Tuesday, March 31, 2015

My Photo Story #6: My Last Printed Memories In Singapore


Photo By: Elin Chow

On 23th March 2015, we lost one of our greatest leaders, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. Although I respected him, I did not feel grief or sorrow. I did not mourn for his death because I did not know this man personally.  But still, I thanked him from deepest of my heart for his immense contribution and hard work in building Singapore -  a country that I used to be proud to call my home. 

It was sad and disappointing that many things had changed since he stepped down in Year 1990. From good to worst. It is true that Singapore prospered to a rich and stable nation. But what followed by was social individualism, materialism and elitism. I lost my love for Singapore, eventually leading me to leave for Malaysia. 

Even so, I am still thankful that because of this man, I am given an opportunity to be educated and a safe and peaceful place to live in. Without him, there will be no Singapore. 

It has been almost a year and a half since I left Singapore. Did I regret? No, not at all. My life has been great in Malaysia so far. I am thankful for everything I have in life at the moment.

Just sharing the last few photos I have managed to capture before I left Singapore. My parents-in-law and sister-in-law specially traveled to Singapore to help my husband and I move every of our belongings to Kuala Lumpur. So, we took the opportunity to show them around Singapore, finally ending our 3 days 2 nights tour at Marina Bay Sands. These were our last printed memories in Singapore.

Be sure to follow me on Facebook or Twitter  for any latest updates on my blog. So stay tuned!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

How To Do e-Filing For Income Tax Return In Malaysia


The easiest, quickest and most hassle-free way to submit income tax return form (ITRF) is via e-filing. Normally, taxpayers can start to e-file their ITRF for previous tax assessment from 1st of March.

Below is a simple guide on how to e-file your income tax return form via the internet.


#1. Tax Reference Number

For first-time user, you may register for a Malaysian Tax reference number online via e-Dafter . Once you are on the e-Dafter page, click on Pendaftaran Individu (for individual income tax submission) > Borang Pendaftaran Online. For Company, please select Pendarftaran Syarikat instead.


Follow these 2 simple steps to complete your registration online.

1. Fill up all required field on the online registration form

2. Upload a copy of your Malaysian identification card (MyKad) or international passport together with the application.

Things to note: 

1. Only GIF Format with size ranging from 40KB to 60KB will be accepted. 

2. File name must be in alphanumeric (A-Z, 0-9)

3. Only front size showing the name and identification card number (or passport number) of the applicant is required.

Please note that e-Dafter application will automatically be cancelled if no complete document is submitted within 14 days of the application

Alternatively, you may also visit and submit your application at the nearest Inland Revenue Board Malaysia (IRBM) (also known as Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri Malaysia) branch.  Remember to bring along your Malaysian identification card (MyKad) or international passport for verification purpose.

An application number will show on the screen after you had submitted the online registration form. You may check your application status online by using the application number given after the online registration form is submitted.



In case you did not have the time to check,  you will also receive an email from e-Daftar LHDN with your tax reference number. Your tax reference number should start with "SG" followed by 11 digits at the back (Eg. SG23001234567).

#2. Request e-Filling PIN Number 

In order to use the online system, you will need a PIN number to log in for the first time. To request for an e-filling PIN number, go to ezHasil. Once you are on the ezHasil page, click on Permohonan No. PIN (Application No. PIN).


For application, you will need to fill in the following details on the online application form.

1. Malaysian identification number or international passport number

2. Your tax reference number which you have obtained previously

3. Your permanent and valid email address. Please make sure you have typed in the address correctly as you will receive your PIN number via email.

Alternatively, you may also visit and apply for a PIN number at the nearest Inland Revenue Board Malaysia (IRBM) (also known as Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri Malaysia) branch.  

Unfortunately, starting from this year, the e-Filling PIN application has to be made personally at any at any nearest Inland Revenue Board Malaysia (IRBM) (also known as Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri Malaysia) branch or via the Online Feedback Form. Application made through the Online Feedback Form must be attached with the following documents:

1. Scanned copy of Malaysian identification card or international passport 
2. Enclosed completed CP600B form to update email address if the applicant email is different from the email address that has been registered with IRBM previously.

To apply at any nearest IRBM offices, please bring along your

1. Malaysian identification card or international passport 

2. Your tax reference number that you have obtained previously

For your information, individual who has obtained their tax file using e-Dafter can also check their e-Filling PIN number using the e-Dafter application number 3 days after you get your tax file number.

However, for tax payers staying outside of Malaysia, application for e-Filling PIN can be made via the Online Feedback Form. It will take about 10 days for your application to be processed. Please apply early to avoid any delays.

For first-time user ONLY, proceed back to ezHasil page and click on Login Kali Pertama (Login First Time). This is not required for recurring user. 

You will be required to fill in the following details in that page.

1. Enter your PIN number, Malaysian identification card number or international passport number, tax reference number and name as per required.

2. Supply a password for you to login to your e-form later on.

#3. How e-File Income Tax Return Form

Proceed back to ezHasil page and enter your Malaysian identification card number or international passport number and password under the Log Masuk (Sign In) box. Once you logged in, make sure you double check your personal details displayed on the home screen before you proceed to e-file your Income Tax Return Form. After you have confirmed all the details displayed on that page are correct, click on e-Filling > e-Borang from the light blue menu located on the left of the screen.


Select the form that is applicable to you from the 7 forms displayed on the screen.

1. e-BE - For individual without business source. The due date for submission of the e-BE form is on or before 30th April every year.

2. EB - For individual with business source. The due date for submission of the EB form is on or before 30th June every year.

3. eM - For a non-resident individual without business source. The due date for submission of the e-BE form is on or before 30th April every year.

4. e-MT - For a non-resident individual with business source. The due date for submission of the e-BE form is on or before 30th June every year.

5. eP - For partnership



Fill in all the required details in the Income Tax Return Form, which is divided in 6 different sections.

1. Maklumat Individu (Personal Particulars)
2. Maklumat Isteri (Spouse Information)


3. Pendapatan Berkanun & Jumlah Pendapatan (Statutory Income & Total 
    Income) which includes income from:
   - Employment (You should be able to get this figure from the EA Form which your
      employer prepared for you)
    - Dividends
    - Rents
    - Interests, discounts, royalties, premiums, pensions, annuities, periodical payments
      and other gains or profits

4. Tuntutan Pelepasan (Deductions)

5. Tuntutan Rebat / Tolakan Cukai / Pelepasan Cukai (Tax Rebate / 
    Deductions / Relief)


 6. Rumusan Cukai (Tax Summary)

The last part of e-filing is the Tax Summary, which basically shows your total income less total relief, total chargeable income and actual tax payable for the year. 

Please check through all the details on the Tax Summary thoroughly and click on the Simpan & Teruskan (Save & Continue) button located at the bottom of the page to submit the Form. For record purpose, remember to save a copy of the submitted tax form by clicking on Simpan & Cetak e-BE.

For individuals who are required to file your personal income tax in Malaysia, you may be interested to know more about my experience on how I finally managed to get my Tax refunds for Year 2014 and 2015. I believe this post will be especially useful for non-citizens who are tax resident in Malaysia. 

Be sure to follow me on Facebook or Twitter  for any latest updates on my blog. So stay tuned!

Friday, March 20, 2015

The 7th Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2015


Photo By: Elin Chow

The Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta was back for its 7th year and thanks to my lovely colleagues for organizing, I was glad that I actually have the chance to visit and participate in the event this year.

Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

The annual Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta was held from 12th March to 15th March 2015 at Putrajaya Precinct 2, just next to Millennium Monument (also known as Monumen Alaf Baru) and near to the Putrajaya Lake (also known as Tasik Putrajaya). Be expected to see over 20 unique balloons from 13 countries taking flight and filled the skies with amazing array of colors.


The Fiesta is divided into 7 color zones, each offering different experiences.

Just strolling along the Putrajaya lake, admiring the beauty of Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque (also known as Iron Mosque). 

Covering a total of 650 hectares in size, Putrajaya lake is a man-made lake that is commonly used for various recreational activities and water sports.

MyBalloonClub

MyBalloonClub is the latest feature of the Fiesta this year, offering its members the exclusive option to break away from the crowds and enjoy the best picturesque view of the balloons flying against the sky while listening to music and dining on a gourmet buffet breakfast.

Located exactly at Monumen Alaf Baru with a private entrance, MyBalloonClub members will be entitled to admission to the Balloon Launching Field and tethered hot air balloon rides.

Giant Bubble Putrajaya

Be excited to make the biggest bubbles you had ever played with at the Giant Bubble Putrajaya stations in three different locations - Picnic Area (Pink Zone), Bazaar (Yellow Zone) and Balloon Village (Red Zone).

There were kids running everywhere, chasing and popping the giant bubbles in the air. 






Picnic Area

Not far away from the Blue Zone launching field and MyBalloonClub, we came upon the Picnic Area. This was a great venue for families and friends to gather and enjoy a relaxing picnic with a stunning view of Putrajaya Lake while watching the colorful hot air balloons float across the blue sky. Sounds wonderful? But unfortunately, it was not a great experience for us as the weather was unbearably hot to enjoy.


We managed to catch a nice view of the Putrajaya bridge too. 


Since we were not keen on the idea of sitting in the sun, we headed over to the Kids Play Area instead.

Kids Play Area

Location: Yellow Zone
Time: 8 am to 10 pm

For parents with kids, a play area has been set up where children can engage in various fun and physical activities throughout the entire day.



Go-Kart 

There was a mini Go-Kart circuit where kids were excited to race in their own cars. I wish they had an adult circuit, so that I could join in the fun too.


Inflatables

Duration: 30 minutes
Ticket price: RM 5

The colorful inflatable castles will provide kids with endless hours of bouncing fun!



Cold Inflation

Duration: 3 minutes
Ticket Price: RM 5

The Cold Inflation offers you an opportunity to walk and take a few photos inside a gigantic hot air balloon!  

Archery 

Ticket Price: RM 8 per 20 arrows

Draw your bow and test your aiming skills at the Archery booth. 


Solo Sky Rider

Ticket Price: RM 20

Or would you like to be strapped to a seat attached to dozens of white balloons and soar high up in the air? It must be a very unique experience for most people.

Food & Bazaar Area

Location: Purple Zone

Feeling extremely thirsty or hungry after a day of fun at the Fiesta? Do not worry as there were plenty of food and drinks stalls in the Food & Bazaar Area for you to grab some quick snacks and iced-cold refreshments.


I think I would faint if I am asked to stand under the scorching sun in a Panda mascot costume for hours. I really wonder how that poor guy survive in that mascot costume.

There was nothing special at the Bazaar, just a dozen of stalls selling food, drinks, clothing and various art and crafts items.


Do you have something which you want to do before you die? If yes, you have the chance to write your wish down on the "Before I die, I want to..." board located at the Bazaar Area. The board was already filled with wishes by the time we reached the area.


Getting some cold drinks from one of the stalls as the weather was just too hot. 

The one and only game stall we found at the Bazaar Area. It was actually quite disappointing. 

We also visited one of the booth to learn about the basic structure of a hot air balloon.

A quick welfie before we headed to IOI City Mall, Putrajaya for lunch and movie.

Helicopter Joy Rides

Location: Orange Zone
Time: 9 am to 1 pm & 2 pm to 4pm
Duration per ride: 5 to 7 minutes
Ticket Price: RM 150 per person

Hop on a helicopter and experience Putrajaya from a bird's eye view. Different from the previous year, this year features a brand new 6 leather seating (excluding pilot) chopper with business class interior offering a carpeted floor, large windows and air-conditioner.

For most people, I believe this will undoubtedly be an unique and unforgettable experience of a lifetime. However much we wanted to go on a helicopter, we could not bring ourselves to spend RM 150 for a 7 minutes ride. 

Instead, we just waited on an empty pavement and watched the helicopter took off with 6 other passengers, only to land in front of our eyes again after just a few minutes. 



While watching, I was glad that I have managed to capture a short video of the helicopter taking off.

Free Flying Area

Location: Blue Zone
Time: 7 am & 6 pm

The highlight of the Fiesta was the hot air balloon launching shows that happened twice daily (subjected to weather conditions). 

Since we did not managed to arrive early enough to catch the morning session, we had to wait until late afternoon to catch the evening show. At 5 pm in the evening, crowds began to gather around the launching field, shutting down all the traffic on that road.

Thousands of people waited patiently behind metal fences, excited to witness the launch of the hot air balloons.

Why not take a welfie while waiting for the show to start?

Inflating a hot air balloon is a team effort (usually 4 persons), since it can be very cumbersome on ground.

The first step is to spread the envelope out on the ground and attach it to the basket that comes with a burner.

The burner burns Propane to heat the air inside the balloon. With a fan, the hot air is blown into the envelope, bringing it into a vertical position.

After an hour of waiting, the first balloon took its flight into the sky. By that time, most of us were feeling really tired and famished, so we decided to leave early to fill our stomach up.


I have also managed to capture a short video of the balloon launching show. 

Night Glow With Fireworks

The most biggest highlight of the event was the Night Glow performances that was held on the 14th and 15th March. As the pilots ignite the burners, be amazed to see dozens of hot air balloons lighting up the dark sky with a spectacular fireworks display.

Final Thoughts

Overall, we had enjoyed our day at the Fiesta, though it was a little bit disappointing as we were unable to stay late enough to catch the Night Glow performance. For those who had missed out all the fun this year, be sure to look out for this annual event next year!

Be sure to follow me on Facebook or Twitter  for any latest updates on my blog. So stay tuned!