Ancient people had better teeth

31 Oct 2014
A study of 303 skulls has revealed that dental health was better in ancient times compared to modern times.
BRITONS had far less gum disease in the Roman era than today, and oral health has seriously worsened despite the advent of toothbrushes and dentists, a new study revealed.
A study of 303 skulls held at the Natural History Museum, dating from the years 200 to 400 AD, found that only 5% showed signs of moderate to severe gum disease (periodontitis), compared to around 15 to 30% of adults nowadays.
The eight-page study, led by a periodontist from King’s College London (KCL) university, was published in the British Dental Journal last Friday.
While much of the population nowadays lives with mild gum disease, factors such as tobacco smoking or medical conditions like diabetes can trigger more severe chronic periodontitis.
This can lead to the loss of teeth, the study said.
Professor Francis Hughes, from the KCL Dental Institute, was the study’s lead author.
“We were very struck by the finding that severe gum disease appeared to be much less common in the Roman British population than in modern humans, despite the fact that they did not use toothbrushes or visit dentists as we do today,” he said.
“Gum disease has been found in our ancestors, including in mummified remains in Egypt, and was alluded to in writings by the Babylonians, Assyrians and Sumerians as well as the early Chinese.”
The skulls came from a Romano-British burial ground in Poundbury, southwest England.
The Dorset suburb is the site of Prince Charles’ model new town, built on the heir to the throne’s land, to his architectural principles.
Despite the low rate of gum disease, many of the skulls showed signs of infections and abscesses, and half had tooth decay.
The skulls also showed extensive tooth wear from a young age, as would be expected from a diet rich in coarse grains and cereals at the time.
Among those who survived into adulthood, the peak age at death appears to have been in their 40s.
“This study shows a major deterioration in oral health between Roman times and modern England,” said Theya Molleson from the Natural History Museum, the study’s co-author.
“By underlining the probable role of smoking, especially in determining the susceptibility to progressive periodontitis in modern populations, there is a real sign that the disease can be avoided.
“As smoking declines in the population we should see a decline in the prevalence of the disease.” — AFP Relaxnews

A study of 303 skulls held at the Natural History Museum, dating from the years 200 to 400 AD, found that only 5% showed signs of moderate to severe gum disease (periodontitis), compared to around 15 to 30% of adults nowadays. — AFP

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Milk substitutes might not give kids enough vitamin D

30 Oct 2014
Young children who drank non-dairy replacement milks instead of cow’s milk were more like to have low levels of vitamin D in their blood, a new study found.

Parents often choose non-dairy beverages, such as almond, soya, or rice milk, for kids who have milk allergies or lactose intolerance. Some parents believe these beverages have health benefits even for kids who can drink regular milk.

"Parents ask their child's doctor quite frequently whether alternate milk is good for their children,” says Dr Jonathon Maguire.

"And we as doctors have trouble answering that question – it depends on a lot of factors, and one of the things it depends on is whether they can maintain children's vitamin D stores as well as cow’s milk,” says Maguire, a paediatrician at St. Michaels’ Hospital in Toronto, Ontario who led the study.

Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, so it’s essential for strong bones and teeth. It’s normally produced by the body after the skin is exposed to sunlight. Manufacturers also add it to certain foods, such as milk and dairy products.

In the US and Canada, cow’s milk must be fortified with vitamin D, but there is no such requirement for non-dairy alternatives, Maguire says.

"Our findings suggest that children are about half as likely to maintain adequate vitamin D levels when drinking non-cow’s milk and it behoves us as parents to be aware that both in Canada and United States, non-cow’s milk is not legislated to contain vitamin D,” Maguire says.

For a study reported in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, Maguire and colleagues collected information on amounts and types of milk consumed by Toronto preschoolers who also had tests for vitamin D levels.

Eighty-seven percent of the children drank predominantly cow’s milk, and 13% drank non-cow’s milk.

The researchers found low vitamin D levels in 5% of children who drank only cow’s milk, compared to 11% of children who drank only the milk substitutes.

“I think on our end as physicians, children who can't drink cow's milk or parents who choose non-cow’s milk for their children need to be reminded that their vitamin D levels are probably lower than other children,” Maguire says.

Maguire also says that parents who buy non-cow’s milk need to check the labels on the backs of the products to see if they contain vitamin D.

“I think there is an assumption that if something is called ‘milk’ or looks like milk, it has the same nutritional properties as cow's milk,” says Dr Corinne Keet, who is with the Division of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. She wasn’t involved with the study.

“Clearly, this is not the case, and the various non-cow's milk ‘milks’ have very different nutritional properties, with widely varying levels of protein, fat, calories, calcium and vitamin D,” Keet says.

Keet wasn’t involved in Toronto study, but she was involved in a recent study to see whether growth patterns and dietary intake of calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients were different in kids with food allergies.

Keet’s study was published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
She had her colleagues had information from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey on 6,000 children. About 6% had food allergies, with milk being the most common trigger.

The children with cow's milk allergy were more likely to be lower weight, have lower height and a lower body mass index (a ratio of weight to height) than those without milk allergy, Keet says.

Keet says parents and doctors of children with cow's milk allergy should be attentive to the children’s nutritional status, and make particular care to ensure adequate calcium and vitamin D intake.

“I always tell parents that there is nothing magic about drinking a white liquid - just because something looks like cow's milk doesn't mean that it has any nutritional value,” she says.

Keet says that milk substitutes can vary widely in terms of protein, from rice milk and almond milks, which typically have very little protein, to things like soy milk, which has nearly as much protein as cow's milk.

In terms of vitamin D and calcium, they also vary a lot, and parents should look for fortified forms if they are using milk substitutes,” she says.

Keet says that another alternative for kids who can’t drink cow’s milk is to take a supplement with calcium and vitamin D and to eat other foods with plenty of protein and adequate fat and calories. – Reuters

Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, so it’s essential for strong bones and teeth. It’s normally produced by the body after the skin is exposed to sunlight. Manufacturers also add it to certain foods, such as milk and dairy products. - Filepic

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Pengurusan Kewangan Secara Bijak

29 Oct 2014
Masalah kewangan boleh menimpa sesiapa sahaja. Tidak kira mereka yang daripada golongan sederhana mahupun kaya. Sesiapa sahaja mempunyai risiko dibebani hutang dan dibelenggu permasalahan ini jika tidak menguruskan kewangan dengan bijak.

Menurut sumber portal Persatuan Pengguna (Fomca) pula mendedahkan lebih daripada 10 juta kad kredit yang dikeluarkan kepada rakyat Malaysia, dengan jumlah hutang RM24.4 bilion, tetapi hanya 30% daripada mereka mampu membayar balik penuh hutang kad kredit mereka pada setiap bulan. 

Mempunyai sifat berhati-hati dalam membelanjakan pendapatan bulanan amat penting. Namun, jangan sampai menjadi terlalu kedekut sehingga langsung tidak berbelanja untuk  keperluan mahupun kehendak. 

Berikut merupakan beberapa tip yang boleh dijadikan panduan dalam merancang kewangan:

  • Pastikan setiap kali menerima gaji bahagian wang hendak dijadikan simpanan disimpan dalam akaun khas.
  • Cuba elakkan dari berbelanja menggunakan kad kredit, jika masih tidak dapat mengawal diri, cuba sedaya upaya melangsaikan hutang-hutang dengan cepat dan batalkan kad anda serta merta.
  • Wujudkan pelan perbelanjaan peribadi khas yang meliputi perbelanjaan harian dan bulanan untuk  mengelakkan daripada berbelanja melebihi peruntukan yang sepatutnya.
  • Elakkan atau jangan sesekali berhutang kecuali untuk membeli keperluan utama seperti kereta dan rumah. Namun jika tidak mampu, disarankan supaya anda menangguh hasrat tersebut sehingga benar-benar mampu.
  • Jangan sesekali berbelanja melebihi pendapatan anda. Hal ini jika berterusan akan menjerat diri anda dengan hutang.
  • Mempunyai tabung khas dan duit simpanan tetap amat penting untuk digunakan diwaktu kecemasan.
  • Amalkan sikap menyenaraikan barangan yang hendak dibeli sebelum melangkah pergi ke pusat membeli-belah bagi  mengelakkan anda membazir membeli benda yang tidak sepatutnya.
  • Adalah penting bagi anda memiliki insurans yang sesuai untuk anda dan keluarga. Pastikan peruntukan yang cukup disediakan bagi tujuan ini, kerana yang pastinya malang tidak berbau.
  • Pastikan setiap kali gaji bulanan anda dibelanjakan dengan mendahulukan perkara yang meliputi keperluan. Kemudian simpan dalam simpanan tetap. Jika ada baki lebih barulah belanja untuk memenuhi kehendak anda.
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Do's and Don'ts : When Applying For a Personal Accident (PA) Takaful Plan

28 Oct 2014

Personal accident (PA) takaful is an annual plan that provides you or your beneficiaries with compensation in the event of death, disablement or injuries arising from an accident.

Do's and Don'ts:
  • Do disclose all material facts on the risks to be covered.
  • Do read the 'Important Notice' on the Proposal Form.
  • Do answer all questions fully and accurately.
  • Do complete and sign the Proposal Form yourself.

Personal Accident Takaful: What To Not Do
  • Don't leave any question in the Proposal Form unanswered.
  • Don't use ticks & dashes to answer the questions requiring full answers.
  • Don't withhold or misrepresent any material fact. Otherwise, the plan issued will be void, meaning that the claim can be repudiated.
  • Don't sign any blank forms.
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Road Fatalities Continue To Rise Alarmingly

27 Oct 2014
THERE were almost 7,000 road fatalities each year. That would amount to an average of 18 fatalities daily.
This is despite the fact that the Government has taken drastic steps to cut down the number of fatal accidents. So it highlights the severity and seriousness of death on our roads despite all the efforts
Motorcyclists account for 65% of the deaths.
The motorcycle is the cheapest and most convenient mode of transport. However sadly, motorcyclists are the most vulnerable and the most reckless on our roads.
The main cause of fatal accidents is due to head injuries caused by riders not wearing safety helmets. The fact is that 40 % of fatal motorcycle accidents involve victims between the ages of 16 and 35.
Motorcyclists in this age group wear helmets that are not properly fastened, ride dangerously weaving in and out of traffic, do not stop at traffic lights, overtake on double lines and speed recklessly.
Speeding has been and is the single main cause of fatal motorcycle accidents.
In Vietnam, there are far more motorcycles on the roads than in Malaysia, yet their fatality rate is much lower.
As a long-term solution, the Government should build more motorcycle only lanes like that found along the Federal Highway. These lanes have proven effective in reducing accidents.
As a short-term solution, attitudes and mindsets of motorcyclists have to change when riding on these machines.
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Health Benefits of Ginger: Why Ginger?

24 Oct 2014

Ginger is one of the most ancient spices in worldwide cuisine. in Asian cultures, ginger is directly used by chopping it up or using its powder in traditional dishes and in soft drinks such as coffee and tea. 

Not only is ginger known as an essence and a spice, it is known to be one of the oldest remedies known in herbal and aromatic traditional treatments, especially in China, India, and the Middle East. In China, it has been used for over 2,000 years for curing inflammation and diarrhea.

Queen Elizabeth I of England, a fan of ginger herself, was the one to invent the gingerbread man in the 16th century, and it is now loved by millions of children (and adults) around the world.

You thought that ginger was only used as a kitchen condiment and for health benefits? Think again! These are some of the health benefits to ginger:

Reduce Pain and Inflammation:  Ginger contains some of the most potent anti-inflammatory fighting substances known and is a natural powerful painkiller.

Morning Sickness and Diarrhea: Ginger is commonly used to treat various types of “stomach problems,” including motion sickness, morning sickness, colic, upset stomach, gas, diarrhea, nausea caused by cancer treatment, nausea and vomiting after surgery, as well as loss of appetite.

Bone Health: Ginger is known to boost bone health and relieve joint pain. A study was conducted by the University of Miami that recruiting several hundred patients from different backgrounds and ages, that suffered from symptoms of osteoarthritis.

Diabetes: Some doctors recommend some drinking ginger in water first thing in the morning to help regulate your glucose level.

Cold and Flu Prevention: Ginger has been used for thousands of years as a natural treatment for colds and flu around Asia. steep 2 tbsp. To treat cold and flu symptoms in adults, of freshly shredded or chopped ginger root in hot water, two to three times a day

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579 Belia Bawah 25 Tahun Muflis

23 Oct 2014

Menurut laporan akhbar Sinar Harian kadar belia berumur 25 tahun ke bawah yang diisytiharkan bankrap di negara ini semakin membimbangkan apabila sebanyak 579 individu direkodkan muflis dalam tempoh enam bulan pertama tahun ini.

Hal ini jelas membuktikan bahawa kebanyakan golongan muda di negara ini mempunyai tahap perancangan kewangan yang begitu lemah. Malah jumlah 579 individu berkenaan merupakan sebahagian daripada keseluruhan 12,381 individu yang diisytiharkan bankrap di negara ini bagi tempoh enam bulan pertama tahun ini.

Faktor utama berpunca individu berkenaan mengalami bankrap adalah disebabkan kegagalan membayar balik pinjaman kenderaan, pinjaman peribadi dan bayaran kad kredit.

Kebanyakan golongan muda yang baru sahaja mula memasuki alam pekerjaan sudah mempunyai keinginan untuk memliki kenderaan sendiri. Sedangkan setiap bulan sudah mempunyai komitmen tetap yang perlu dijelaskan seperti pinjaman pendidikan, bil-bil, duit makan, tambang ke tempat kerja.

Tidak salah jika berniat sedemikian kerana kenderaan itu sendiri sudah menjadi keperluan harian. Namun sepatutnya, mereka perlu menstabilkan tahap kewangan terlebih dahulu. Seeloknya, tunggulah sehingga mereka mampu menguruskan gaji bulanan dengan baik.

Apapun setiap individu perlu mengukur tahap kewangan sendiri sebelum membuat keputusan untuk mengikat diri dengan pelbagai komitmen.  Seperti yang kita sedia maklum hutang bank amnya memakan masa bertahun-tahun untuk dilangsaikan. 

Wang merupakan medium yang sangat penting dalam kehidupan seharian kita. Namun kita sebagai manusia juga sering kali melakukan kesilapan dalam menguruskan wang secara berhemah. Sering tertewas dengan keinginan kehendak berbanding keperluan. 

Sehinggakan ia bukan sahaja menghantui golongan berpendapatan rendah, malahan yang berpendapatan agak lumayan juga tidak dapat lari dari masalah pengurusan kewangan. Apapun berbalik pada diri sendiri bagaimana ingin merancang kewangan dengan bijak supaya tidak terbeban dengan hutang sehingga membawa ke tahap muflis.

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Two Killed, Seven Hurt In Collision In Sandakan

23 Oct 2014

SANDAKAN, Oct 22 (Bernama) -- Two were killed, seven seriously hurt while one escaped unhurt in a collision between a Proton Wira and a four-wheel-drive vehicle at the 26th Mile, Jalan Labuk, yesterday.

The two who died while being treated at the Duchess of Kent Hospital were girls, both aged about eight, who were Filipinos without self identification documents.

Sandakan District Police deputy chief Supt Fadzil Mohd Ali said the seven who were seriously hurt were five males, aged eight to 29, and two women, aged 30 and 40.

He said preliminary investigation revealed that the accident took place while the car was on its way to the 32nd Mile from Sandakan when it collided with the other vehicle which was from the other direction, at 5.45pm.

He told Bernama here today, the four-wheel-drive vehicle, driven by a 23-year-old man, was overtaking another vehicle but failed to re-enter its lane in time and collided with the car with the nine on board.

Supt Fadzil said all the victims were sent to the Duches of Kent Hospital here, while the driver of the four-wheel-drive vehicle was unhurt.

He said the youth had been taken to the police headquarters here for further investigation under Section 41 (a) of the Road Transport Act 1987.

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Personal Accident Takaful: Making a Claim?

21 Oct 2014

Personal Accident Takaful

Personal accident (PA) takaful is an annual plan that provides you or your beneficiaries with compensation in the event of death, disablement or injuries arising from an accident.

You can either participate in a PA takaful for yourself or group plan for your family. The basic cover of a PA takaful includes death and disablement arising from accidents.

The takaful operator will pay you or your nominees, subject to the terms and conditions of your PA takaful.

The claim against your insurance company will be a frustrating process if you don’t prepare the necessary materials needed, or if you are not familiar with the procedures. It is advisable to know at least the basics for death claims and injury claims.

Death Claim

To proceed with a death claim, it is important to submit the police reports and all relevant documents to the insurance company. Also, the claim form should be filled up along with the required documents (such as the death certificate in this case). It is important that the person submitting these documents do a quick assessment to avoid the claim being rejected or delayed.
  •  A police report must be made.
  • The Takaful Operator must be notified as soon as possible.
  • The claimant will be given a claim form which should be submitted together with:
> Supporting documents required by the Takaful Operator.
> Death certificate.
> Burial permit.

If there is no beneficiary nominated, the dependents of the deceased or the executor of the deceased’s estate should provide proof of dependency or letter of administration.

Injury Claim

In case of an injury that is covered under your policy, you will have to notify the insurance company and acquire the claim form. Fill in the details and attach with it the required medical reports, bills, along with other documents pertaining to your injury.

Note that time is crucial, and a lapse of time in getting your claim done may cause you hardship too. So be wary of the terms in the policy regarding the time frame and other conditions.
  • You must notify the Takaful Operator of the injury in writing within the time frame stipulated in the personal accident Takaful certificate.
  • You should submit the claim form with supporting documents:
> Medical reports.
> All certificates, information and evidence required by Takaful Operator must be supplied of the claimant in the form prescribed by the Takaful Operator.

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Bagaimana Untuk Tahu Tahap Kewangan Anda Di Paras Bahaya

20 Oct 2014
Tahap Kewangan Image Alt Tag pada blog

Hidup di zaman moden ketika ini begitu mencabar lebih-lebih lagi bagi mereka yang tinggal di bandar-bandar besar. Namun kita ingin melihat dari perspektif individu yang mempunyai tahap kehidupan dan pendapatan sederhana. 

Di mana jika golongan ini tidak mempunyai perancangan kewangan yang bijak, berkemungkinan mereka mungkin tiada simpanan bukan sahaja untuk masa depan tetapi juga diwaktu kecemasan.

Percaya atau tidak lagi banyak pendapatan yang diperolehi lagi banyak wang yang akan mengalir keluar. Sebagai contoh, jika seseorang itu memperolehi gaji sebanyak 4 ribu sebulan adakah individu tersebut hanya ingin memakai perodua myvi dan beg dibeli hanya di kedai biasa. 

Sudah tentu selera dan kehendak individu tersebut sudah berubah ke arah barangan yang lebih mewah. Jika anda sendiri meletakkan diri sendiri disituasi yang sama pasti anda juga akan bersifat sedemikian kerana anda tahu anda mampu.

Berbalik pada topik bagaimana untuk mengetahui tahap kewangan anda pada paras bahaya. Ia akan dapat diketahui apabila anda sudah mula berbelanja melebihi pendapatan setiap bulan. Di mana akhirnya anda terpaksa mengabaikan simpanan tetap yang sepatutnya disimpan setiap bulan. 

Jika perkara ini berlaku maka anda sudah mula tidak tahu untuk mengawal perbelanjaan harian. Hal ini akan mendorong anda menggunakan kad kredit kerana duit gaji sudah habis sebelum sempat tiba hujung bulan.

Tidak salah untuk individu menggunakan kad kredit namun jangan sampai anda dibelenggu hutang kerananya. Sekiranya anda seorang yang bijak mengawal diri daripada berbelanja dan tahu bagaimana mengawal perbelanjaan anda. Maka silakan untuk anda memiliki 2,3 atau 5 kad kredit. Akan tetapi jika anda tidak tahu mengawalnya, ia akan membawa anda ke paras kewangan yang bahaya.

Seumpama anda gali lubang di sini dan anda cuba tutup lubang satu lagi. Akhirnya, anda sendiri yang terbelenggu dan terbeban menanggung komitmen yang begitu banyak. Oleh yang demikian anda perlu berhati-hati jika ingin menambah komitmen atau berbelanja. Pastikan tahap kewangan anda berada ditahap yang kukuh dan pendapatan yang diperolehi mencukupi untuk menampung segala komitmen dan perbelanjaan anda. 

Ayat yang lebih mudah belanjalah mengikut kemampuan. Jangan sampai menggunakan kad kredit atau membuat pinjaman peribadi semata-mata untuk memenuhi kehendak kehidupan gaya mewah hingga mengakibatkan diri terbeban dengan hutang yang tiada penghujung. Jadi sentiasa berhati-hati dan memeriksa tahap kewangan anda adakah ia di paras bahaya atau tidak.

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Fiery End For Two Bikers In Highway Accident

20 Oct 2014

KUALA LUMPUR: A rider of a high-powered motorcycle was burnt to death, while another big biker was killed after being hit by a car in a horrific accident along the Karak Highway.
The incident occurred at around 11.20am yesterday along KM26.5 of the highway.
Selangor Fire and Rescue Department assistant director of operations Mohd Sani Harul said a fire engine and seven firemen were dispatched to the scene.
“When they arrived, they found one of the motorcycles had caught fire with the rider still pinned beneath the machine.
“The other rider was pinned under a Honda City,” he said.
He said the accident brought traffic to a near standstill, with rubberneckers slowing down to catch a glimpse of the accident.
Federal traffic police chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Mohd Fuad Abdul Latiff said the accident occurred when two motorcyclists stopped in the centre lane because a lorry was blocking the road.
“Another motorcycle then hit the two motorcyclists before catching fire, with one of the big bikers pinned under the burning machine.
“Then, another motorcycle, believed to be riding at high speed, grazed a Toyota Camry and Toyota Vios before the rider was flung off his machine and under a Honda City, which had stopped in the emergency lane to avoid the fire,” he said yesterday.
He said the rider who was pinned under the burning machine and the one who was flung under the car both died at the scene.
“The rider who was burnt to death has been identified as Zali Khalid, while the other rider has been identified as Md Nizam Hanapiah.
“The two other riders in the initial collision were sent to Selayang Hospital with severe injuries.”
He said three other cars – a Proton Exora, Perodua Myvi and Perodua Alza – were also involved in an accident while trying to avoid the initial crash.
“No one was injured in that accident,” he said.
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How Juices Cleanses Can Get Your Health Back On Track?

17 Oct 2014

1. Resting your digestive system

Juices require less of the stomach's digestive processing (churning, acid and pepsin). Remember to gently chew the juices to add oral enzymes to further ease digestion. Drinking only whole-food juices reduces the amount of input and stress on your gut and digestive system.

2. Reduce physical problem

You begin to feel generally better, not just with your energy, but with many chronic symptoms such as headaches, rashes, general aches, congested sinuses and chest, and bloating/cramping/gas.

3. Rest the liver

The liver is our main detoxifying organ. Every molecule of food that is absorbed through the intestinal wall (fiber is not absorbed) moves into the liver for detoxification and preparation before being allowed to enter the rest of the body.

4. Improve energy

Most people begin to feel much more energy and clarity (by consuming only fresh juices) than they ever did with frequent caffeine drinks.

5. Lose weight

As you are feeling better and having more energy, you also naturally lose weight. Some of this is water bloat, but also some is fat. A juice cleanse (three days minimum) is a great way to jump start a diet. 

"The truth is that nutritional deficiencies and toxicity go hand in hand. If you treat deficiencies without addressing toxicity you make little headway and likewise, if you treat toxicity without addressing deficiencies then no long-term benefit will apply". by Kathryn Alexander D.Th.D.

So, juicing will assist to break down toxins, cleanse the body, carry oxygen and nutrients directly to the cells and tissues, and allow nutrients to be better absorbed.

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Takaful Bantu Popularkan Insurans

16 Oct 2014
Beberapa tahun lalu, kadar dan jumlah pemegang polisi insurans dalam kalangan Bumiputera terutama Melayu adalah pada tahap paling rendah kerana kurangnya kesedaran tentang kepentingan insurans itu sendiri.

Namun perkembangan industri takaful, yang menawarkan insurans patuh syariah dilihat banyak memainkan peranan dalam membantu golongan Bumiputera terutama yang beragama Islam mendapatkan pelbagai jenis insurans dan perlindungan diri.

Industri takaful sudah berkembang pada 1985 lagi, berikutan keperluan umat Islam pada ketika itu untuk mempunyai alternatif kepada insurans konvensional. Bagaimanapun hari ini, keistimewaan yang ditawarkan oleh insurans takaful telah membuka minat kaum lain yang bukan Islam untuk turut membeli polisi menerusi takaful.

Peranan dalam membantu golongan Bumiputera terutama yang beragama Islam mendapatkan pelbagai jenis insurans dan perlindungan diri. Insurans takaful telah membuka minat kaum lain yang bukan Islam untuk turut membeli polisi insurans menerusi takaful. 

Kesedaran insurans dalam kalangan Bumiputera terutama Melayu adalah pada tahap paling rendah. Ini berkemungkinan mereka masih kurang pengetahuan mengenai kelebihan faedah insurans itu sendiri.  

Pengerusi Persatuan Takaful Malaysia (MTA), Zainudin Ishak berkata, jumlah pemegang polisi takaful semakin meningkat sejak empat tahun lalu, yang mana industri takaful mencatatkan peningkatan pertumbuhan tiga kali ganda dalam tempoh empat tahun iaitu dari 2010 hingga 2013.

Menurutnya, kadar penembusan takaful dalam kalangan pengguna juga semakin meningkat sejak 2012 kepada 13.1 peratus.

"Bagaimanapun, jumlah itu masih rendah berbanding kadar penembusan dalam industri insurans keseluruhan sebanyak 55.7 peratus," akuinya.

Generasi baru celik kewangan Bagaimanapun Zainuddin berkata, menurut statistik, majoriti pemegang insurans takaful adalah Bumiputera beragama Islam, yang sekali gus secara tidak langsung menyumbang kepada peningkatan industri takaful itu sendiri.

"Jika dibandingkan tahap kesedaran Bumiputera, mereka sekarang sudah celik kewangan. Kalau dulu ada duit lebih, mereka akan habiskan wang untuk keperluan lain seperti membeli telefon mahupun membaiki rumah. Sekarang, orang mula sedar kepentingan pelaburan, persaraan dan perlindungan," katanya.

Menurutnya, dengan permintaan yang semakin meningkat, jumlah syarikat pengendali insurans takaful yang mulanya hanya satu syarikat kini telah bertambah kepada 11 syarikat.

Katanya, pertambahan syarikat ini turut menyumbang kepada peningkatan kesedaran kerana strategi yang dilakukan oleh setiap syarikat untuk memberikan kesedaran kepada orang ramai.

Tahun lalu sahaja, industri takaful berjaya menjual sebanyak 602,285 polisi, menunjukkan pertumbuhan ketara.

"Tidak semua Bumiputera tidak mempunyai minat untuk membeli insurans. Namun mungkin ada yang mempunyai perancangan kewanganyang lemah atau juga mungkin kerana mereka masih tidak sedar akan keperluan memiliki insurans mahupun perlindungan," katanya.

Ramai yang tidak memiliki insurans kerana berpendapat mereka telah pun mendapat perlindungan insurans daripada syarikat masing-masing, namun kadang kala ia tidak mencukupi.

Lebih banyak kempen kesedaran perlu dibuat bagi menekankan kepentingan mendapatkan perlindungan insurans terutama dalam kalangan Bumiputera sebagai sandaran keselamatan.

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Menyimpan Hanya 10 Peratus Setiap Bulan

14 Oct 2014
Bila sebut sahaja mengenai gaji setiap bulan ramai yang mengeluh tidak cukup untuk menampung kos kehidupan yang semakin hari semakin tinggi. Hal ini kerap kali berlaku kepada graduan baru yang ingin memulakan kerjaya atau baru mula berkerja. Kadar gaji sekitar RM1,500 hingga RM3,000 sememangnya tidak mencukupi walaupun ada dikalangan mereka yang masih belum berumahtangga.

Bila memikirkan komitmen atau hutang bulanan tetap yang banyak perlu dibayar seperti rumah, kereta, bil api, air, astro dan telefon, pinjaman pendidikan, duit makan, minyak, tol, dan parking. Selepas ditolak segala komitmen atau kata nama lainnya hutang, akhirnya yang tinggal hanya suku daripada gaji. 

Persoalannya bagaimana untuk menyimpan? Adakah bekerja hanya untuk membayar hutang bulanan semata dan tidak perlu berhibur, berbelanja membeli pakaian baru sebagai terapi buat diri sendiri setelah sebulan penat bekerja. Itu masalah yang sering membelenggu golongan muda yang baru memulakan kehidupan dalam bidang pekerjaan.

Golongan ini perlu realistik dalam merancang pelan kewangan diri. Jangan hanya ingin memenuhi kehendak semata-mata hingga keperluan diabaikan. Selesaikan terlebih dahulu tuntutan keperluan kemudian jika ada baki kemudian barulah merancang untuk memenuhi kehendak yang boleh dikatakan tidak akan pernah habis akibat dorongan nafsu semata.

Malah jadikan simpanan tetap termasuk dalam komitmen keperluan setiap bulan. Jangan jadikan alasan duit gaji tidak cukup kerana anda yang merancang dan menguruskan wang tersebut bukan wang tersebut menguruskan anda. 

Cukup mulakan dengan simpan sebanyak 10% daripada gaji setiap bulan. Namun lebih elok jika disimpan dalam bank yang tidak mempunyai kad ATM kerana itu akan mendorong anda mengeluarkannya.

Sekurang-kurangnya jika berlaku perkara yang tidak diingini seperti kereta rosak, sakit, dan sebagainya. Di waktu begini kelak baru anda dapat menilai  simpanan 10% tersebut begitu berguna dikala duit gaji anda hanya cukup-cukup makan sahaja untuk menampung perbelanjaan sehingga cukup bulan.

Mempunyai perancangan kewangan yang ideal adalah sangat penting untuk masa depan anda kerana ia akan menentukan bagaimana anda akan hidup selepas bersara nanti. Dalam lingkungan tempoh di mana anda tidak lagi bekerja, tetapi hanya berbelanja setiap hari.

Bertindak dan mulakan dari sekarang. Ketepikan segala alasan baru bekerja, banyak komitmen yang perlu ditanggung hingga tiada wang mencukupi untuk menyimpan. Kini mungkin anda boleh dibantu keluarga, namun pernah atau tidak anda terfikir bagaimana jika anda tiada lagi tempat bergantung?

Anda perlu ingat, bila bersara, anda mungkin akan hidup 20 hingga 30 tahun lagi tanpa pendapatan tetap! Bolehkah anda bertahan untuk keberlangsungan hidup tanpa bekerja? Atau hanya ingin mengharap KWSP yang tak sampai dua atau tiga tahun, wang KWSP sudah habis kesemuanya.

Buat permulaan mugkin ia agak sukar untuk dilakukan dan dengan sedikit pendedahan dan ilmu tentang kewangan pasti ia bakal merubah objektif anda untuk menukar tabiat dari gemar berbelanja tanpa had kepada tabiat beringat dengan mula menyimpan. Selamat mencuba!

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Deloitte Malaysia: Budget 2015 Q&As

13 Oct 2014
KUCHING: The Budget 2015, tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Friday, promises an array of benefits, with focus on easing the financial burden of Malaysians while boosting Malaysia’s economic growth.
Deloitte Malaysia’s tax services team; executive director, real estate tax leader Tham Lih Jiun, associate director Joshua Voon, and tax manager Kane Bong, answer a few Budget 2015 tax-related questions.

Q: I heard that there is reduction in the corporate income tax. What is the reduced rate?
A: The reducedrate is 24 per cent but it will be effective from year of assessment 2016.

Q: Are there any additional tax reliefs given to individual in 2015?
A: Reliefs given on medical expenses for serious diseases, disabled child and purchase of supporting equipment for disabled child will be increased by RM1,000 to RM6,000.

Q: I live with my parents and help to pay for the housing loan instalments. I will be getting married and intend to purchase my own apartment. Am I qualified for the stamp duty exemption?
A: It will depend on the value of the property. As a first time buyer, you are qualified for the 50 per cent stamp duty exemption on instrument of transfer and loan agreement if the price of the apartment does not exceed RM400,000. The Budget 2015 announced that the threshold for value of property qualifying for the exemption be increased to RM500,000 for purchases made between January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2016.

Q: I have yet to file my Form BE for 2013. What are the potential penalties that I would be exposed to?
A: Failure to submit your Form BE before the statutory filing deadline would expose you to a fine ranging from RM200 to RM2,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or both. In addition, the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) will be allowed to impose a penalty of up to three times the amount of the tax payable if no prosecution action is taken. The Budget 2015 announced that the maximum fine will be increased from RM2,000 to RM20,000.

Q: My company may develop several pieces of land in Sarawak into industrial estates. Are there incentives introduced in the 2015 budget?
A: The Budget 2015 has introduced tax incentives for Industrial Area Management. The tax incentives are in the form of 70 or 100 per cent income tax exemption for a period of five years for private sectors to manage, maintain and upgrade industrial estates depending on the location of the industrial estates. The 100 per cent income tax exemption is only applicable to industrial estates located in less developed areas. Further clarification on “less developed areas” is needed.

Q: I am happy to hear that there is no goods and services tax (GST) on RON95 petrol, diesel and liquid petroleum gas (LPG). Does this mean that now everyone will enjoy this benefit?
A: To be specific, the retail sale of RON95 petrol, diesel and LPG which was supposed to be subject to GST will be given relief from GST. The retailers who supply the above mentioned products need not charge GST. However, the question of whether everyone will enjoy this relief remains unclear as the Budget 2015 announcement specified that such GST relief is only given to “consumers and targeted groups”. Hence, further clarification would be required on whether such GST relief is a blanket relief or only available to targeted groups.

Q: I understand that GST is not a cost of doing business for me as I can claim GST incurred on my purchases (input tax) on one hand, and charge GST on my sale (output tax) on the other hand. How would this impact my cashflow?
A: You are required to charge output tax on your sale in the taxable period when the transaction occur, and pay the tax no later than the last day of the following month, even if your customers have not made any payment. On the other hand you are able to claim the input tax when you get hold of a valid tax invoice, even if you have not made any payment for it. The input tax claim would offset the output tax you charge your customers in the same taxable period and only the net amount is payable to the Royal Malaysian Customs Department. As such careful cash flow planning is required by leveraging on credit terms from suppliers and at the same time imposing more stringent credit terms on your customers, so that you are not caught in tight cash flow position.

Q: My current turnover may or may not exceed RM500,000. Do I still need to register for GST purposes?
A: If your total taxable supplies (standard rated, zero rated and deemed supplies) for the past 12 months or future 12 months (based on reasonable estimation) exceeds RM500,000, it is mandatory for you to register for GST by December 31, 2014. Failure to register by the stipulated deadline would attract penalty for late registration not exceeding RM 20,000. However if your total taxable supply is below RM500,000, you may opt to register voluntarily but approval for voluntary registration is at the discretion of the Royal Malaysian Customs Department.

Q: If my turnover is below the RM500,000 threshold, are there any benefits if I register?
A: The benefit of being a GST registrant is that you would be able to charge GST on your sales (output tax) hence allowing you to claim the GST incurred on your purchases (input tax). On the other hand if you are not a GST-registered person, you would have to absorb the GST you incur on your purchases which will increase your cost of doing business.

Q: I am in the business of manufacturing and trading of machineries. Since all my products are standard rated supplies, I just need to charge six per cent GST on the sales and claim six per cent GST on the purchases. Why do people tell me that GST is complicated?
A: Besides your ordinary sale of goods (sale of machineries) and purchases, other business related transactions may also be subject to GST, such as:
i) Sale of business assets, scraps
ii) Providing gifts (non-monetary) to your clients/supplier (if the value of gift is more than RM500 per recipient per year)
iii) Letting of business assets for private use.
iv) Sale of goods or services to connected person at value lower than the Open Market Value
v) Reimbursements of costs from other party
Not all GST incurred on purchases qualifies for GST input tax credit. GST incurred in relation to passenger cars, club subscription fees, medical fees, family benefits etc are not eligible for GST input tax credit. It is advisable you conduct a thorough review of all your business transactions to ascertain the GST treatment.

Q: Must I issue a tax invoice using my accounting system? Is there a prescribed format which I must follow?
A: There is no specification on how a tax invoice is to be issued. However, the legislation has prescribed particulars which are required to be stated in the tax invoice.

Q: My customer advises me to raise invoice in Jan 2015 but to deliver the goods only in May 2015. As I have raised the invoice before GST is effective, I do not need to charge GST. Is this correct?
A: The transitional rules provide that any supply of goods and services from April 1, 2015 would be subject to GST notwithstanding that you have issued invoice before the appointed date. The amount stated in the invoice would be deemed inclusive of GST. This would put you in a worse position as your net income is less after taking into consideration the GST payable to Royal Malaysian Customs Department.

Q: Do I need an accounting software when preparing my GST return? What kind of software is recommended?
A: Having an accounting software to prepare your GST return should make your job easier as it improves the efficiency and accuracy in generating the necessary reports for preparation of GST returns.
Every software has its own unique features and advantages and there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ kind of software. In selecting a software, areas to be considered include transaction volume, business complexity, staff’s knowledge and price budget.

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