along a busy street near Hock Sang restaurant and went off for breakfast. On hindsight, I should have double checked to make sure that my friend took his bag out of the car instead of just leaving it to chance that he’d remember. Personally, I NEVER leave any bag or valuable in plain sight unattended in my car, but in our rush (and constant excited group chatter), I forgot to check.

Anyway, my friend left his black haversack on the backseat floor and when we returned, we found the rear window smashed in and the bag gone! :(

As my friend parked just behind my car, we managed to capture the entire event on camera (from the mounted front camera in her car). I’m sharing this video so you can see how the thief works…

 

My friend lost his SG passport in the process and had a lot of trouble getting back to Singapore. Just FYI, if you ever lose your SG passport, you need to go to the Singapore Embassy located in City Square (old JB central) to get temporary identification papers to clear customs. You will also need to get a local police report BEFORE you go to the embassy.

We made a police report and the experience was terrible. All I can say is that the policemen seemed very uninterested in wanting to solve the case.

Even though I managed to catch the entire incident on film and we are able to see the face of the thief clearly, I was told by the policeman that they did not know if they would be able to catch the guy.  When pressed to explain what he meant, he just said that even though we can see the face of the thief clearly, they did not know WHO this guy was and so it would be difficult to catch him. This is even AFTER we told him we suspect that there is a syndicate operating in that area (we discovered broken car glass windows on the grass near where we parked after the incident happened).

WTF?!!!!!! Like, seriously……based on his reply, it seems like the job of a policeman in  is to arrest people…not to solve crimes. Seriously, Malaysia boleh!

Anyway, please be careful if you will be out and about Bukit Indah area. Stay safe everybody!

Iskandar investors to face problems

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I was wondering when would something like this happen…though the move might be rather late to rein in the crazy prices.

“The common mistake that most Singaporean investors have made in Iskandar is buying property that is too expensive for locals – though cheap for Singaporeans – and yet not in a prime enough location, not a good enough design, and not in a good enough environment where there will be enough foreign buyers to take up these properties in the future.”

So please,  do your homework before you buy.

Rain is all good but check your windows!

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So the rain FINALLY arrived yday after a 2 week dry spell which turned nearly everything brown.

And boy, did it rain! In fact it rained all day, stopped in the evening and restarted somewhere in the middle of the night. There was ALOT of water!

Anyway, I realized yesterday that my windows/walls were leaking! I found wet patches on the wall that continued on as damp spots on the floor. :(

Figure the sealant or whatever water proof thing they use at the window joints must have contracted during the hot and dry season and cannot hold up during a torrential thunder storm.

This happened previously as well but the guys from HH management fixed it for me. Or should I say, temporarily fixed it for me. My house is currently still under the warranty period so I can still get the management to do something about it but I have this sneaky feeling that this is going to be a recurring problem. And my warranty period is ending in a couple of months! :( Any one with any ideas on how I can resolve this issue once and for all? I don’t see my mom’s 30+ year old hdb flat leaking after a rain so im sure there must be a better solution than just using sealant at the window joints! :(

So anyway, you guys might want to go check on your windows and walls soon. I find that the best time to inspect the finishing of a house is after a big rain! Don’t delay because once the wet patches dry, the faulty areas will be harder to spot!

It’s garbage!

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Even though I have lived in Malaysia for 1 year, some things still never cease to amaze me. Perhaps I am just too used to the efficiency in Singapore where everything is fast, clean and done correctly.

The garbage collectors came by today. And they did the most AMAZING thing. They drove by my house in their truck with 3 or 4 people, pull the rubbish bins onto the road (why they do that instead of just leaving the bins where they are, I can’t understand), take out some of the trash, put the trash on the floor and then…………..FREAKING DRIVE OFF!!! O_o
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Like, seriously. They just left the rubbish half done and left it there.  And the best part is…they took my neighbours trash. WHY?????!!!??!?!?!?!!

So I ended up calling the waste company, which is outsourced, btw.
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Sigh. Malaysia really boleh!

Annual pond cleaning

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Today, we got our pond clean. Finally, after living here for slightly over a year.

It was very dirty. Actually, that’s an understatement. It was EXTREMELY dirty, with algae everywhere and worms (?!) buried in the algae.

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Don’t understand where the worms came from though..maybe the filters were so choked that it was impossible for dirt to drain out and the pile up eventually created a nesting ground for worms!!! Yeech.

But I guess for a once a year clean, it’s cool. They didn’t even have to take out the fish or turtle while they worked on the pond. :)

For RM200, i’m not sure if it’s considered cheap or expensive..but I personally find it quite worth it to have have to muck around with worms and other gross, stinky stuff in the cleaning tank. :p

Any dog lover willing to do a good deed this Xmas to provide a forever home for 乐乐?

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Received this email from Nicole last week and I just had to share this. I really hope this little doggy can find a home by Xmas time. Stray dogs have it so hard in Malaysia….I really wish more people would start adopting rather than buying dogs. So here’s the story from Nicole:

A female mongrel appeared on my street few wks back (I live at Taman Perling by the way) and she’s very friendly, too friendly that she sent malay neighbours running. I was very worried someone would complain and have her removed (you know how it is with stray dogs in Msia…). I had taken her for a vet check, vaccination, deworm and now scheduling a Dr’s visit for neutering. I’m doing all these in the hopes that her chances for adoption can be higher.

She’s really a sweetheart, I would keep her myself, but my current dog refuses to accept :(
Her name is 乐乐, about 7-8mths old, she’s not as big size as usual street dogs, her legs are shorter.

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And oh I thought I might just add 2 pics of 乐乐 which I’m very proud of… because she’s a streetdog, she does have some streetdog habits which I’m trying to teach her to unlearn for eg Overly excited when she sees food…but after 2 days of training, she now knows sit & wait command.

 

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What a smart dog, I must say! I am still struggling to teach my dogs to stay after months and this dog got it in just 2 days! AMAZING.

Please, if anyone is interested, please either leave a comment or drop me an email. Or, if you know anyone who might be interested, please share this with them too. Thank you.