A World Of Needs And Wants

Here I am watching Confessions Of A Shopaholic on Star Movies. Cute, funny and pretty interesting. I said interesting because I dont usually watch chic flick or somewhere along the lines of soppy or girlie movies. The story revolves around a young woman named Rebecca Bloomwood (Isla Fisher) who is a shopaholic. I love the scenes where the mannequins in the dressing windows clapped their hands when she decided not to fall for temptations to buy from the stores. I also like the ending when she said that “she stopped having relationships with her credit card and that the only relationships she has right now is with someone real who doesnt reject her“. Cute lines, really, and true too.

I have never been a person who is into branded stuff except on important things. Important things differ from one person to another. I certainly would not compromise the safety on things such as electrical items, cosmetics among other things. Would I pay RM3,000 for a bag? Nope, even when I can afford it. I might as well put the RM3,000 to improve my garden for instance (gives me a piece of mind looking at pretty gardens), or a short holiday with the family (spending quality time), buy another a/c unit for the hall (it gets really humid by mid year) or adding on furniture to our home (provides comfort for the family).

Throughout the years I have learn how to differentiate between the needs and wants. Tough lessons but I think I have improved. I learnt that I will not get sick when I dont go for my bi weekly mani and pedi. Instead I would go for monthly session for a complete make over and in between the weeks I would keep a simple maintenance. That a Revlon lip colour works as well as my Estee Lauder’s though I would not compromise between the Mac eye palette to any generic brand. A pair of Charles & Keith works well for me just as a Choo’s but then I dont have a Choo as I didnt see the need in owning them. 

Grocery shopping is a another good example of a fine balancing act between the need and the want. Each week George and I would divide the shopping list of between the Giant and Green Grocers and Cold Storage. Everyday items such as detergents, cooking oil, rice or local spices would be from Giant. Plenty of good brands with reasonable pricing there. We get our perishables from Green Grocers and Cold Storage simply because there are plenty of good selection of cheese, meat, vegetables and various sauces for western menu. We also find that there are ample selection of local vegetables to keep me happy in Green Grocers as how George is happy with the selection of  salad, sauces and chocolates theres.

It is also quite easy to fall into the trap of buying things when you walk into a store. I am such a fan of pharmacy (Guardian or Watson’s), bookstores, and flea markets. Not forgetting Ikea….It is so difficult to walk away without buying anything from these places.

The trick is not to go shopping when the tummy is hungry.

Wouldnt I have a wish list to fill in with branded stuff. Of course I do! In fact it may be a long list but I think most of them revolve around household items, holidays and stuff for George, The Teenager and the furbabes. 😉 I would LOVE to have a full collection of Pickard, Royal Albert, Bopla!, Villeroy and Boch….sigh…

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Highlights of PM’s Budget 2011 speech



These are the highlights of Budget 2011:

The Govt took into consideration views from the public and private sectors, focus groups, media, 1M blog and lab sessions.

Govt expects 7% growth for Malaysia in 2010 over previous estimate of 6%.

Govt aims to achieve 6% growth in 2011, supported by private investments, expanding 10.2%, private consumption 6.3%, exports 6.7%.

Income per capita will increase 6.1% to RM28,000 while income in terms of purchasing power parity to USD16,000 (RM49,440).

Will emphasise on efforts to transform the nation into a developed plus high-income economy plus sustainable development.

With the theme “Transformation Towards a Developed and High-Income Nation”, Budget 2011 will centre on 4 key strategies.

Several PPP projects identified under the 10MP will be implemented in 2011 through private investment of RM12.5bil PPP project: Construction of highways such as the Ampang-Cheras-Pandan Elevated Highway

PPP project: Construction of a 300-megawatt Combined-Cycle Gas Power Plant in Kimanis, Sabah

PPP project: Development of International Islamic University Malaysia Teaching Hospital in Kuantan; Women and Children’s Hospital

Another PPP project identified is the Academic Medical Centre. This project involves private investment of RM2 bil

Greater KL MRT to be implemented from 2011. When completed, public transport utilisation rate is expected to rise to at least 40%

Another major project is the development of the Malaysian Rubber Board land in Sungai Buloh covering an area of 2,680 acres

A new landmark, Warisan Merdeka, is expected to be completed in 2020. It will include a 100-storey tower, the tallest in Malaysia

The Govt will implement bold measures to revitalise the domestic capital market

Efforts will be taken to strengthen Malaysia’s position as a premier Islamic capital market

The Govt will provide Entrepreneurship Enhancement Training Programme to train 500 technopreneurs and attract more angel investors

The Malaysian Technology Development Corporation will be provided a startup fund amounting to RM100mil to provide soft loans

To revitalise capital market activities, the Govt will launch a Private Pension Fund in 2011

Existing income tax relief of up to RM6,000 for employees contributions to EPF will extend to Private Pension Fund contributions

A sum of RM857 mil is allocated for local E&E companies to compete at the international level

The Govt will allocate RM146 mil to support the oil, gas and energy industry

The Govt is committed to develop green technology to ensure sustainable development

Pioneer Status, Investment Tax Allowance for energy generation from renewable sources plus energy efficiency activities extended til 31 December 2015

To further encourage ownership of hybrid cars, import duty and excise duty exemption will be extended until 31 December 2011

Tax exemption on income from trading of Certified Emission Reductions certificate to extend until year of assessment 2012.

The Govt will implement the Programme on Blending of Biofuels with Petroleum Diesel (B5 Programme) in June 2011

The Govt will allocate RM3.8bil in 2011 to increase productivity and generate higher returns in the agriculture sector

Infrastructure facilities to be allocated – RM85mil to facilitate construction of hotels and resorts in remote areas

RM3bil eco-nature resort Nexus Karambunai, Sabah, to commence 2011

To support the tourism industry, the Government will allocate RM100mil

The Govt proposes that import duty on approximately 300 goods preferred by tourists and locals, at 5% to 30%, be abolished.

In efforts to propel the palm oil and related products industry, several measures will be implemented

Measures include encouraging replanting activity to replace aged trees with high quality new clones through RM297mil

RM127mil to be allocated to support domestic oleo derivatives companies plus RM23.3m to expand downstream palm oil industries

Multimedia Development Corridor programme is allocated RM119mil. Focus is on creating an innovative digital economy

Import duty and sales tax exemption on broadband equipment are also extended for two years until 2012

The Government proposes that sales tax be exempted on all types of mobile phones

Corridor and regional development will be accelerated. The Government allocates RM850mil for infrastructure support

For Iskandar Malaysia, a sum of RM339mil is allocated.

The Northern Corridor Economic Region is allocated RM133mil.

East Coast Economic Region is allocated RM178mil for projects

For Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy, RM93mil is allocated for facilities

A sum of RM411mil is allocated in 2011 for R&D&C activities

For 2011, a sum of RM71mil is allocated for Special Innovation Unit UNIK

A sum of RM200mil is allocated to purchase creative products such as high quality locally-produced films, dramas and documentaries

The Government proposes that the rate of service tax be increased from 5% to 6%

RM29.3bil is allocated for Ministry of Education, RM10.2bil for Ministry of Higher Education and RM627mil for Ministry of Human Resource

The Govt will establish a Talent Corporation under the Prime Minister’s Office in early 2011

RM6.4bil is allocated for development expenditure to build and upgrade schools, hostels, facilities and equipment

RM213mil is allocated to reward high-performance schools

The Govt will increase pre-school enrolment rate to a targeted 72% by end-2011 through an additional 1,700 classes

The Govt will also strengthen the curriculum and appoint 800 pre-school graduate teachers

RM250mil is allocated for development expenditure to schools: religious, Chinese-type, Tamil national, missionary, Government-assisted

RM576mil is allocated in the form of scholarships for those wishing to further their studies

RM213mil is allocated to enhance proficiency in Bahasa Malaysia, strengthen the English Language

RM20mil is allocated to increase PhD qualified academic staff to 75% in research unis plus to 60% in other higher learning institutions

RM60mil is allocated to further intensify the Industrial Skill Enhancement Programme in State Skills Development Training Centres

The Govt will also allocate RM50mil to the Multimedia Development Corporation to train graduates in ICT

RM474mil is provided to enhance productivity and skills of non-graduates

The 1Malaysia Training Programme will commence in January 2011 with an allocation of RM500mil

RM200mil is allocated to conduct part-time training in the evenings and weekends in selected training centres nationwide

RM200mil from the Human Resources Development Fund to be used by companies to fund specific training programmes for their employees

The Govt will enforce basic minimum wages for security guards, to between RM500 and RM700 a month depending on location

RM30mil is allocated to introduce the Single Mother Skill Incubator Programme and the Prime Entrepreneur and Women Activist

The Govt will provide 40 1Malaysia TASKA to assist women to obtain quality childcare and early education for their children

The Govt will allow flexibility to self-determine fully-paid maternity leave, not exceeding 90 days from the current 60 days

For sports development and management, a sum of RM365mil is allocated to the Ministry of Youth and Sports

To develop football, the Govt will establish a Football Academy in Pahang with RM20mil to produce quality football players

In 2011, the Government will allocate RM1.2 bil to the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development.

The Govt will launch assistance programme to benefit 80,000 disabled individuals with an allocation of RM218mil

Government will extend tax relief of up to RM5,000 to help parents with expenses such as daycare, caretakers & other daily needs

First-time house buyers will be given stamp duty exemption of 50% on instruments of transfer on a house price not exceeding RM350,000

RM6.9bil is allocated to implement basic infrastructure such as water and electricity supply as well as rural roads

Build and upgrade rural roads in Sabah and Sarawak with an allocation of RM2.1bil and RM696mil in Peninsular Malaysia

RM974mil is allocated as price subsidy for padi, fertilisers and padi seeds. RM230mil for production incentives, increasing padi yield

Govt to establish a 1Malaysia Smart Consumer portal to help the rakyat keep abreast with price movements of retail goods.

Effective January 2011, the monthly allowance of Imam will be increased from RM450 to RM750

The monthly allowance for KAFA teachers will be increased to RM800, an increase from RM500, starting Jan 2011

RM100mil is allocated to implement various programmes, including resolving Orang Asli land rights and border settlement issues

Toll rates in four highways owned by PLUS Expressway Berhad will not be raised for the next five years, effective immediately

RM15.2bil is allocated to build new hospitals, increase the number of doctors, nurses, obtain supplies of medicines and equipment

Since 2009, 51 1Malaysia Clinics are in operation. The Government will provide an additional 25 1Malaysia Clinics

RM350mil is allocated to implement various programmes to combat crime, including burglary, motorcycle and car thefts

RM70mil is allocated for programmes with select NGOs to help Govt strengthen family institution and address social ills eg baby dumping

RM1.9bil is allocated to environmental preservation, including implementing the River of Life Programme and KL greening

To assist children, particularly the low-income to excel academically, the 1MDB will provide multi-vitamins for primary school pupils

1MDB will provide RM20mil to the 1Malaysia Youth Fund. This fund will be utilised to instil the 1Malaysia spirit

The Govt agrees to abolish the Competency Level Assessment/PTK and replace with a more suitable evaluation system by June 2011

Civil servants burden in coping with schooling expenses to be reduced by providing a Special Financial Assistance of RM500

RM212bil is allocated for Budget 2011, which is 2.8% higher than the allocation for 2010

RM45.6bil will be allocated for Development Expenditure, RM15.5bil for the social sector

Government revenue collection is estimated to increase 2.3% to RM165.8bil in 2011, up from RM162.1bil in 2010

The deficit for 2011 is expected to further decline to 5.4% of GDP, compared with 5.6% in 2010.

Source: The Star

Something Called The Previous Life



Sometime

Somewhere

There was something

Called The Previous Life

A previous life

Where certain memories began to fade

Or want to be forgotten

All the pain, heartache and the once-sweet memories

Need to be buried

To welcome new ones

That we have just started building together.

 

I love you

I love you

I love you

Always

Don’t ever forget…

Dreaming Of A Four Poster Bed

Oooooooooh! One of my favourite topics! Four poster bed! I have been thinking to get a four poster bed for ages. I just think a four poster bed looks so elegant, beautiful, romantic. 

There are so many styles to choose from. One style that I have seen came from the Straits Hotel in Melaka where George and I agreed that it. wont. go. anywhere…no matter what you do on it….

The four poster bed in The Avillion, Port Dickson evokes charm, simple and very feminine with its billowing white drapes. I love the look although I suspect the drapes will not last long, what with the furbabes climbing all over them thinking the tassles are toys to play with..

This is a typical ancient Han Chinese people’s bed. Ornate and beautiful but I think it is too intricate for my liking. Would look good in the guest room though. (see link to pix here)

This…is an awesome looking bed, dont you think? This bed is not going anywhere too….(see link to this pix here).

I think I may have found my dream bed although I suspect George may not like the idea of importing a bed all the way from UK because that is where this bed is.

This wonderful looking four poster bed comes in one of the rooms from Sun Hotel which is in Canterbury, Kent.

My New Favourite Flowers

I love fresh cuts flowers for the home.  To me fresh cut flowers lend a comfortable, homey feel. Roses, daisies and lillies have always been among the favoured flowers for the table but I have recently discovered a new favourite.

Eustoma Grandiflorum or Texas Bluebell as it is known has dark greenish waxy leaves and bell shaped flowers that comes with blue pink, white, cream and rosy pink colours. Perfect shades of colours for that elegant look.