March 28, 2011

12 years in the legal industry

On 10th March 2011, I took my whole office (or those who were present that day in the office) to lunch to celebrate another personal milestone. We had lunch at Itallianies in Empire Gallery Mall, at Subang Jaya.

I managed to stay within the legal industry, going into my 12th year as a lawyer and I think this will be the profession I am willing to be known when I die. Oh, yes, I don't think there is a point of retiring. I want to have an obituary which reads - Khairul Anuar : Lawyer.

Journey is still long. I will always sign off my personal email with : Lawyer, Author, Blogger. If ever I add more titles at the back, where I will rattle off what I am known as, not some titles awarded by others, I will still want the first title to be there.

Staying in one industry as people/friends I know fall off due to opting out or due to some disciplinary issues, I am proud to be associated with a legal firm and with a long-standing business partner whom I have known for nearly 20 years. We still have big plans for our medium-sized legal firm and I hope we will still partners in the next 20 or 30 years. And I also hope all the staff I have on my payroll now will make it with me too.

Here is some pictures of the celebration and as I have hoped since 3 years ago when I started this lunch treat, this will not be the last :

March 22, 2011

Pelaburan Hartanah Untuk Dekad Yang Baru

On 2nd April 2011, I am going to be on the panel of Azizi Ali's seminar, yet again, for the fourth time. If the other seminars were presented in English, Azizi seems to change his audience to concentrate on those fluent in Malay for this time around. The other seminars were all conducted in English and entitled : Property Investment for the New Decade. I will be answering any questions regarding the sale and purchase of a property in Malaysia which of course relate to my book : Ask The Lawyer

You can get the detail of the seminar on 2nd April through this link : Millionaire Planet seminar

Here is a bit about who is Azizi Ali :


Azizi merupakan penulis, penceramah dan jurulatih kewangan #1 Malaysia. Beliau telah menulis lebih daripada 30 buah buku terlaris mengenai kewangan seperti Jutawan dari Planet Jupiter, Winning at Property Auctions dan Bagaimana Hendak Menjadi Tuan Rumah Jutawan. Beliau juga telah memberikan ceramah di seluruh Malaysia mengenai perihal kewangan. Beliau juga merupakan kolumnis bagi Malaysian Business, Personal Money dan

Selain menulis, memberi ceramah dan menguruskan perniagaannya, beliau turut menjana portfolio hartanah yang bernilai lebih RM5 juta. Beliau memiliki hartanah di Damansara, Bangsar, Subang Jaya, Kelana Jaya dan USJ.
Azizi ialah seorang Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) dan turut memegang MBA dari University of Bath, UK.

March 17, 2011

My First Home Scheme breakdown : Choose your first property carefully

A few days ago, on 8th March 2011, after announcing it in Bajet 2011 in October 2010, Malaysia's Prime Minister, Dato' Seri Najib Tun Razak finally announced the mechanism for the First Home Scheme (Skim Rumah Pertama) in Malaysia. Malaysia is not the first country to have a First Home Scheme as a few other countries like Australia also has the same scheme for its citizen.

A few days, there was an announcement from the Housing and Local Government Minister, Datuk Chor Chee Heung, that they will amend the Housing Development (Control & Licensing) Act 1966 to ensure housing developer will be more accountable. This was said during the launch of SP Setia Berhad's smartphone application. According to the news report, which you can read here, he was to have said first time buyer to not be too choosy when buying their first property. That seems to be a contradiction from his first statement.

As announced by the Prime Minister, let us look at the breakdown on how does one get to be a part of this scheme :

1) You must be below 35 years old and never own a house before;

2) Your household income (combined income if you are married) must not exceed RM3,000.00;

3) You don't need to come up with the ten percent down-payment of the house which you want to purchase. This 10% will be guaranteed by Cagamas Berhad;

4) The price for the property must be below RM220,000.00. Some news report has put the amount to be between the price of RM100,000.00 and RM220,000.00;

5) Currently, a stamp duty discount of 50% is already being enjoyed through a stamp duty exemption given on any instrument of transfer and loan agreement instruments for houses priced not more than RM350,000.00. This means that the exemption of 50% will also be enjoyed by those who do not participate in the First Home Scheme. The exemption is given under Stamp Duty (Remission) (No. 3) Order 2010. The Valuation and Property Services Department has set the mechanism for one to get the exemption, they must give an undertaking through a statutory declaration which specifically said they have bought a property costing not more than RM350,000.00. This 50% discount applies for any Sale & Purchase Agreement executed between 1st January 2011 and 31 December 2012;

6) All the matters regarding the application to get the 100% loan (including the 10% downpayment for the property guaranteed by Cagamas Berhad) is handled by the few banks which has been appointed by the government as the financiers for the First Home Scheme. Some of the banks are Alliance Bank, Standard Chartered As-Saadiq, CIMB Islamic Bank, AmBank Berhad and Maybank Berhad. These banks should have a product which relates to the First Home Scheme;

The mechanism for buying a property under this First Home Scheme is stated below :

1) Go look for the property and pay a booking fee to a housing developer of your choice. Make sure you choose a reputable developer if you are buying it from a housing developer and if you are buying it from another individual, make sure you have check thoroughly the property;

2) Inform the vendor that you are going to apply for the First Home Scheme;

3) Choose the bank which participate in the First Home Scheme and apply for the loan. You must proof to the bank of your eligibility to apply under the scheme. Supply them with your proof of income and information about the property you are buying;
4) When your loan have been approved, appoint a lawyer to handle the transactions with regard to your Sale & Purchase Agreement and loan agreements which will prepare all the undertakings for the First Home Scheme;

5) Monitor the progress of your property and your loan (including the repayment)

Basically, this news is good for the young working adult in the whole country but you will be hard-pressed to find any house at the price of below of RM220,000-00 within the city areas. It may even be a way for the government to move the concentration of people populating city centers. However, this will only bring another question : When will the issue of connectivity be resolved? Here's hoping to the MRT project is one of the answer.

March 14, 2011

Social Media ROI

A few days ago, I braved the traffic in Kuala Lumpur city center to go to Kuala Lumpur City Center or better known as KLCC to go hear two American talked about Social Media ROI. It was hosted by Social Media Club KL or better known as #SMCKL. A commendable effort by a few individuals whom I am not sure why or what is in it for them to host these events but that event was the 12th event held by them since it was first held. I only miss one of the event. In KL that is. As they now have a Penang chapter, which they have held twice.

Microsoft rep giving us an overview of their new offerings
As I had suspected the topic is not really relevant to my industry, which has everything to do with legal. Having websites, social media connections like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and such can help a legal firm gain recognition without having to resort to advertising which is totally banned in Malaysia. We are only allowed to exist and find some creative way to market ourselves. What most legal firms do is meet up with our intended targets which we hope will be our clients, present them with our company profiles and hope for the best. With the advancement of social media, this is not the case anymore (for some).

Selling book as they give an overview

I have been using social media as a form of marketing since 2008. Starting with this blog, I then created a Facebook page which I then follow up with a Twitter existence. LinkedIn is another place I elevate my existence as a professional. It was a good existence as I have thousands of people following me on Twitter and become friends on Facebook. However, as social media is new in 2009, I didn't managed to get any return on my hours of investment I spent on all those social media. Then, mobile telecommunication like my Blackberry made it easier to respond to queries and comment on matters of interest.
In 2010, as I join various groups at meeting or some popular known as Tweetups if it is done through Twitter, I become more well-known as a lawyer. With my books being in circulation and as I add another Facebook page for it, the circle of people who know me become wider. Eventually, I have so many clients from social media. I can say that my ROI for social media has increased to nearly 10% since I start. As a medium-sized legal firm, with no website (I hate maintaining it, though I know it's importance), I consider that as a good return on investment.

So, if you are interested, here are the links for my Facebook pages, Twitter handle and LinkedIn profile :

Twitter Profile : @kruel74
Khairul, Suhaila & Hazlina Facebook page : Khairul, Suhaila & Hazlina 
Ask The Lawyer Facebook page (My books) : Ask The Lawyer
LinkedIn Profile : LinkedIn Profile
Custom Search