Thursday, July 26, 2018

Review: HappyMask Berries Garden


A look of the whole series. Such beautiful colours, don't you think so?


How it fits on my face.

The masks were surprisingly not strong-scented (good for people who don’t like artificial scents in their masks) and quite hydrating. The size is a good fit for my face. There is some texture to the masks due to the patterned surface. These masks are good for a quick hydration boost to the skin. After using, there will be a sheen of moisture on your face. The residue dries up to be a little sticky on my skin but nothing unmanageable. You may choose to wash it off, or just continue with your post-mask skincare routine i.e. serum, essence and moisturizer/night mask.

I award this product 4 stars.

Monday, July 2, 2018

How I Broke Down with A Hug

I have never been someone to express my feelings freely. People see me as confident and maybe sometimes even arrogant but the truth is, deep down I fear rejection.

I came to know this only this past Saturday.

Mom asked me to deliver some durians to my grandmother. When I saw her, I was shocked to see that she had only 3 upper front teeth left and is going to have another one of her molars removed due to pain in the roots. Time has turned her softer than before, and now she looks like an oversized bunny with permed grandma curls.

Then she asked me some Chinese words that she didn't know. She does this every time I pay a visit because (a) nobody else is willing to teach her, or (b) she never bother to ask anyone else - I'm not sure, but I do teach her every time she asks me.

Then it was time for me to go home, and I was spurting nonsense about how she should go watch TV with grandpa and shit, before finally saying, "I'm going home. Come, let me hug you before I leave."

The first hug I'd given her in my life. Normally I'm a very reserved person and it's hard for me to deactivate that mental barrier to actually hug someone on my own initiative.

Then I quickly walked away, and she suddenly said, "乖宝贝”, something she never said to me. (She calls her grandsons and younger granddaughters that but never me.)

I turned my head back and looked at her, she was smiling that cute grandma smile of hers with her 3 loose front teeth. I gave her a weak smile in return and walked out the door, making sure to lock the door behind me. Once the door is shut, tears started streaming down my face and it wouldn't stop.

I was crying the whole way back (thankfully everybody was out that night) and was still crying when I reached home. 15 minutes passed and the tears were still coming. For a while, I thought I had depression so I consulted Keith who knew a lot about this condition.

But he told me it wasn't depression, it was just love. I wasn't done crying then. It took me a good 30 minutes to calm down. 

By then I had a full-blown sinus attack and I couldn't breathe. My eyes were puffy and swollen. I had to take anti-histamine tablets to relief the symptoms.

Fast forward to the second day, I look like I just had double-eyelid surgery.

I didn't know what made me cry that day - I wasn't feeling particularly happy or sad at that moment but now that I seriously think of it, I think I felt wanted. It feels like a promise that she'd be there for me even if the whole world is against me.

And it feels good.

You see, I'm never good at socializing, although I try my best to talk to people.

I have always been left out - in primary school I wasn't in any of the girl groups, my past time was fighting with guys (yes Jared I'm talking about you) and defending myself from being bullied by my table mate (yes Soon Teck that's you), I didn't really have a best friend so when my aunt asked me who's my best friend I said books were my best friends, a response to which she laughed at and said I was a nerd.

But aren't books your best friend? After all, books are not conniving bitches who will stab you in the back and pretend they are the victims. (This is a story for another time, but you see, one of the reasons I couldn't trust anyone was that some bitch made up a lie to accuse me and my group mates of theft when I was in first grade. Imagine the mental trauma that I went through.)

So I wore this invisible armour and kept my distance from everyone except Jesselyn who always good-naturedly called me an old hag and Li Siang, whom I occasionally tutored after school while waiting for mom.

In secondary school, I was lucky to have found a good friend in Mei, who sat with me for maybe 3 years straight. I was blessed to have her. She has the heart of the ocean, always so forgiving and having so much kindness and compassion in her.

In uni, I had trouble finding a law buddy because I didn't bother to build a good rapport with the seniors until I find myself all alone, unwanted. In the end, James adopted me and suddenly I have a mini-family in law fac. [Thanks James :) It meant a lot.] I was blessed to have Win Li and Angie, and then Chiu Chee and Pei Chi, as well as Caitlin, YY, Qi En, Hao Yi, Ben, Alvin, Jun Leong (and many others), and Agnes, Sandra and Erin - these people add vibrant colours to my uni life.

Now I have to admit that I'm not the easiest person to deal with. I can be an annoying bitch sometimes (sorry Ruth and Catherine) but most of the times I'm just aloof.

With that invisible armour around me, I always pretend that I don't care, until I realized that it's just a sham. Something I devised to fool myself into thinking that I am the void.

This past Saturday, I felt a crack in that amour. I realized that I crave acceptance after all.

And that requires me to dismantle my armour.

It requires me to open myself up to emotions.

It requires me to start accepting myself for who I am.

And I'm gonna start doing just that.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

How Much Are You Worth If You Were Dead?

The Chinese don't like to talk about death. However, death is an inevitable part of life, and sometimes it may be the result of an accident. Thus, it is useful to know if your family can receive support should something bad happen to you, and how much your life is worth.

What is a fatal claim?
The name itself is explanatory. Someone (defendant) must have negligently caused the victim's death. Note that an action in tort must be commenced within 6 years of the date the cause of action (harm) arose. There are several categories under fatal claims.

1. Bereavement (Deprivation)

What? 
s7(3A) Civil Law Act - Bereavement award is a one-off payment of RM10,000 by the defendant to the family of a victim whose death was caused by negligence.

Who can claim?

  • Spouse of deceased person
  • Parent(s) of minor child who is single

The category of persons who can claim are very limited. There is no provision for a situation where a parent dies and the child survives. An estate administrator cannot claim for the benefit of the victim's estate. Note that even if the deceased is a minor, it must be specifically proven that he is not married, otherwise there will be no bereavement award (Hooi Seong v Ooi Pay Yeong [1995] 4 MLJ 670)

What if the deceased is more than 18 (considered adult) but still a student and single? Well, too bad. The parents won't be able to claim for bereavement.

So what if the deceased has more than one wife (Muslims)? 

Hazimah Bt Muda & Anor v Ab. Rahim Bin Ab. Rahman & Anor [2000] MLJU 763 held that  RM10,000 bereavement award was to be shared equitably between two wives recognized under customary law.

Mr Foo mentioned that earlier on there was a bill (subsequently retracted) that proposed to increase this amount to RM50,000 and to allow a child to claim for death of parents and vice versa. However, even if it is increased to RM50,000, is it fair to have it divided between multiple wives and children?

Who is a child? 
s7(11) CLA says a “child” includes son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter, stepson and stepdaughter. But don't forget the rule on who can claim above.

2. LOSS OF SUPPORT

Dependency is not found in CLA, but the phrase "dependency claim" is frequently utilized to describe loss of support under s7(3) CLA. 

Who is a dependent?
Since this is a "dependency" claim, the claimant must prove the financial loss that he suffers as a dependent under s7(2). 

s7(2) Every such action shall be for the benefit of the wife, husband, parent, and child, if any, of the person whose death has been so caused and shall be brought by and in the name of the executor of the person deceased.

Siblings cannot claim. Also, if a child is taken care of by his relative, and the latter passed away, the child cannot claim.

Additionally, he must be a direct beneficiary of the financial support (Chan Chin Ming & Anor v Lim Yok Eng [1994] 3 MLJ 233). Nonetheless, if the claimant can show special circumstances that display the likelihood of of dependence, he will have a stronger case (Muhamad bin Hashim v Teow Teik Chai & Anor [1996] 4 MLJ 7, which held that money given by the deceased to the appellant for family expenses implies that the appellant as a member of that family has derived some direct benefit.) 

Time Limit
s7(5) CLA - 3 years

Loss of Earnings

s7(3)(iv)(a) - if victim is over 55 years old, there shall be no award for loss of earnings.

Otherwise it will be calculated as follows:
  • Multiplicand (amount you are claiming for) x multiplier (years of purchase) = RM YYY
  • Multiplicand will be decided by the court, starting point being how much he earns:

i.                 Person who died must have been gainfully employed at the time of his death (does not matter if you have a contract/promised a job => this does not count)
ii.               Court will only look at the income of the deceased person at the time of death (court is not allowed to consider of any prospects of deceased to be increased in the future)

The current formula is as follows:
  • Below 30 years old, multiplier is 16. 
  • If 31-54 years old, 55 minus age of death, then divide by 2.
Say I earn RM1,000 nett per month (after deducting approx 20% for income tax), and I give my mom RM500 per month.

Scenario A: I die at 24! Multiplier is 16, therefore 500*12*16=RM96,000.

Scenario B: I die at 32! Multiplier is (55-32)/2=11.5, therefore 500*12*11.5=RM69,000.

However, the sums in real-life might be lesser than what is calculated above as it has often been argued by insurance company lawyers that the award should be read based on the annuity table. Even though many cases held that a straight multiplier should be used, in Takong Tabari v Government of Sarawak and others (1996) 5 MLJ 435, RM270,000 damages was reduced by 1/3 for contingencies, and unfortunately leave to appeal was refused as it was not on a point of law.

FUNERAL EXPENSES
Reasonable amount, normally around a few thousand.

INTERESTS

Interest is awarded from the date of filing of writ until date of judgment, now it's 5% p.a. Special interest (as in pre-trial award) is 4% p.a. from date of accident to trial. No interest for anything for the future.

As a conclusion, there are many inadequacies in the current law. Hopefully changes can be made to the CLA so that family members and/or close kins can be properly and adequately supported following the loss of a loved one.

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I was extremely blessed to have the chance to attend a special condensed course on Remedies organized by Puan Choong and Dr Nur Jannah. The information in this post mostly came from Mr Christopher Foo's session on accident claims but should there be any mistake(s) or error(s) in interpretation, they are solely my own. Please let me know if there are any mistakes so I can correct them. I also referred to certain online publications [Difficulties Suffered by Accident Victims by Etican Ramasamy | Dying Need to Review Bereavement by Malaysian Bar] and cases on Malayan Law Journal.