Trick or treat? We have all heard about ingenious offers given by credit card companies offering zero annual fees to free hotel room stays to free gifts and even cash advance. It looks as if these companies are paying you to use their Visa Credit Card or Mastercard. What’s the catch, if there’s one? How does the credit card company make tonnes of money annually with all these freebies?
A Small Gift Is A Small Price To Pay
Credit card companies are smart. They want you to use their card because even if you pay in full at the end of every month, they still get their commission from merchants wherever you use the card. So, they are never at the losing end even if they offer you a free night’s stay in a nice hotel. Recently, one credit card company offered a free night’s stay in Genting just for signing up. It is common knowledge that this free night stay only costs about RM50 to RM80 thereabouts. Assuming you use the credit card for one year averaging RM500 per month and assuming the merchant commission is 2%, the credit card company makes RM120 gross on commissions alone just because you use the card.
Hook You Long Term
Not only do they want you to use their card, they want you on the long term. Incentives like interest free payments for expensive purchases are but one of the tactics employed to make credit card holders use their card for at least 12 months or more. Some interest free payments even extend up to 36 months. The longer you use the card, the more likely you are to spend and the higher their chances of racking in the merchant commission. If I am not wrong, the credit card company also earns commission from the merchants who participate in interest free payments. Read more
The ruling party in Malaysia, the Barisan National coalition is now back in the public’s scrutiny especially with the recent report that the Prime Minister of Malaysia himself having directed the BackBenchers to lodge police reports against a member of Parliament from the opposition party, Karpal Singh for allegedly uttering seditious remarks. Not only was one police report lodged but a few and they appear to come in an apparent well coordinated wave.
The New Straits Times reported “The Bukit Gelugor MP had said in Parliament on Monday that state governments had the right to move civil servants without consulting heads of state. He had also said that state governments should not feel intimidated by the rulers as they were not answerable in matters concerning civil administration“. So, Karpal says that state government matters (administrative matters such as transferring or termination of service) are under the purview of the state government and not the Rulers.
That, is a legal opinion which may be disputed, depending on how you interpret the state constitution and administrative laws. It may not be different from the statement made by the Prime Minister of Malaysia on 24th March, 2008 that it is unconstitutional to appoint anyone but Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh as Terengganu Mentri Besar (as nominated by him) following the General Elections in reference to Kijal assemblyman Datuk Ahmad Said receiving his letter of appointment as the new Mentri Besar from Regency Advisory Council (MPPR) chief Tengku Sri Panglima Raja Tengku Baderulzaman. In Terengganu, the Regency Advisory Council rejected the PM’s nomination of Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh in favour of Datuk Ahmad Said. Following from that, the Prime Minister was of the opinion that the appointment is unconstitutional.
So, what is the difference between an opinion made by Karpal Singh on the ruler’s power and the Prime Minister’s opinion on the Regency Advisory Council’s powers? I, for one, don’t see the difference. Both questioned the powers of the rulers. In both instances, police reports were lodged against the parties who had questioned the powers of the rulers. In both instances, there were peaceful protests by those who were unhappy with the opinions made which seemed to question the ruler’s powers. In as far as the Terengganu episode is concerned, no further action has been taken by the police todate notwithstanding the Prime Minister’s opinion which was carried out on the front page of national newspapers. Read more