Monday, April 28, 2014

I won't always be this small, mommy.

When they were babies, it was so tough with all the sleepless nights and night feeds that never seem to end. Now that they're older, I'm missing the baby bits.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Punishable Offences & Penalties: Overstaying, Breach of Pass/Permit's Conditions & Harboring Illegals

Taken from Immigration Department of Malaysia (under Enforcement)

Overstaying in Malaysia

Living in Malaysia after a pass / permit has expired or revoked.

Section 15 (1) (c) Immigration Act 1959/63 (Act 155).

Section 15 (4) of the Immigration Act 1959/63 (Act 155) provides a fine of not less than RM 10,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 5 years or both.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 April 2012 02:28 by Immigration Department of Malaysia

Violation of Conditions stipulated in the Pass/Permit

Working or Undertaking Activities That Are Contrary To the Conditions of the Issuance of a Pass or Permit. Breach of the pass, permit or border passes conditions

Rule 39 (b) Immigration Regulations 1963.

Upon conviction punishable by a fine not exceeding RM 1, 000 or imprisonment not exceeding six months or both.

Last Updated on Friday, 09 March 2012 02:13 by Immigration Department of Malaysia

Involvement As An Employer Hiring /Harbouring Illegal Immigrants In The Premises

The act of employing one or more persons other than citizens or Entry Permit holders who do not have a valid pass.

Section 55 B Immigration Act 1959/63


  • A fine of not less than RM 10,000 but not more than RM 50,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 12 months or both for each illegal immigrant under his employ. 
  • A person who employs more than 5 illegal immigrants at the same time is liable to imprisonment of not less than 6 months but not more than 5 years and is subject to whipping of not more than 6 strokes.

A person shall not knowingly harbour any person whom he knows or has reasonable grounds for supposing to have contravened the Immigration Act 1959/63.

Section 56 (1) (d) Immigration Act 1959/63


  • A fine of not less than RM 10,000 but not more than RM 50,000 is imposed on the offender who harbours an illegal immigrant. 
  • A person who harbours more than 5 illegal immigrants at the same time is liable to imprisonment of not less than 6 months but not more than 5 years and is subject to whipping of not more than 6 strokes.

Any person (occupier) who allows any illegal immigrant (PATI) to enter or stay in the premises where he has direct interest and control as a supervisor or manager.

Section 55E Immigration Act 1959/63


  • A fine of not less than RM 5,000 but not more than RM 30,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 12 months or both for each illegal immigrant. 
  • For the second offence, a fine of not less than RM 10,000 but not exceeding 2 years or both.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 April 2012 04:03 by Immigration Department of Malaysia

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

What to expect if you choose to hire illegals

A photocopy of a fake passport. Spot the mistakes?

Ever since I wrote the post on How to apply for maid's JP visa yourself, I've received tons of comments and questions asking for advice. I'm no pro in this field but I try my best to help employers (and even maids/workers) who are clueless about the system. 
From all the comments and feedback, I gather that employers are getting more desperate due to the long waiting period and the steep agency fees which come without any guarantee that the new hire is going to be acceptable (chances of getting a good maid is 1%, thus acceptable is a better word). 

I also have workers who wrote in to me regarding their employers who insisted them to foot their own cost of work permit renewals, as high as RM 3,000! There were more complaints about maids these days too, from stealing to lying and runaways.

Due to all those problems, no doubt it gives rise to bogus agents who claim to be able to do illegal stuff in a legal way with a fraction of the cost. Some employers asked me, "Sounds too good to be true?". Of course! If you don't know already, there's no free lunch in this world. And these bogus agents love to target runaway maids who need new passports or work permits as much as a desperate employer who's urgently in need of a maid.

Here's a summary of the most common services provided by bogus agents:
  • Overstay - Renewal of maid's work permit which has expired months or years ago without having to pay overstay penalty or face deportation. 
  • Transfer of maid's work permit after her contract expires without having to go back to home country and serve the cooling off period of 3 months.
  • Transfer of maid's work permit to a new employer after first year of service, and/or above 3 times. (FYI, a new maid is only allowed to do transfer in her first year of service but not more than 3 times.)
  • Renewal of maid's expired passport and issuance of a new work permit under new employer's name.
  • Issuance of new passport, complete with police report of lost passport and a new work permit under new employer's name.
  • Provide temporary maid under other employer's name to you for more than 2 weeks.
  • Free lancers (maids) who claim to have their own visa/work permits.

There you go. All the above are illegal and not do-able! So when some self proclaimed agent comes to you and offer some of the services stated above for a mere RM 5,000, run! If you're thinking twice (or trice) about trusting the bogus agent, let me highlight to you the consequences that may happen along the way.

Possible consequences (very likely to happen!):
  • Fake work permit sticker (yes, it does exist!)
  • Fake passport (also printable - see the pic above)
  • Hiring a maid who doesn't has a work permit under your name violates Rule 39(b) Immigration Regulations 1963 (Malaysia) that upon conviction is punishable by a fine of not exceeding RM 1,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 6 months, or both.
  • Maids who claim to have own work permits are illegals. They are either runaway maids or their work permits are fake. No other possibilities for sure. Harboring illegals are punishable under Section 55 B, Section 55 E and Section 56 (1)(d) of Immigration Act 1959/63 in Malaysia.
  • Agent keeps asking for more payment along the process. No refund on previous amount paid if you decide to drop the application/renewal. Therefore, you have no choice but to keep paying since your maid's passport should be in agent's hand by now.
  • Agent disappears with your maid's passport and the partial payment.
  • Getting caught by the enforcer!

The worst part is you can't lodge a police report when any of that happens because you're paying for an illegal service in the first place. So no, don't hire through black market. Illegal maids and agents don't solve your problems, they will make it worse for you.

Read on the offences and penalties for overstaying, breach of pass/permit's conditions and harboring illegals here.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Escape Hunt Bangkok: Guidelines for the Murder Mystery

If you prefer to play the Murder Mystery by your own, do not continue reading these guidelines. Here goes.....
  1. Look under the furniture. Don't leave anything unturned.
  2. Nothing is on the ceiling. Don't bother looking for clues in places which are unreachable.
  3. The belt is for wrapping around something to show the codes. That something is made out of cardboard.
  4. There are 4 pieces of domino blocks to be found in the first 2 rooms. It gives the clue to one of the books.
  5. One of the book's page contains important information. Look through that page properly for subsequent clue.
  6. There are 3 rooms in this game before you find all clues.
  7. The 2 telephones holds vital clues. One of the clues is in the phone.
  8. The small torchlight is essential. Find the batteries!
  9. Some clues appear in the dark. Use the torch on the wall.
  10. There are many codes to be found. The codes are to open the numbered padlocks.
  11. The murderer will be found in the last room.
  12. Know your world map well. It's the key to open the brief case that contain the key to your freedom.
All the best, players!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Escape Hunt in Bangkok, Thailand

During our weekend getaway in Bangkok, Thailand, dear hubby suggested we try out this live escape game called Escape Hunt. If you're into the popular online Escape Room games, you're sure to enjoy this.
Escape Hunt is very much similar to the online Escape Room games where players have to find clues and solve the mysteries before finding their way out. In Escape Hunt Bangkok, there are 3 types of game scenarios to choose from, namely The Murder Mystery, The Robbery and The Bangkok Bomb. The latter is not contained within a locked room and players have to find the clues within the building.
Since dear hubby and I dislike running around looking for clues, we chose The Murder Mystery. We managed to escape the locked room within 58.1 minutes. A close shave indeed!
The Murder Mystery storyline involves a famous Thai lady who was murdered years ago but the murderer was never found. Obviously our task is to find out the murderer and clues to escape the looked room where the Thai lady was murdered.
Each game duration is 1 hour, with a minimum of 2 players. Each player pays 900 THB but price is cheaper with more players. If player is stuck, he may request for clues, with each clue costing him 1 minute being deducted from the 1 hour play time. No bags, mobile phones and cameras are allowed in the room so I couldn't snap any photos during the game. Nevertheless, it was a very fun game and I highly recommend it.
Currently, Escape Hunt has 9 outlets around the globe. The 10th outlet is targeted to open in Singapore next month. Yay! We are definitely going to try out the Singapore outlet when it opens.
*Note: I'm not going to spoil the game by stating the clues locations. Guidelines stated are just to prep players.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Nivea In-Shower Extra Whitening Skin Conditioner

Big yay!
Look what I found during my Bangkok trip? The new Nivea In-Shower Skin Conditioner with extra whitening power! No SPF though! The unforgiving hot sun has moulded me into a skin-whitening beauty junkie. Anything that has extra whitening power and SPF in it attracts me like magnets.
Earlier this year, I wrote a review on Nivea skin conditioner and I wished it has the whitening with SPF variation. When I spotted it in Boots, Bangkok, I quickly grabbed a few bottles without hesitance. Selling for 1050 THB each, it's way cheaper than the ones sold in Singapore.
However, after trying it out, I was actually quite disappointed. The unpleasant slippery feeling and stickiness after towel-drying remain similar to the variation for normal-skin that I've purchased earlier this year. The scent is indifferent as well, except that this one has Camu Camu for skin whitening effects and the one for normal-skin contains Sea Minerals.
Since whitening power need consistent usage to see result, I cannot write how effective the product is, for now. My skin is definitely smoother, but not softer. Like hair conditioners, it sort of 'coat' the skin with a layer of moisture for long lasting smoothness. Although it should have come with SPF for extra points, I am just as happy to have it for I-am-too-lazy-for-lotion days.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The wonders of peeling gels

Peeling gel exfoliators are becoming a hit in Asia, especially in Taiwan, China, Korea and Japan. I am one big time user of peeling gels. It is better than conventional granular face scrub, if you ask me.
Peeling gel is not similar to chemical peel. It is a type of cellulose gel that 'scrub away' corneous layer (dead skin) accumulated on the top layer of the skin. It has proven to be effective, at least to me. This post is a personal comparison reviews between 4 brands of peeling gels that I have been using over a period of 1 year.
The brands are:
1. Cure Natural Aqua Gel (Japan)
2. Gowoonsesang Brightening Peeling Gel (Korea)
3. Coreana Premium Peeling Magic (Korea) - brand name changed to Lavida on newer packaging.
4. Ginvera Nutri White Marvel Gel (Singapore)
Which peeling gel is most effective for me? The winner is Cure Natural Aqua Gel!
In spite of the fact that each one of them states it should be used once or twice a week, I'm using the peeling gel every alternate days.
Cure is the mildest of all. So I can actually use it every night to thoroughly removes traces of make up. It is unscented and preservative-free too.
For whitening or brightening purposes, Gowoonsesang is the best. My skin was instantly brighten but it can be too drying to be used every alternate days. Thus, I am using it once a week in place of Cure. For best results, use on towel-dry skin despite the instruction says it should be used on damp skin.
Ginvera is the most affordable of all four but I dislike the gel scent. However, it does the job pretty well, I say. It leaves the skin feeling squeaky clean.
At the bottom of the list is Coreana/Lavida. The gel texture turns watery once I gently scrub it on my skin but the cellulose residues seem to stick onto my fine facial hair when I'm done scrubbing. Rinsing off the gel takes a lil' more effort too.