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TheWall: Almost half of Malaysian wage earners in debt spiral – The Edge Markets MY

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Liew: Financial literacy plays an essential role in everyone’s life. Yet, it is not part of the school syllabus.
About half of Malaysian salary earners could be mired in a debt spiral without being fully aware of it, says Hann Liew, CEO of financial comparison website RinggitPlus.
“Many of them do not save enough money to survive for three months [if they lose their jobs] and are spending more than they earn, but they think they are in control of their finances. They could be using debt instruments to bridge the gap [between their income and spending while not depleting their savings],” he points out.
“For instance, they could have taken credit card loans to fill the gap while rolling over those loans and paying more interest over time. They are chalking up more debt, but they don’t have a sense of losing control of their finances.”
Liew’s observation is based on the results of the RinggitPlus Malaysian Financial Literacy Survey 2020, which was done using a stratified sampling of 2,588 respondents from a total 10,628 respondents. The survey, published on Nov 10, was conducted in collaboration with the Financial Education Network, an inter-agency grouping co-chaired by Bank Negara Malaysia and the Securities Commission Malaysia.
According to the survey, 53% of Malaysians cannot survive more than three months if they lose their jobs while 46% spend more than they earn. However, 76% of them claimed they were in control of their money.
“I wouldn’t say they are in denial of their [worsening] financial situation. It is more the various debt instruments are allowing them to feel that they are in control of their finances,” says Liew.
The survey also shows that the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has worsened the financial situation of some of these debt-ridden individuals. For instance, 16% of the respondents indicated they were not prepared to resume their loan repayments at the end of the six-month moratorium that ended in September.
“According to the Association of Banks in Malaysia, over 7.7 million borrowers took the loan moratorium, which means there are as many as 1.2 million borrowers who will need post-moratorium assistance,” says Liew.
“Currently, there are only about 640,000 borrowers who have applied for assistance, which means there are potentially another 560,000 borrowers out there who are at risk of defaulting on their loans. If we make a rough comparison against the non-performing loan rate of banks, which is at a low single digit, the 16% rate is a red flag.”
Naturally, many Malaysians do not save enough for their retirement. The survey shows that 68% of the respondents believed their Employees Provident Fund savings could only last less than 10 years while 70% thought their EPF savings alone would be insufficient for retirement. Worse, 45% of the respondents had not started any retirement planning.
Meanwhile, the financial literacy rate of youths in the country, or respondents below the age of 35, lags behind the national average (comprising Malaysians from five different age groups) even though they are more digitally savvy, says Liew.
From a savings perspective, about 60% of youths cannot survive beyond three months if they lose their jobs compared with the total respondents’ average of 53%. Also, about 47% of youth spend exactly or more than what they earn, compared with the total respondents’ average of 46%.
Naturally, youths are more digitally savvy, which is partly reflected in the common usage of e-wallets. The survey found that 93% of youth respondents had one or more digital wallets while 30% used three or more e-wallets. The most used digital wallets are Touch ‘n Go eWallet, Boost and GrabPay, according to the survey.
Liew says financial literacy is an essential issue for youths. They have access to a variety of digital tools to help them save, spend and invest their money, which they can conveniently use with just a few clicks on their smartphones.
“Technology, including financial technology (fintech), doesn’t change who you are; it accentuates who you are and your behaviour. If you’re careful in managing your finances, it provides you with the convenience of doing so,” says Liew.
“However, if you are not financially literate and do not have discipline, you may spend your money quickly and lose control of your finances. Financial literacy, in this aspect, plays an important role for youths in the years to come.”
The best way to improve financial literacy among youth is to introduce the topic in the country’s education system, he says. Financial literacy plays an essential role in everyone’s life, just like other subjects including science, mathematics and languages. Yet, it is not part of the school syllabus.
“Everyone’s life is affected by money matters, whether it is loans, insurance, retirement, budgeting or savings. Yet, we don’t learn it in school. We need to mandate it somewhere,” says Liew.
RinggitPlus, a financial comparison website, launched myRinggitHealth earlier this month. The new online service allows Malaysians to better understand and improve their personal finances.
RinggitPlus CEO Hann Liew says myRinggitHealth provides users with credit reports that the platform obtains from credit rating agencies such as CTOS and Experian (previously known as RAM Credit Information Sdn Bhd). Then, it helps users to understand some of the features in those reports and their credit profiles.
“There may be some features in the reports that users may not understand. For instance, when it shows missed payments, what do these mean to you? What do certain taxes, such as a specific legal tax in your credit profile, mean? How should you handle it? It also explains things like the debt-to-service ratio and why it matters,” says Liew.
The new service can help users to better manage their money by analysing their personal finances based on their credit reports. “If you’re facing a bit of trouble with your [loan] payments, and they are starting to get a bit too much for you, you can use myRinggitHealth to do something about it yourself. For instance, based on the information given, it can consolidate your loans and recommend that you do a balance transfer to pay less interest moving forward. It also gives actionable tips and recommendations to users akin to that of a credit adviser.”
He adds that advice obtained by users through their interactions with a bot (a software programme that can reply to messages, execute commands and do routine tasks) on WhatsApp is free. The cost of purchasing the credit reports from rating agencies will also be borne by RinggitPlus. However, users will be charged a fee when they execute recommendations provided to them by the bot.
Is the credit analysis done by RinggitPlus powered by artificial intelligence (AI)? “I would like to say that we use brilliant AI, but the analysis can be done with certain rules [which involve mathematical calculations]. We have a team of in-house experts who look at various credit profiles and put certain rules around them to match them with suitable products and solutions. We have developed hundreds of rules to try to make the recommendations as personalised as possible,” says Liew. 
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How to Capture Video Clips in Windows 10 – PCMag

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Windows 10 has a built-in tool called Game Bar to help you record your screen during PC and Xbox gaming sessions. But this tool can also be used to record non-gaming apps and activity.
Taking a screenshot in Windows 10 is fairly quick and simple, but capturing video of your screen activity is more challenging. Microsoft has made it easier through the use of a built-in video capture tool called Game Bar.
Game Bar was designed to record games you play directly on your PC, or those you stream from an Xbox console, but it can just as easily capture video of screen activity from your web browser, Windows applications, or any other program. Screen activity that you record is automatically saved as an MP4 video file.
If you want to use Game Bar, you will have to meet certain system requirements, including the right type of graphics card. If you try to use Game Bar and your PC isn’t up to snuff, you may receive an error telling you that your PC doesn’t meet the hardware requirement for recording clips. But fear not, as there is a way around this limitation.
Before you can use the feature, first make sure Game Bar has been enabled. Open Settings > Gaming > Xbox Game Bar and turn on the switch for Enable Xbox Game Bar
If you have an Xbox controller, or Xbox 360 controller with the right driver, you can trigger Game Bar through the Xbox button on the gamepad. To enable that feature, click the checkbox for Open Xbox Game Bar using this button as a controller
From this screen, you can also change any of the keyboard shortcuts associated with opening the Game Bar, taking a screenshot, and recording a video.
Open the app that you wish to record. You can start a recording from most applications and windows, but you can’t kick off a capture from the Windows desktop, File Explorer, or certain Windows apps such as Weather. Press Win + G to open the Game Bar. 
Several Game Bar widgets pop up with options for capturing screenshots, controlling your video and audio, and viewing your Xbox social account. The pane also displays the name of your current app, file, or window as the source for the video capture.
Click the camera icon to take a simple screenshot or hit the Start Recording button to capture your screen activity. Instead of going through the Game Bar pane, you can also just press Win + Alt + R to start your recording.
The first time you choose to record screen activity, Game Bar needs your permission. Click the checkbox to Enable gaming features for this app to record gameplay
You can now perform whatever screen actions you want to capture. The Game Bar widgets vanish, replaced by a small floating bar in the upper-right corner of the screen, through which you can control the recording.
To stop the recording, click the Recording button on the floating bar. A notification appears telling you that the game clip was recorded. Click the notification, and a window pops up showing your video. Click the Play button to view the video. 
You can also access and play your video from its location in File Explorer, which by default is C:Users[username]VideosCaptures
If you don’t like where video captures are being saved by default, you can always change the location. Go to Settings > Gaming > Captures. Click the Open folder button and choose a different folder.
Have you ever done something on your computer and then suddenly wished you’d captured the moment? With the Windows 10 Game Bar, you can record the last several seconds or minutes of screen activity after the fact.
To do this, you first need to grant permission for the computer to record your activities in the background. Go back to Settings > Gaming > Capture and check the box for Record in the background while I’m playing a game. While here, click the drop-down menu for Record the last to change the interval to anywhere from 15 seconds to 10 minutes.
Now you need never miss a moment again. Open Game Bar and click the Record last 30 sec button, and a video is generated based on the number of seconds or minutes you set.
View your video captures, control what widgets appear, and customize an array of settings directly through Game Bar. Press Win + G to open the Game Bar. In the Capture widget, click the Show All Captures link to see a list of all your captured videos. You can then click a video you want to play.
Windows allows you to set what widgets pop up when Game Bar is activated. From the Game Bar display, close the window for any widget that you don’t want to see. In the top widget toolbar, click the Widget menu icon to the right of the Xbox logo, then select the widgets you want to use. You can also turn certain widgets on or off by clicking the appropriate icon on the top widget toolbar.
Click the Settings icon at the right end of the top widget. Here, you can view and change the accounts, shortcuts, theme, recording options, notifications, and other controls for Game Bar.
If you bump into problems with Game Bar, or the tool won’t let you capture your screen activity, your best bet is to check Microsoft’s “Troubleshoot Xbox Game Bar on Windows 10” web page. However, if you receive an error that your device doesn’t meet the hardware requirement for recording clips, there is a workaround.
Assuming you can’t change your PC hardware or video card, your next best option is to enlist the help of a third-party utility called Game DVR Config. Go to the utility’s GitHub page and download the GameDVR_Config.exe file. Open it, and at the configuration screen, check the box for Force software MFT (16 FPS + VBR)
Open Task Manager (right-click on the Taskbar and select Task Manager). Under the Processes tab, select Gamebar Presence Writer, then click End Task. Try Game Bar again to see if it now lets you capture your screen activity.
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Surviving a long and varied career in publishing, advertising, and IT, Lance Whitney now wears a few different technology hats. By day, he’s a journalist, software trainer, and sometime Web developer. By night, he’s asleep. These days, he writes news stories, columns, and reviews for CNET and other technology sites and publications. He’s written two books for Wiley & Sons: Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time in 2012, and Teach Yourself VISUALLY LinkedIn in 2014. Contact Lance via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
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YouTube Shorts Fund offers $10,000/month for creators – The Verge

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YouTube’s $100 million Shorts Fund launches this month
YouTube will pay creators up to $10,000 per month for making popular videos on its TikTok competitor, YouTube Shorts. The company plans to pay $100 million throughout the next year, with the first payments going out this month.
The fund could mean a whole lot of cash for creators, but payouts aren’t guaranteed. The popularity needed to earn money will depend on just how many people are making and watching Shorts each month, and payouts will also depend on where each creator’s audience is located.
YouTube is also requiring these to be original videos. Reuploads and videos tagged with watermarks from other platforms — aka TikTok, Snapchat, or Reels — will disqualify a channel for payments. The payments are only available in 10 regions for now, including the US, UK, India, and Brazil, among others, and YouTube says it plans on expanding that list “in the future.”
Creators have traditionally gotten paid on YouTube based on the ads that run in front of their videos, with there being a direct relationship between the number of ad views and the amount of money they receive. But with Shorts, YouTube doesn’t want to run an ad in front of every quick clip, so it’s building out this alternate form of payment to reward creators.
The Shorts Fund will eventually be replaced with a “long-term, scalable monetization program,” Neal Mohan, YouTube’s chief product officer, said on today’s episode of Decoder. The fund is “a way to get going and to actually really start to figure out” how monetization should work for creators making these videos. “You’re essentially consuming a feed of shorts, and so the model has to work differently,” Mohan said.
Payment schemes like this have become increasingly common. TikTok and Snapchat both pay out to creators based on the popularity of their videos, rather than based on ads. The result is potentially lucrative for creators, though there’s less transparency on how much creators may earn any given month.
For YouTube, the fund offers a way to kickstart its late-in-the-game effort at a short-form video service. Though TikTok has a huge head start, YouTube is, at the end of the day, YouTube — an enormous and hugely popular video platform — which could give it an edge as it tries to spin up Shorts.
Mohan indicated that YouTube wouldn’t require creators to use Shorts in order to boost their overall engagement on the platform. “Our goal there is to give every creator a voice,” Mohan said on Decoder. “If the creator wants to do that through a two-hour documentary about a particular topic they’re passionate about, then YouTube should be the place for that. If they want to do that through a 15-second Short, that mixes in their favorite hit from their favorite music artists, they should be able to do that.”
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Malaysia's mangrove-planting fishermen stumble at nature finance hurdle – BusinessWorld Online

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SUNGAI ACHEH, Malaysia —  Walking across a swamp, retired fisherman Ilias Shafie and a small group of villagers plant mangrove saplings on Malaysia’s west coast, one tree at a time. 
They have put in some 400,000 mangrove trees since a restoration initiative started two decades ago, in what was initially a bid to increase the catch of local fishermen. 
Now their work has taken on extra significance as alarm grows over global warming and nature loss, with mangroves regarded as a key weapon in the fight against climate change. 
But the surge of international concern has yet to help this community win the global finance required to expand its project, highlighting the barriers often faced by groups on the ground seeking to tap into growing funding flows for nature protection. 
“Mangroves are important to us fishermen — we need them because this is the breeding ground of fish,” said Ilias, 70, recalling how dwindling mangrove forests affected his catch and livelihood, which prompted him to launch the initiative. 
Mangroves make up less than 1% of tropical forests worldwide but are crucial in the fight against climate change because they are more effective than most other forests at absorbing and storing planet-heating carbon. 
Mangrove ecosystems also protect coastal communities from storm surges, reduce flooding and help shore up food security. 
Despite their benefits, they are in decline, with the world’s mangrove area decreasing by just over 1 million hectares between 1990 and 2020, although the rate of loss has slowed in recent years, says the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. 
CHALLENGES
In Malaysia, mangroves are often cleared to make way for infrastructure development and farming, while they are also under threat from industrial pollution and over-harvesting — including in northern Penang state, where Ilias lives. 
As fish catches dwindled for him and other fishermen in the late 1990s, Ilias mobilized his peers to join him in restoring the fast-vanishing mangrove forests through the Penang Inshore Fishermen Welfare Association (PIFWA), which he leads. 
Their small initiative has won recognition — to date about 30 local companies have sponsored their tree-planting as part of corporate social responsibility projects. 
PIFWA charges the companies a small fee of 8 ringgit ($2) per tree planted, while participating fishermen are compensated with allowances for their time and labor. 
Now, Ilias is hoping to access larger sums of global funding to plant more trees, but he is struggling with challenges — from ways to access available money and scale up the project to other issues like language barriers and a lack of technical expertise. 
He cited an example from an international donor that wanted the group to innovate with new ideas and expand the tree-planting project after an initial round of funding. 
“We did not have the capacity to deliver other things, like turning this into an eco-tourism site or getting more youths involved,” he said, adding they did not receive further support as a result. 
“We are nervous — we are fishermen and we can’t commit to something we’re not confident in delivering,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation on a break from planting mangrove saplings. 
His frustration shows the practical difficulties of channeling financing to rehabilitate nature where it is needed, even as more countries and donors invest in so-called “nature-based solutions,” from reforestation to wetland expansion. 
NEW PLEDGES
Over the last decade, less than 1% of international climate finance has gone to indigenous and local communities to manage forests that absorb planet-heating carbon emissions and are rich in biodiversity, according to a recent report from green groups
Nature protection remains underfunded worldwide, with the UN urging a four-fold increase in annual investment to $536 billion by 2050, to tackle the triple threat of climate change, biodiversity, and land degradation. 
Lately, there has been a rise in pledges, including at November’s UN COP26 climate summit, where about $19 billion was promised in public and private funding to protect and restore forests. 
This month, a new global fund was launched by the Rights and Resources Initiative and Campaign for Nature to help indigenous and local groups conserving forests and other ecosystems on the ground access international finance more easily. 
Environmentalist Meena Raman said making more small grants available to communities and partnering with local non-profits to overcome language and knowledge barriers would channel money to places that have missed out in the past. 
“Nature provides them with jobs, and they protect the ecosystem… It’s about sustainable livelihoods and sustaining nature [at the same time],” said Ms. Raman, president of Friends of the Earth Malaysia, a conservation group. 
BOOST FOR WOMEN
Back in Sungai Acheh, a sleepy village with wooden fishing boats along the river, women said they had also gained from the mangrove-planting initiative. 
A group of them has learned from mangrove-dwelling communities in Indonesia how to turn some of the tree species into tea, juice and jam, selling the products for 6–8 ringgit each to boost their household income. 
“It has not only helped my husband to increase his fishing catch, but I have benefited from it too,” said Siti Hajar Abdul Aziz, 36, a mother of five. 
More coastal communities like hers would gain from protecting nature and improving their livelihoods, if they get financial support to champion similar initiatives, she added. 
Siti Hajar hopes one day to find ways to expand sales of her mangrove products by selling them in places like supermarkets. 
“Before this I was just sitting at home — I have learned so much since I started doing this,” she said. — Beh Lih Yi/Thomson Reuters Foundation

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