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Saturday, October 12, 2013

SSPN Dividend Rates

The table below is the dividend rates for Skim Simpanan Pendidikan Negara (SSPN) account. I opened an SSPN account in 2011 and the rates I have calculated are based on the dividend I received in my account statement.  That being said, please don't come asking me what were the rates before the year 2011 as I DO NOT know.

I made my calculation using simple arithmetic calculation based on the following formula. If I have the wrong formulation, please let me know and I shall correct it. I am after all not a very huge fan of numbers

Dividend Rates

To my knowledge, I have not come across the publication of the dividend rates in the SSPN or PTPTN official website. Thus I do not know if there is any difference in dividend rates based on the account balance. We do all know that most banks provide difference interest rates for different account balance and/or account types at the end of each calendar month. Does this apply to SSPN or not, I do not know this either.


YearDividend Rates
20110.83%
20122.05%

By looking at the table above, it is quite obvious that saving with SSPN is not really a good choice as at the moment most banks offer higher interest rates for school going children. In addition to that, some banks offer cash incentive for account holders who score A(s) in their standard 6 UPSR examination. The only reason I open an SSPN account for my daughter is the tax relief I get. Otherwise, I think it would be a better decision to save with a bank.

For those of you who are interested to know the subsequent years of dividend rates, you can check back this blog post next year. I will update this particular page annually. HOWEVER, please know that SSPN IS an extended arm of the government body hence their rapidity in tabulating the dividend for all members is just... typical government pace. So even though the dividend are given out on January 1 (as per statement) but the updates will not occur until March or April. In simple words, "If you want to know 2013 dividend rates, come back in April 2014 onwards, comprendre?"

Monday, September 30, 2013

Big Bad Wolf Annual S-A-L-E 2013

Big Bad Wolf Book Sale 6-15 Dec 2013
I missed out on their sale December last year because I only knew about it the last minute. And being an Apache Helicopter Mother, there is no way I would allow some random homo sapien to take care of my child. I would have been an active blogger if I could get someone to babysit for a few hours a day. But it will not happen... At least for now.

Planning to get one of those cuddly cloth books for my little one

Anyway, this year's annual mega sale is in The Mines. I am still scratching my head on how to get there. Malaysian public transport is really pathetic and Malaysian taxis are blood sucking leaches though good ones are as rare as unicorns. It just ponders me, developers seems to have not understood the meaning of public transportation. Its like the last thing in their mind!

Right: Keepsakes for the little fingers and little toes

By the way, back in April, I got really really lucky to be given a preview pass. This means I will be shopping there a day earlier (5th December 2013)! Yes, lucky me! I have to thank The Big Bad Wolf for their gracious pass. Gracias señor Black Paw! I can vouch to you that no book sale is as cheap as theirs! Another reason I support The Big Bad Wolf very much is that their presence has made other book stores constantly slash their price. Which only means without the Big Bad Wolf, we'd be paying for books at ridiculous prices all year long!

Big Bad Wolf in Penang April 2013

Now I am not sure if they are going to give out anymore passes but there is no harm stalking their Facebook page for chances to win. But even if you don't get these passes its okay; you still have 9 days of burring into every book. Well, below are the books that I've bought when the Big Bad Wolf came to Penang in April this year. I foresee that I may burn a big whole in my Fossil wristlet. By the way, did I mention that this year their sales is going to be 230 hours of non-stop sale? 

Apparently MIECC is across Serdang KTM station, you can walk

For those of you who are in Penang and wish to attend this event, I recon you consider taking a flight. A check with Air Asia for the first week of December PEN-KL (LCCT) is MYR35.50 per person while Fireflyz PEN-SBZ (Subang Airport) is MYR35.00 per person. Technically it's better than taking a bus. But then you'll face the headache of dragging your books, bags and bum between the airport and MIECC.

Big Bad Wolf Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/bbwbooks
Big Bad Wolf website - http://www.bigbadwolfbooks.com
Directions to MIECC - http://miecc.mines.com.my/aboutus_location.asp
Fireflyz website - http://www.fireflyz.com.my
Air Asia website -  http://www.airasia.com/my/en/home.page

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

TheLilacBox Perks: Crabtree & Evelyn

I am no Scrooge. I am an opportunist. ~ Waileng (Me)

There are great benefits on being TheLilacBox fan, even though you did not subscribe to their premium product filled beauty box. As for myself, I only subscribe to two boxes but get equal opportunity for conditional freebies and to join contests as any other loyal fans.

My purchase from Crabtree & Evelyn
Anyway, last August the good guys at TheLilacBox posted a surprise voucher for Crabtree & Evelyn via their Facebook page. The voucher entitles one to a sample of lotions and a bar of soap with any purchase (see what I mean with conditional freebie). Unfortunately this voucher expired on the 31st of August 2013. Yes, a big boo-hoo-hoo because it is now near end September! My apologies for this post to be publish rather late. But there is no need to fret as this Lilac Surprise (as they call it) is not a one off case; there will be many more offers like this with other premium brands. And do not discount the possibly of another Crabtree & Evelyn voucher in future. If you fancy the particular brand you see is being posted on TheLilacBox Facebook page, just print the voucher and follow the instructions for redemption. If you are not to be fond of that particular brand, no harm done.

Crabtree & Evelyn Citron Crème & Honey MYR35
Now back to voucher redemption. I have become aware that most (if not all) beauty counters in Malaysia will require you to purchase a large quantity of products (usually by the worth of hundreds if not thousands of Ringgit) before they grudgingly part some minuscule amount of samples. And because of this, I have boycott some brands as their sales staff turn out to be overzealously hard selling! It truly annoys me that these samples are intended for customers and prospective ones; yet the sales assistant horde them like Gollum and his precious little ring!

This is where vouchers like this one courtesy of TheLilacBox comes into play. It sort of becomes my Gandalf staff to dispel the Gollum syndrome. I bought a small tube of lip butter in citron crème and honey worth MYR35 and received 3 sachets of lotion and a bar of soap for free! Though I must add that the employees at Crabtree & Evelyn Queensbay Mall branch were not as Gollumish as I anticipated; they attended to me well mannered equal to the other customers before me who bought a whole lot more than I did!

Crabtree & Evelyn - the conditional freebies!
Even though this company is originally American, their products are very much inspired from across the Atlantic. Crabtree & Evelyn body lotion are all relatively mild yet every bit smelling like an English garden; unlike some brands of lotion or perfume that can be “in your face” noxious to your nostrils. Of the 3 sample lotion I received I love the smell of the Tarocco Orange body lotion in all probability due to my liking toward citrus. In addition to that, I now am inclined to add this product into my shopping list. Still I shall hold back my purse and wait for a good offer where I can get a chunk load of free samples with my intended purchase…

To learn more about TheLilacBox you can visit their website http://www.thelilacbox.com/ and follow on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/thelilacbox for more goodies

Monday, September 23, 2013

A VERY Early Christmas Present

I know it is only mid September; but there are shop up and about settings up Christmas decoration already. My Christmas present arrived late August, which may sound very early, yet so late – four years late to be exact. Confused?

Math Magic Board game my Magic Gamewerks
Way back in Christmas 2009, I blogged about Math Magic being on my Christmas wish list; a board game that looks like scrabble except the alphabets are replace with numbers. The tile is triangular quartered with numerals in each quarter. The color code on each quarter represents a mathematical operation (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division). Players are required to match color for color and the sum of the matching pieces becomes the score. Naturally, the player with the highest score is the ultimate winner. But as you can guess, I had a hard time finding this board game. Trust me when I say no departmental store OR supermarket sells this game.

Fast forward to July 2013 and in popped a notification on my blog dashboard of a comment to that particular blog post. It was from Jimmy Yeoh, the creator of the game. While I did not have the opportunity to talk to him in person, he was generous enough to give me a lengthy explanation via email. Stories on the sequence of events that led to this game going MIA. Suffice to say, I learned a lot in one email. How the departmental store industry actually works (I only had a vague, myth-filled idea previously) and the not-so-complicated network mentality of the Malay$ian Mini$try of Education.

Mathematical operations are all based on memory, but not all of us are born to be copier machines. I know of a few Mensa members and one of them (he was my classmate) told me bluntly that his success in school was merely because his ability to cramp textbooks into his brains faster and for a longer period compared to other average student like me. It’s just a nice way for him to say that I have lousy memory. Which I won’t deny as throughout my schooling days (aged 7-18) I have been to 3 different primary schools and 3 different secondary schools and TODAY I remember NONE of the school songs!
Math Magic board game by Magic Gamewerks
Honestly, I feel that this board game is a rare gem. It is very educational particularly for school going children. It is a fun way to learn math without the stress of facing your mathematics teacher giving her rendition of multiplication table sung in the tune of some wailing French opera. I reckoned that parents with home schooled children will also enjoy this board game to their daily activities.

For those of you who are interested in owning this board game, you don’t have to be like me and wait for 4 years. Jimmy finally has his own Facebook page (Magic Gamewerks) or you can contact him via email (jimagic46@yahoo.com) to purchase.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Illustrations, Pictures and the Real McCoy

Real hat, image of a hat and illustration of a hat
One of my hubby’s kin is a kindergarten teacher. At the end of every school term, she’ll give my daughter some coloring workbooks which she got free from the distributor. This person (let’s call her Madam O for now) is rather generous when it comes to my daughter. Now I don’t talk to Madam O directly, unless it’s Hobson’s choice. I’ve offended her far too many times that I’ve almost used up my entire stash of get-out-of-jail-free-cards. You see, if you irritate Madam O; she will unforgiving send you straight to jail, do not pass go, do not collect two hundred. But despite her extreme emotional hyper-sensitivity, Madam O can sometimes be nice like summer sunshine.

Now back to workbooks. Those workbooks given to my daughter are all illustrations of day to day objects. While some illustrations are pretty much straight forward, others can be quite confusing particularly for a two year old. I’ve watched numerous times how Madam O used these workbooks to teach my daughter new words. More often than not, my daughter ends up forgetting the name of the object after every two pages or so. Simply put, Madam O taught my daughter the using the conventional method of memorize and regurgitate. It was very obvious my daughter was struggling to grasp what Madam O was trying to teach her and my little baby vents her frustration with high pitch baby shriek.

If you’re wondering why I didn’t stop Madam O? Please reread paragraph one above. Madam O is an obstinate and selfish woman. Instead of offending her (yet again) with my observation, might as well share it mothers out there who would appreciate. But I won’t blame Madam O entirely as that was how she was taught in school and also how she was trained.

I’ve noticed my daughter loves hands on approach. She learns faster and remembers better. It was apparent during our trip to Perth last year at Caversham Wildlife Park where we all saw, touched and pet kangaroo and koala for the first time. Till this day, my daughter remembered how these two marsupials looked like and correctly identifies images, illustrations and even stuffed toys versions. But if we follow the current school system of teaching solely with illustration as opposed to images or real objects, I am almost certain I will end up having a very frustrated and clueless child!