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Woman Leadership Article

Cheng & Co Celebrates International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day is celebrated all over the world. At Cheng & Co, this special day presents a grand opportunity to celebrate the achievements and success of our women leaders who’ve played sterling roles in the growth of the firm since 1993. Here, some of our top women leaders share their brief thoughts on why being a woman with a professional career today is more challenging compared to their parents’ time.

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It is indeed largely due to rapid changes in the environment in term of technology, economics and culture. I have a child compared to my mother who had six but thanks to technology is even faster and children today pick things up faster than during my time.

Such are the times that we must always update ourselves with current trends and give more attention and guidance for our children. For the working women of today, work-life integration is crucial as culture has changed dramatically.

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Vast opportunities given to women on education and online learning has widened the scope of our capabilities. For some women after getting married and having children, they prefer to focus on their families and put their careers aside, and in some instances, put an end to it. It’s not that their incapable of handling both but some just prefer to devote their time to family.

As for me, coming from a not very well to do family where I had to work part time to support my tuition and ACCA examination fees, I value my career
highly and am passionate about my work. Equally I am very blessed to have an understanding family and a husband who gives me his complete support
to excel in my career.

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Mary Chen
Accounting Manager of Cheng & Co
I would say for both generations it is challenging in its respective times. In the old days, many women had to deal with housework, parents, in-laws, spouse and children which can be mentally and emotionally stressful.

Today, we have all of the above and also a highly competitive work environment with bosses, colleagues and clients to deal with and greater financial commitments. However, I feel women today are better at managing mental and emotional stress thanks to flexi work hours.

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Chua Lee Lan
Head of Indah Secretarial Services, Kuala Terengganu:

Both times had its fair share of challenges. During our parents’ time, there weren’t much educational and career progression options for women, but they still had to work hard to financially support and take care of their families. While men are often focused on earning for the family, women have to do this and more unless of course if you come from a wealthy family.

One of the biggest challenges women face today is the need to earn more due to high standards of living which means having to gain as much education and knowledge as possible, which is not exactly a low-cost affair either. These factors are crucial for a stable and bright future for our families.

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Jessie Yee
Senior Audit Manager of Cheng & Co

I do believe times are more challenging for us today mainly because society has changed so much that gender equality is widely accepted compared to the old days. This is good as it gives women a bigger platform for equal opportunities in career advancement, assuming responsibilities, as well showcasing our abilities.

A key difference that I would like to highlight is that women today face a lot pressure in balancing priorities between family and career as opposed to
those days where most would prefer to put more focus on their families. Fortunately for me, I have a very supportive family that understands my career goals and this allows me to flourish in my profession.

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Ooi Ai Wei
Head of Cheng & Co Ipoh

Traditionally the role of women have often to stay home and take care of the family, handle household chores, etc. During my parents’ era, society is often deciphered by finances and power and, it’s usually the men who do the earning hence more power in their hands.

However, with inflation increasingly causing financial strain in families, more women began working and initially faced a lot of obstacles to progress. We had to work extra hard to have our voices heard and climb the corporate ladder. But we stood firm and today, we have hundreds of women icons and gamechangers transforming the world in ways not seen before.

Personal Tax Relief

The tax filing season is around the corner and it is the time that every taxpayer is starting to preparing for their tax filing. One of the tedious tasks is to compile their documents and to summarise their entitlement of personal tax reliefs. For Year of Assessment 2017 there are some new personal tax reliefs which are as below:-

Lifestyle relief – RM2,500

This is a relief where to provide a basket of the reliefs which including purchase of computers, books and sport equipment that previously were given the relief separately and now this basket has covered some reliefs which were not given in the previous years that are smart phone, tablet, gym membership subscription and broadband internet. The maximum of the relief is RM2,500 for all the items aforementioned.

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Breastfeeding equipment – RM1,000

This relief is specifically only for woman taxpayer is allowed to claim. Even the wife has no income to be taxable, this relief is not qualified to
be claimed by husband. This relief can be claimed in once every 2 years for child 2 year old or below only.

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Spouse relief

Effective from YA 2017, if spouse who has income from foreign source or overseas which is not subject to Malaysia tax and the spouse elected to be combined assessment, the taxpaying spouse is not qualified to claim this spouse relief.

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