Missing car maintenance details can cost you more than it should. Here’s how you can easily book and keep track of your car service online.

With the long-drawn MCO and daily grind, the days blur from one week to another and makes it easy for many car owners to miss important maintenance schedules. It does not matter whether your car is still under warranty or not. Skipping the replacement or servicing of parts of a car is hazardous to your safety as well as heavy on your wallet.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of things that could go wrong without timely car maintenance: 

1. Shortened engine lifespan

The engine oil and filter should be replaced regularly if you want your car to operate properly. These items help to protect your engine and extend the vehicle’s life. Dirty filter and engine oil will damage components of an engine over time.

2. Transmission oil problems

The importance of changing the transmission oil according to schedule cannot be stressed enough. In fact, it is even more critical for automatic transmissions. The transmission fluid keeps your car’s gearbox cool and moving smoothly. However, this fluid becomes dirty after a certain number of miles or months. 

Not replacing it and the transmission filter accordingly can cause the gearbox to become clogged. Over time, this can result in massive repair costs or total damage. Besides that, it is critical to check the transmission box for leakages as well. A leak leads to poor acceleration, delayed responses, and gear slippage. 

3. Emissions system releases harmful gasses

Most modern vehicles have a computerized engine that controls your car’s emissions. Sensors monitor the exhaust and pollutants released by the engine. This system should be inspected once a year to keep you, your passengers, and the planet safe from harmful gasses. A neglected system also causes poor fuel consumption which then increases your monthly petrol expense. 

4. Accidents due to tires

Tires that are not serviced will wear unevenly. This causes your car to have poor grip and risk spinning. Badly worn tires also affect vehicle performance and gas mileage. A mechanic is trained to see whether your tires need rotating or changing. 

5. Timing belt snapping

Some car owners make the mistake of not changing the timing belt after 60,000 km. Although it may still appear to be in good condition, it is advisable to replace it as the consequence from the belt snapping is far more pricey. If a timing belt snaps while the engine is running, the engine may end up with broken valves, damaged pistons, or totally destroyed cylinder head. You may end up needing a total overhaul of the engine. 

6. Brake failure

The clutch plate and brake fluid should be checked by the mechanic during service. Brake fluid should be replaced every 60,000 km. The clutch plate may need to be repaired or replaced over time too. Both of these are essential for safe driving.

What can SERV do for you?

With SERV, you’ll be able to service your car in a timely, safe, and stress-free manner. SERV is an all-in-1 mobile application with all the possible car-related services and more!

1. Find the nearest and most reliable workshop

The app allows you to keep track of all your car maintenance details. Whenever you need to service your car, just choose the best workshop from the many registered merchants on SERV. The app is extremely useful as you can view the workshop’s facilities and user ratings. 

2. Book and pay online

Simply book an appointment with your chosen workshop using SERV. The app practically makes the entire process contactless throughout the service. After receiving a quotation, scan the QR code and the workshop will start working on your car. Then, pay the workshop via the SERV app. Online payment keeps you safe from handling cash or documents, and the risk of withdrawing large sums of money at ATMs.

For a limited time only, enjoy RM15 cashback for your Touch ‘n Go eWallet as well for every minimum spend of RM150 using TnG via the SERV app! The promotion period will be valid up until 31 December 2021.      

3. Get appointment reminders

Book your next car servicing appointment via the app. Select your preferred workshops on the Drive-In list tab, then choose your preferred time and date. SERV gives you a reminder so that you don’t miss the appointment.

4. Earn more rewards

The Loyalty Programme allows users who consistently request for our maintenance services to stand a chance to get rewarded with mysterious gifts from SERV workshops. There are also constant workshop promotions which you can avail of (T&C applies).

5. Store essential information on your car

Very often, the mechanic will ask for certain data about your car in order to service it properly. This includes the car model, year of manufacture, engine, and other specifications, and chassis number. Having this information at your fingertips is especially useful for those who may find it hard to remember such technical details.

6. Enjoy all-round ancillary services

Get road assistance service for breakdowns, accidents, battery replacements, as well as insurance and road tax renewals. Track your car maintenance status with ease via the SERV app.  

Download the SERV app today to enjoy all the reliable car services at your fingertips. Available on Google Play and Apple App Store.

ASEAN BAC Malaysia Consultation Meeting: Malaysia should leverage China’s expertise in cutting edge technology and find ways to intensify cooperation

The ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) Malaysia held a consultation meeting last Friday with the China-ASEAN Business Council (CABC), The Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) and Malaysia-China Friendship Association (PPMC). to discuss Malaysia’s efforts in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) from China and its business communities.

China has been Malaysia’s largest trading partner for 12 consecutive years, with Malaysia being China’s second-largest trading partner in ASEAN and bilateral trade totalling US$131.16 billion in 2020.

1. RCEP to elevate bilateral trade, investment, and cooperation

Both countries are also parties to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a free trade agreement among 15 Asia Pacific nations that collectively account for 30% of global GDP.

“We are convinced that the RCEP’s ratification will become an important pillar of global economic recovery in the post-epidemic era,” said CABC Secretary-General Ms Jennifer Liu.

As such, the CABC urged enterprises from both countries to jointly seize the opportunities brought about by the RCEP, particularly in the areas of industrial and talent development, as well as in initiatives to accelerate digital commerce.

The Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) President Dato‘ Low Kian Chuan concurred, saying that bilateral trade and investment between the countries is expected to scale to greater heights not only due to the enlarged market share within each country but also in other RCEP markets.

“Through better trade and services liberalisation, Malaysian companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) must rise to the occasion and make the most of opportunities as they present themselves despite the challenges that they may come with,” said Dato’ Low.

2. Malaysia and China can benefit from a mutual interest in high-value industries

Beyond digitalisation, the panellists also highlighted the many possible areas for collaboration higher up the value chain.

Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) Deputy CEO (Investment Promotion & Facilitation) Mr Sivasuriyamoorthy Sundara Raja said that the country particularly welcomes collaboration and investment in high-value sectors. This, he said, would include service sectors such as information and communications technology, data analytics, design and development.

InvestKL’s Director of Investor Relations (Asia) Mr Mah Chun Wai echoed this sentiment, saying “China’s 14th Five Year Plan paves the way for Malaysia and China to mutually benefit from its aligned vision for next-generation industries and high-value activities driven by technology and innovation.”

ASEAN-BAC Malaysia Chairman Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Munir Majid agreed, adding that Malaysia should not only look to the west alone for new technologies but also to others closer to home such as China.

“Malaysia should work with China to set up a robotics institute given the latter’s great advancements in the field and find ways to leverage China’s expertise in cutting edge technologies to build its sustainable economy, especially in the areas of renewable energy and electric vehicles,’ proposed Tan Sri Munir.

3. Malaysia-China ties stronger than ever but there is still room for improvement

According to data from the Chinese embassy, China has been the Malaysian manufacturing sector’s largest source of foreign investment for four consecutive years, as well as Malaysia’s third-largest source of foreign tourists for eight consecutive years.

“This trend will continue for many years to come,” says Malaysia-China Friendship Association (PPMC) Vice President Mr Zulkifly Hj Zakaria, who also raised the possibility of creating a travel bubble for fully vaccinated individuals between Chinese cities and Malaysia to help with the recovery of both countries’ tourism industries in addition to exploring more opportunities within the Belt and Road Initiative.

ASEAN-BAC Malaysia Council Member Tan Sri Yong Poh Kon, for his part, congratulated China on the recent announcement of their application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) free trade agreement of which Malaysia is a signatory.

Tan Sri Yong added that ASEAN-BAC is also keen to elevate its engagement with China’s business community to gather ideas and policy recommendations that it can then share with ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) during the ASEAN-BAC’s bi-annual meetings with them.

ASEAN-BAC Malaysia Council Member Mr Raja Singham, for his part, stressed that greater engagement with China’s business associations was also needed since Chinese companies were not aware of the various trade, investment, and business incentives offered by the Malaysian government.

CARI ASEAN Research and Advocacy Executive Director Ms Jukhee Hong concurred, saying that ASEAN-BAC Malaysia could work with the CABC to actively engage in the ASEAN consultation process.

ASEAN BAC Malaysia Consultation Meeting: Malaysia remains an attractive investment destination but political stability needed for economic growth and investment

The ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) Malaysia held a consultation meeting last Friday with business associations representing US businesses to discuss Malaysia’s efforts in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) from the United States and its business communities.

“Malaysia has long been and continues to be a key trading partner with the United States. U.S. companies consistently rank among the largest employers in states like Penang and most U.S. company subsidiaries are managed by Malaysians and employ over 90% Malaysian employees.

In the manufacturing sector, the United States is second only to Japan in investments, at nearly US$25 billion, including from high-tech companies such as Intel, First Solar, and Hewlett Packard.

The continuation of a strong and collaborative relationship between the United States and Malaysia and the enhancement of policy consultative mechanisms will strengthen the business climate enabling Malaysia to continue to attract U.S. economic and commercial activity,” said Ambassador of the United States of America to Malaysia His Excellency Brian D. McFeeters.

1. Malaysia remains an attractive investment destination for US companies but more public-private dialogues needed

“Investment intentions remain healthy and foreign investors’ confidence in Malaysia remains high,” according to Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) Deputy CEO (Investment Promotion & Facilitation) Mr Sivasuriyamoorthy Sundara Raja.

Malaysia is the fourth-largest economy in ASEAN, strategically positioned in the heart of Southeast Asia where it is well serviced by all primary air and shipping lines. The country was ranked the second most competitive country in ASEAN in the IMD’s World Competitiveness Yearbook 2021.[1]

“Malaysia has made impressive achievements amidst these challenging times, as seen by its over 200% increase in FDI inflows in the first half of 2021. American businesses are encouraged by this positive growth and we hope that Malaysia will continue establishing a conducive business ecosystem with robust and resilient supply chains to spur more investments, jobs and economic opportunities,” said US-ASEAN Business Council (USABC) Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director Ambassador Michael W. Michalak.

A conducive business ecosystem, he added, would include continuous public-private consultations to ensure that businesses are involved in the crafting of policies that would affect them, in addition to ratifying key trade agreements that Malaysia has signed such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

2. Political stability is the first step towards economic growth and recovery

The need for political stability, continuous dialogues between the public and private sector, and ratification of trade agreements such as the CPTPP were common threads echoed by panellists throughout the consultation.

“We are as concerned as foreign businesses are with the dysfunction in government caused by domestic political turmoil on top of the unprecedented crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said ASEAN-BAC Malaysia Chairman Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Munir Majid.

“We make business representations, even express personal views. But Malaysia’s attractiveness for foreign investment remains and can be enhanced. We hope that with the new government and understanding with the opposition there will be a much-needed respite for the country to get down to business for economic benefit,” he stressed.

ASEAN-BAC Malaysia Council Member Tan Sri Yong Poh Kon concurred, adding that the ratification of the CPTPP could serve as an anchor and catalyst for change since its provisions would impose a wide range of standards that both the public and private sector would need to comply with.

3. Malaysia needs to be decisive to attract value-added investments in priority sectors

Malaysia has established itself as an attractive cost-competitive investment location in the region and it is fast becoming a preferred centre for shared services and technology industries. The country was ranked the fifth top performer globally in terms of digital legal framework readiness in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2020.[2]

“Malaysia remains an important destination for American investment, but headwinds present challenges. Malaysia needs to be decisive to attract value-added investments in priority sectors when U.S. businesses re-evaluate regional investment. This includes sustainability issues on the environment and labour, and the implementation of laws promoting digital services and trade,” said American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) CEO Ms Siobhan Das Bachran.

In supporting this view, ASEAN-BAC Malaysia Council Member Mr Raja Singham opined that the country would need a stronger digital workforce if it wants to grow its digital industries.

He added that the Malaysian workforce is talented and can flourish if given the right environment, platform, and training — but this would require input from employers on where the gaps and demand for skills are.

“As a leading investment destination guided by future-proof policies and economic transformation initiatives, Malaysia continues to attract multinationals and fast-growing companies seeking a broad reach into Asia. Greater Kuala Lumpur is home to a growing number of world-renowned U.S. companies and we continue to welcome future-forward companies driven by next-generation industries to realize their vision here,” said InvestKL Corporation’s Director of Investor Relations (Americas) Ms Vivian Sia.

CARI ASEAN Research & Advocacy Executive Director Ms Jukhee Hong, for her part, stressed that there is a need for more policy dialogues to reinforce the voice of the private sector.

(From top left): Mr. Raja Singham, Council member of ASEAN-BAC Malaysia; His Excellency Brian D. McFeeters,
Ambassador of of the United States of America to Malaysia; Ms. Siobhan Das Bachran, Executive Director of American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM)
(Second Row left): Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Munir Majid, Chairman of ASEAN-BAC Malaysia; Mr. Sivasuriyamoorthy Sundara Raja, Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Investment Promotion & Facilitation) of Malaysian Investment
Development Authority (MIDA); Ms. Vivian Sia, Director, Investor Relations -Americas of InvestKL Corporation
(Last Row Left): Tan Sri Yong Poh Kon, Council Member of ASEAN-BAC Malaysia; His Excellency Ambassador Michael W. Michalak, Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director of US-ASEAN Business Council
(USABC); Ms. Jukhee Hong, Executive Director of CARI ASEAN Research and Advocacy

[1] https://www.mpc.gov.my/malaysia-competitiveness-performance/

[2] https://www.weforum.org/reports/the-global-competitiveness-report-2020/in-full/infographics-14b60f7c60

Top 5 Most Essential Insurance Coverage

Think you don’t need insurance? Think again.

The biggest benefit of having Insurance is that it provides you with a financial safety net in the event of any unexpected incidents in your life, so that you and your family can worry less and live more. Now which Insurance should you get? Here are the 5 most essential insurance coverage, even for those on a tight budget!

1. Medical Insurance – A MUST for Everyone

Government hospitals are currently busy dealing with Covid-19, so if you need major medical treatment, you need to use private hospitals. But private hospitals are very expensive. That’s why medical insurance is a must for everyone in your family, including your children. Do you know that you can insure them from 15 days old?

Even if you were stricken with cancer, most medical plans will pay for hospitalisation, surgery and chemotherapy. You do not need a separate critical illness plan to pay for your cancer medical and hospitalisation expenses.

2. Life Insurance – If You Have Dependents

The pandemic has taught us to prepare for the unexpected. If you have dependents who rely on you for financial support, like your spouse, children or retired parents – you need life insurance.

If you die unexpectedly, life insurance will make a lump sum payment to your dependants. A RM1 million life insurance policy is common and can be bought for less than RM200 per month for a 35 year old person with a clean bill of health.

If you’re single without dependents, e.g. your parents do not depend on you for financial support, there’s no need to get life insurance. And you do not need to insure the lives of your young children because you do not depend on them.

3. Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) Insurance – Usually Comes with Life Insurance

TPD places you and your family in a worse financial situation than if you died, not only would your family have lost a source of income (you!), but you will need funds for your treatment, support and sustenance.

A lump sum payment would be given if you suffer total and permanent disability. TPD insurance is usually packaged together with life insurance. If you strictly do not need life insurance but would still like TPD coverage, consider buying life insurance with TPD packaged together.

4. Critical Illness (CI) Insurance – Consider in your mid-30s (or earlier, if your family has a medical history of chronic illnesses)

Critical illness insurance is to replace your lost income as you’re recovering from a CI, or pay for experimental therapy not covered by your medical plan, and usually paid in lump sum upon diagnosis of covered CI. Your medical insurance plan would cover your hospitalisation and treatment costs, but not your loss of income.

Critical illness would include stroke, cancer, heart-attack, etc. The CIs that are covered depends on the plan offered, there are more than 40 types. And Fi Life focuses on the 4 most frequent CIs – Cancer, Stroke, Heart Attack, and Heart Bypass.

Generally, you should consider CI insurance when you’re in your mid-thirties. But if your family has a history of cancer or other CIs, best to get one as soon as possible.

5. Personal Accident (PA) Insurance – Consider if You’re An Active Sports or Outdoor Person

A medical plan covers your hospitalisation and major surgery costs, a personal accident insurance covers costs like treatment of injury from accidents that doesn’t need hospitalisation e.g. wounds that require stitches from a clinic, or a sprain that requires physiotherapy.

Consider a PA if you are prone to injuries from sports or outdoor lifestyle, for your accident-prone children or frail parents, or if you commute to work on a motorbike.

Visit www.fi.life/medical to see the medical insurance packages that best suit your circumstances and budget.


The most essential of all insurance policies is a medical card. From now until 31st December 2021, buy a Fi Life medical plan underwritten by AXA-Affin General Insurance Bhd, and get an additional Personal Accident insurance with RM150,000 coverage for free! Click here for more information: GET MEDICAL CARD + FREE PA

Lalamove empowers SMEs in Klang Valley, Penang, Johor Bahru with zero commission, pay-per-delivery trial pack

On-demand deliveries can help take small businesses to the next level. – Picture from Unsplash

*This article is brought to you by Lalamove

Are you a business owner? Are you looking for ways to deliver your products to customers more efficiently during the pandemic? Are you looking to boost up your business’ operation efficiency for a seamless supply chain but aren’t sure where to begin?

It might be worth considering an on-demand delivery service that can help simplify your business’ daily logistics needs.

With the growth of many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) hampered by Covid-19, to have an efficient and hassle-free on-demand delivery service is important to help day-to-day operations run smoothly.

Ultimately, it all comes down to providing efficient delivery service to increase returning customers so entrepreneurs can focus on their business strategy to build sustainable growth.

Faster deliveries means your products can reach customers quickly. – Picture courtesy of Lalamove

Lalamove has been equipping Malaysian SMEs with faster and affordable deliveries through a host of multiple vehicle options. 

It only takes seconds to find a van, bike or truck for your goods, whether big or small, to reach customers quickly. 

Brands looking to get ahead of the pack will be happy to know that Lalamove has an average of eight seconds driver matching time, making the last mile delivery service provider the fastest in the business.

Its pay-per-delivery system also gives freedom to its users, especially SMEs, from fixed logistics costs and long term commitment on logistics solutions. 

Whether you run a home bakery or need to transport bulky items like furniture and manufacturing goods, this is the right delivery platform for you that is customisable according to your business needs.

You can even deliver bulky items like furniture using Lalamove. – Picture from Unsplash

Every month, more than 1.5 million deliveries are made by Lalamove to over 250,000 SME customers and regular customers in Klang Valley, Penang and Johor Bahru.

Large enterprises and start-ups are also fans of this user-friendly delivery platform.

If you’re new to Lalamove and have been wanting to test out their faster on-demand delivery service, you can take advantage of the platform’s delivery trial pack worth RM150 that is catered for SMEs. 

The trial pack is part of Lalamove’s initiative in empowering local SMEs. 

“We understand that for our SME clients, every cent counts,” said Lalamove managing director Jane Teh.

“Our delivery platform is designed to provide full flexibility for SMEs to scale their deliveries according to their needs and budget. 

“With the launch of this SME trial pack, we can further support our SME clients who are new to the platform to adopt our delivery solutions at a discounted rate.”

Lalamove’s business account is suitable for all types of businesses. – Picture from Unsplash

To experience Lalamove’s faster delivery solution and trial pack, all SMEs need to do is sign up for a business account with Lalamove.

It’s free to sign up and is suitable for all types of businesses and industries.

Lalamove is also equipped with API (application programming interface) support to integrate with your website or e-commerce platform and there’s even a dedicated account manager plus prioritised customer service support.

SMEs owners can first  enjoy a total of RM30 delivery discounts with the coupon code “LALAMSME”.

They can then consider topping-up their Lalamove wallet to enjoy additional delivery discount coupon packs that are worth RM120. 

The trial pack, only available to SMEs, is currently limited to first 1,000 redemption and expires on 30 Sept 2021.

Lalamove has fleets across the Klang Valley, Penang and Johor Bahru. – Picture courtesy of Lalamove

Lalamove’s flexible and scalable delivery model allows it to support all types of businesses, either to improve customers experience through faster goods delivery services or to provide backend support for business to boost operation efficiency during peak seasons. 

Available in the Klang Valley, Penang and Johor Bahru, find out how Lalamove can help your business thrive by signing up for a Lalamove Business Account here.

*Terms and conditions apply.

High Quality Print On Demand (POD) & Prepress – Color Separation Services in Klang Valley

Founded in 1992, Perdana Grafik Sdn Bhd has achieved many milestones in the printing industry and even became the first in Malaysia to use the Digital Store Front (DSF) system in providing pre-press and digital printing services. Perdana Grafik’s skilled and experienced team members are known to provide high-quality printing with maximum efficiency and productivity in the industry too. From business cards to buntings, customized labels to bard cover book bindings, you name it, they have it. Some of their other well-known services include the pre-press colour separation service and print on demand (POD).

Print On Demand (POD)

The new generation of printing technology, Print On Demand (POD) is a convenient and affordable process that allows you to print in singular or small quantities that was not achievable when there was only traditional printing technology such as letterpress. So if you are planning to have your self-published book printed only after you receive orders, Perdana Grafik’s POD service is absolutely perfect for you as it saves you time and money from mass printing.

Pre-Press Colour Separation Service

Perdana Grafik’s Pre-Press Colour Separation Service sees their expert team members review and prepare digital files for printing. This technology works by separating the colours of the images into cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK). From there, every single colour is applied separately in layers until an infinite variety of colours are created to bring out the best of your submitted photo or poster. By using the Pre-Press Colour Separation Service, your prints will have impeccable outcomes with true to life colours. This service is great for those looking into printing portraits, books about fine art, photobooks, and any other materials that require high quality printing and colour balance.

One-Stop Printing Location

With various printing services, it is no wonder why Perdana Grafik is known to be a one-stop station for printing almost anything. If you are starting up your food business or shop, you would be glad to know that your business cards, vouchers, packaging stickers, banners, buntings, flyers, and food menu can all be accomplished under one roof. Here are some of the services provided by Perdana Grafik:

  • Colour Separation
  • Colour Retouching / Colour Adjustment
  • Digital Colour Proofing
  • Digital File Composition
  • Online Ad Submission Through AOT / EADS
  • Digital Printing Print On Demand
    • Brochure / Flyer / Name Card
    • Die-Cut Label Sticker / Hardcover Coffee Table Book
    • Photobook / Personalized Calendar
  • Offset and Inkjet Printing
  • Finishing:
    • Staple Bind/Perfect Bind/Wire’ O Bind/Screw Bind
    • Hot Lamination
    • Cold Lamination (Gloss/Matt)
    • Hard Cover/Soft Cover
    • Die-Cut

Flexi Printing to Meet Your Needs

Not only is Perdana Grafik known to produce high quality prints and provide numerous printing services, they are also known for their quick turnaround time and deliveries to anywhere in the Klang Valley. To ensure that you can make your Print on Demand (POD) orders immediately, Perdana Grafik archives your files, designs, and artworks safely so that you would not need to forward your files every single time. They also have custom designing services for those who do not have a designer to come up with printing collateral too.

Perdana Grafik’s printing services are very important to the community as we start to open our doors to welcome businesses, students, employees, and more. Businesses have changed and might need a new set of name cards, teachers will need to print test papers for the remaining school days, bosses planning to send out 2022 calendars to suppliers, and online sellers need customized stickers to seal their packages. Without realizing, we are still making use of prints no matter how much we talk about digitization and the advancement of technology.

If you are in need of printing services with Perdana Grafik, contact them at 03-7880 7811 / 016-2192680 or drop by their office at Perdana Grafik Sdn Bhd, Block A, No. 1-1, Zenith Corp Park, Jalan SS7/26, Kelana Jaya, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Spearheading Thailand’s Drive for Economic Diversity

Nestled within the centre of the Indochinese Peninsula lies one of Southeast Asia’s most powerful economies, a melting pot and convergence point where diversity is warmly embraced with opportunities. Often been earmarked as one of the success developments stories of the region, Thailand represents an orgy of mind-bending numbers when it comes to sustained economic growth. 

With sustained economic development over the past decades amidst economic recessions, admirable poverty reduction rates and gains along multiple dimensions of welfare; the Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) of Thailand has embarked on the new phase of their mission to position Thailand’s trade competitiveness across the region by disseminating its economic stronghold to its neighbouring countries. With DITP at the helm, Thai entrepreneurs will be able to expand their market while promoting sustainable value creation for Thai products and services delivered internationally.

DITP’s Outreach Efforts

An integral part of DITP’s advocacy efforts to market their Thai products was to directly include their Malaysian counterparts in their outreach plans. Another thriving economy experiencing a paradigm shift in digitalization and economic growth, Malaysia represents a quintessentially untapped market for DITP to focus their outreach efforts on.

With the ravaging effects of the Covid-19 pandemic decimating the global economy and curtailing the possibilities of physical trade, DITP embarked on a different approach by harnessing the prowess of social media to convey their message to their target audience

Featured Videos

In order to promote their distinct lineage of unique and carefully handpicked products to their target audience, DITP harnessed the potential of social media by enlisting the services of Key Opinion Leaders (KOL) to create a series of engaging videos to captivate their audience. In this campaign, which is named Thailand Future Trends Showcase, each video will have a runtime of up to 2 minutes, with the main objective being to enlighten the Malaysian people and business owners regarding the appeal of native Thai products.

The following are products that DITP have channeled their outreach resources and efforts in:

  1.  Eco-friendly Packaging

With the world being devastated by one setback after another, it makes complete sense that sustainability should be an utmost area of concern, and it’s only fitting that DITP gets the ball rolling with Superbee’s line of eco-friendly packaging. 

Featuring an impressive array of eco-friendly packaging ranging from their beeswax wraps to their bio-degradable containers, Superbee certainly provides some food for thought when it comes to sourcing for a sustainable alternative to the conventional and much maligned plastic packaging. At a time when the usage of packaging is in ascendancy, DITP is certainly leading by example by building this harmonious rapport with Superbee.

DITP video of Superbee’s eco packaging products showcased the charismatic Melissa Tan, who allures audiences by touching on the sentiments of being eco-conscious as well as her interpersonal relations with the Thai communities. 

  1. Live Plants and Soil

In line with their efforts to promote conservationism with eco-friendly packaging, DITP’s next showcase in their flagship line of promoted products is Coco’s unique take on peat and soil. Coco employs a robust and unique method of incorporating the very best of ingredients into the basic building foundation for every plant-based lifeform.

Enlisting the help of Jane Lee, a budding entrepreneur who runs a business curating and nurturing indoor plants, the video manages to interlink the importance of good soil and how it translates to the flourishment of indoor based plants. Coco’s uniquely conceived peat and soil mixtures contains all the nutrients that an indoor plant will need, and it certainly bodes well with Jane herself.

  1. Plant Based Meat

DITP’s next feature video is a unique take on proteins uniquely curated from the essence of plants and vegetables. At a time when our personal health is of paramount importance, it is greatly acknowledged that incorporating and leaning towards a plant-based diet will reap greater long-term benefits for your body – a point that was agreed upon in unison by Mei Ling, Kya Abdul and Ryan.

While all three of them have different backgrounds – with Mei Ling being a lifetime vegetarian and business owner, Kya being a certified personal trainer and Ryan being a wellness coach, they all share a similar common trait – being advocates of a plant-based diet. 

A general misconception is that proteins must be from harvested from animals for it to taste good, a claim that was directly refuted by all three talents as they were full of praises about these plant-based meats, ranging from Mantra’s shrimp balls and bacon to Morefood’s take on using mushrooms as the base for the proteins. 

  1. Dried Fruits

“If there is one thing that Malaysians can’t live without, its snacks. We love a good nibble and munch whenever we are seated on the couch enjoying our favourite television shows, or simply at our desk getting some work done.” 

These were facts agreed upon unanimously by Anna, Haneda and Za, as they featured in DITP’s video emphasized on the wonderful delicacies that Thailand has to offer in the form of dried fruits as snacks. 

While seemingly sharing similar traits when it comes to their food preferences, all three featured talents also shared a similar fondness of the Thai culture as well.

Ranging from the 100% fresh dried strawberries and mangos from Nana fruits to the dehydrated cherry tomatoes and roselle herbal tea on offer from Beefruits; these dried fruit snacks will certainly keep your jaws busy!

  1. Home Decorations

DITP’s final feature video showcased Hui Wen, an interior decorator with an acquired taste when it comes to the fine arts of interior design. Being an avid fan of natural and organic materials when plying her trade, it comes as no surprise that Hui Wen was in awe with the functional art pieces that Thailand has to offer.

Be it the specially crafted wooden products from V.S.T Woods impressive lineage of affordable selection, to Prempracha’s uniquely designed Thai artisan ceramics, and finally to Sapparot’s unique take on “Sustainable Décor” made from pineapple fibre –  Hui Wen found herself visualizing her next project taking shape with a touch ofThai essence.

“Combine all of them, and you will definitely get a unique fusion and blend of what Thailand has to offer when it comes to home decoration. For me, I feel like a kid in a huge candy store!”

The crippling effects of the global pandemic certainly did not hinder DITP’s effort in bringing Thai products to the Malaysian market and people. While we bask in the fruits of their labour, DITP will continue to strive and achieve their vision to position Thailand as the leading trade powerhouse in Asia by 2027.

For more information regarding how to import products from Thailand, feel free to contact DITP via their website.

Fix Your Skin And Hair Problems With Dr. KO

The respondents’ skin and hair concerns based on the poll results

With all that is going on around us, it is easy to become stressed out. Being stuck at home for the past couple of months has not made things any better either. In fact, a poll carried out by Dr. Ko Skin Specialist through Newswav has shown that the stress of staying home may have prompted several skin and hair issues. Of the 5,500 votes collected in the poll, 67% mentioned that they have skin or hair problems. Of this, 33.9% cited skin problems such as allergies, eczema, and psoriasis. The next largest group of 26.2% noticed hair loss.

In the medical world, stress has been proven to be one of the leading causes of various skin and hair problems. One might think the solution is simple: just reduce or remove that stress. Let us face it – that is easier said than done! Some problems such as alopecia areata, eczema, or psoriasis are related to inflammatory reactions which can be triggered by stress. The root of these problems is in-built and once they are triggered, proper treatments are needed to address them. When these skin or hair problems arise, they add to the existing level of stress and worsen the condition. This leads to a never-ending vicious cycle that continues to fuel the skin or hair problem.  

Solutions for skin allergies & skin diseases

A broad range of conditions can affect the skin, leading to a number of common skin diseases. Common skin diseases affecting Malaysians include skin allergies, eczema, psoriasis, and skin infection. Skin diseases can either be acute, a short-term problem, or a chronic long-term condition. People suffering from skin issues are not only affected physically but also mentally. Patients with chronic skin problems are more prone to depression, low self-confidence, and reduced productivity.

Skin diseases such as psoriasis and eczema are chronic immune-related conditions characterised by skin inflammation. These are chronic skin illnesses that require specialised long-term management. As such, they are best treated by a skin specialist or doctor specialising in skin illnesses. Dr. Ko Skin Specialist has extensive experience and complete modalities for addressing such skin problems. For the past 25 years, Dr. Ko Skin Specialist has been helping to treat allergy-related skin problems. 

As each individual is unique, the treatment varies from one patient to another. Treatment at Dr. Ko Skin Specialist is tailor-made to each individual so that it can work the best according to that individual’s physical condition and medical history.

Solutions for abnormal hair loss

Hair shedding is a normal progression. Shedding up to 100 strands of hair a day is generally considered acceptable. But if it exceeds this number, it is considered abnormal. Abnormal hair loss could result in bald patches or general thinning. Aside from the scalp, balding can occasionally occur on other hair-bearing areas such as the eyebrows, moustache, or beard.

The most common abnormal hair loss problem is Androgenetic Alopecia followed by Alopecia Areata. Androgenetic Alopecia is also known as patterned hair loss that can affect both men and women. Aside from stress, factors contributing to this condition are genetics, increasing age, and excessive androgen (male hormone).

Alopecia Areata is a condition where hair loss occurs in patches. Occasionally, diffused or total hair loss may occur. This can extend beyond the scalp to the eyebrows, beard, and other parts of the body. Severe Alopecia Areata causes complete balding (Alopecia Totalis). The cause of Alopecia Areata is believed to be related to autoimmunity. This means that the body’s immune cells recognise their own hair follicles as being foreign and attack them, thus causing hair to fall out.

Dr. Ko Skin Specialist has personalised treatment plans to address all forms of Androgenetic Alopecia and Alopecia Areata. Besides these two most commonly seen hair loss conditions which we have discussed, there are many other hair loss conditions that can lead to distressed balding. At Dr. Ko Skin Specialist, personalised treatment regimes are provided, catering to different hair loss problems. Never again let hair loss and balding take charge and ruin your confidence.

Other treatments by Dr. Ko Skin Specialist Centre

Aside from the skin and hair problems mentioned above, Dr. Ko Skin Specialist also treats a wide range of other skin-related ailments including acne, pigmentation, wrinkle, and aging-related skin issues. Treatments related to cosmetic surgery, aesthetic services, and orthopaedic services are also provided.

For more information, visit www.koskinspecialist.com or send an email to [email protected]. To make an appointment, Whatsapp/call 0111 922 9228 or fill in the BOOK NOW form on their website.

A Secure & Convenient Way Of Paying for Studies Abroad with Visa

In 2019, the Ministry of Higher Education data showed that over 70,000 Malaysian students were studying abroad in the UK, Ireland, Taiwan, Australia, Egypt, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Japan. With the exposure of different cities and cultures through the media these days, the number of students hoping to study overseas are increasing, with their intention to immerse themselves in new environments and make new acquaintances. While safety is a concern for most parents, the other matter that usually comes with studying abroad is the constant fluctuation of exchange rates, which affects the tuition fees payment and expenses.

Introducing Visa Multicurrency Cards for Secure & Convenient Payments

The Visa Multicurrency Card has plenty of benefits for parents and their children who are pursuing an education overseas. Parents can now monitor and manage foreign currencies with Visa’s competitive exchange rates and make payments in their preferred currencies. Aside from having a secured network to make sure all your information and transactions are protected, Visa is accepted at over 71 million merchant locations around the world, allowing you to enjoy rewards and privileges whenever you use your Visa cards.

Switch Currencies Anywhere, Anytime with One Account

The best part of having a Visa Multicurrency Card is that you get to buy, save, transfer, and spend in multiple currencies regardless of where you are. You can make transactions for education fees effortlessly using your preferred currency with no extra charges. For selected Visa Multicurrency Cards, you may enjoy attractive interest rates in your account balance for certain foreign currencies. You’ll also have access to competitive real-time exchange rates where you can top up your account anytime with Visa 24/7 Online or Mobile Banking.

Shop & Travel without Worries

If your child is taking up courses that require the purchasing of materials for their projects or travelling to places of interest for research, the Visa Multicurrency Card comes in handy at times like these. Whether it is paying online or offline, Visa cards allow the usage in local currencies without conversion fees and there’s no additional charges for ATM withdrawals. As Visa cards have a wide acceptance by millions of merchants across the world, you can pay for tuition fees, hostel rents, online courses, and shop for groceries and daily needs seamlessly.

Secure Payments for Peace of Mind

While your deposits are protected by PIDM, Visa too has multi-layered protection when it comes to making transactions. If you are paying with your Visa card online, you will go through a process known as ‘Verified by Visa’, where this password-protected authentication system will confirm the identity of the cardholder. This will prevent your information from being stolen and will grant you a peace of mind when making your transactions.

Get Your Visa Card Now

Getting your exclusive Visa card is easy and convenient via Merchantrade, or through the HSBC and RHB banksmulticurrency accounts. Even though BigPay card does not fall under the multicurrency account category, it still offers some of the best exchange rates and there’s no charge on foreign exchange fees when making cross-border payments. All of these avenues have their very own mobile apps that will allow you to manage, categorise, keep track of your balances, and receive instant notifications whenever you make a payment. Aside from having a user-friendly interface for seamless navigation, they are also equipped with a security system that protects all your in-app information. 

With Visa Multicurrency Debit and Prepaid Cards, you can support your children’s dreams by making secure and convenient transactions for their course fees and living expenditures at competitive rates. By allowing your child to have a Visa debit card during their studies, it will not only turn out to be useful during emergencies, but also allow them to learn how they can manage their finances properly. Parents on the other hand, will find it easy to track and make transactions through the app without extra charges.Start planning your children’s education at colleges and universities abroad with Visa Multicurrency Cards today. Visit www.visa.com.my to begin your journey.

We Love You Box to unbox love and gratitude from the Rakyat for the medical frontliners of Malaysia

Because “the human spirit is stronger than a virus”

People of Malaysia from all walks of life, NGOs, Corporate Malaysia, SMEs, solopreneurs as well as media networks unite through We Love You Box, a collaborative initiative, to send love in the form of care packages and message dedications appreciating medical frontliners.

Yuinny Soong had just left advertising to start her own agency, CNTRD Studio when she felt convicted by the plight of our medical frontliners just as our nation saw escalating record-high cases surpassing 20,000 cases a day. Very quickly, she started gathering like-minded people to join her on this cause and ran a survey and one-on-one talks with hospital directors to understand their needs. Soon enough, We Love You Box was formed as a repository for the public to send in their messages of love and contributions. 

Yuinny said of her objectives of creating We Love You Box: “I have had the honour to speak to medical officers; my heart reaches out to all of you at the frontlines. I hope that We Love You Box will motivate you, and help you find the light wherever you are. We are here for you; please know that you are not alone.”

We Love You Box aims to raise at least RM640,000 for 10 medical and quarantine centres around the country reaching out to more than 10,000 healthcare workers dealing with Covid-19 patients by this year-end. The first phase of the deployment will be made to Hospital Sungai Buloh, Hospital Kuala Lumpur and MAEPS in September. 

CEO of AMV+ and former CEO of The Star Media Group, Andreas Vogiatzakis aptly put the cause in perspective, “Our medical frontliners need us now more than ever to stand behind them. Whilst we fill their bellies, what about their mind and soul? After all, the human spirit is stronger than a virus.”

Andreas, who recently authored “Courage at the Crossroads” will be dedicating RM10 from each copy of his book purchase to We Love You Box. To contribute, visit amvplus.com and order your book via IHUB using coupon code WLYB.

Other personalities and thought leaders who have also joined the We Love You Box cause include Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, Dr. Hartini Zainudin, Raymond Goh, Sazzy Falak, Jaclyn Victor, Elvira Arul, Altimet, Douglas Lim, Dr. Jason Leong, Azura Zainal, Brandon Ho, film and TV producer Lina Tan, Celebrity Photographer Kid Chan, and last but not least, Director of Hospital Sungai Buloh Dr. Kuldip Kaur. 

Hundreds of messages have been collected since the initiative started just a couple of weeks ago. Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir hailed our medical frontliners as true heroes in her heartfelt note: “What can we say to our frontliners except thank you for your service, for your sacrifices, for your dedication. You’re our true heroes, women and men, and we are forever grateful. Sending lots of love, Marina.”

CEO of Signature Market, Edwin Wang thoughtfully wrote, “I am constantly in awe of our frontliners doing their part in keeping Malaysia safe. I would like to send a virtual hug and all my love and appreciation to everyone. I know it has not been easy but I am very grateful for your dedication in protecting our community so a big thank you to all of you.” 

Nathaniel Tan of Projek Bangsa Malaysia, the NGO behind the heart-wrenching video highlighting the cries of our medical frontliners that led to the formation of We Love You Box, has this to say, “You have served Malaysia more than anyone else, all these years, throughout Covid. You have sacrificed more than anyone else. We will never be able to give as much as you have, but we hope we can serve you in some small little way. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”

Messages that are collected will be curated and displayed on www.weloveyoubox.com as well as We Love You Box Telegram. Medical frontliners are invited to visit the website or join the Telegram channel to receive motivational doses of love and gratitude from around the nation – the man on the street, influencers, celebrities and industry captains alike. They can also tune in to any of their favourite Astro Radio’s 11 channels to listen to the message and song dedications made to them as part of Astro Radio KamiCare programme.

The We Love You Box collective comprises NGOs such as Sedunia, Projek Bangsa Malaysia, Kembara Kitchen, Caremongers Malaysia, Raleigh Kuala Lumpur, pitchIN, Reachout Malaysia, Persatuan Kebangsaan Pelajar Islam Malaysia and Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM) in addition to the core We Love You Box team of 12 volunteers from the advertising and marketing field, among others.

Sponsors so far include Signature Market, SUNSTAR Foods and Bergamot. Anyone can sponsor a We Love You Box care package budgeted at RM64 per medical frontliner in which they will receive energy and immunity boosters, protective gears as well as personalised mementos.

Join the We Love You Box movement by taking part in their pledge via their Facebook or Instagram. Support our medical frontliners today by sending a message of gratitude and making a donation via www.weloveyoubox.com. 100% of all proceeds will be channeled towards funding the care packs for medical frontliners. For collaborations or corporate sponsorships, kindly email us at [email protected].

About We Love You Box

We Love You was created with the purpose of providing motivation and support to our medical frontliners. It is a collaborative initiative rallying the people of Malaysia and change makers to Corporate Malaysia to honour, encourage and give strength to them national heroes to push through these extremely difficult times. We Love you Box aims to raise a minimum of RM640,000, whereby 100% of all proceeds will be channeled towards funding and distributing the care packages to the medical frontliners by the end of 2021. The We Love You Box website, www.weloveyoubox.com serves as a repository for anyone to submit their message of gratitude and make a donation via its funding-raising partner, Sedunia (Epic Society).