☕️ 24-hour mamaks may be a thing in the past, 2,000 mamaks shut down in the last 2 years
Malaysia special envoy to Middle East 'promised' Afghan Taliban govt aid. Asia's top 20 wealthiest families control USD495 bil wealth. The Beginner's Guide to Chinese Lion Dance.
1. MARKET SUMMARY
Oil prices surged to seven-year highs on Friday, with no signs of the rally slowing down and now into its seventh week on ongoing worries about supply disruptions fuelled by frigid US weather and ongoing political instability among major world producers
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
USD495 bil — the amount of money controlled by Asia's top 20 wealthiest families. The leading family — Ambani, of Reliance Industries. USD90.3 bil. A very distant second — the Hartono family, with a fortune of USD36.3 bil.
USD391 mil has been mismanaged by the Vatican’s monsignors to purchase a property in London, much of it donations from the faithful. The scandal is one of the blackest marks on the Vatican’s finances in recent years.
SGD13.7 mil has been paid out by OCBC to 790 of its customers who were scam victims as a goodwill payment. These customers fell prey to a text message phishing scam impersonating the lender. When they tried to contact the bank, its customer service and response fell short of expectations.
3. COVID-19 SUMMARY
Back at five figures again — 10,089 new Covid-19 cases were detected yesterday. Please stay safe and remember TRIIS — Test, Report, Isolate, Inform and Seek (cure).
The risk of hospitalisation is 75% lower for people infected with Omicron compared to Delta, according to a study in Portugal.
The government will reimburse up to 60% of losses incurred by pilgrims affected by the postponement of travel restrictions to umrah.
4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Politics and Local
Abdul Hadi Awang, the government’s special envoy to the Middle East and PAS president, met with Taliban representatives in Doha, Qatar on 4 Feb and Malaysia has promised to help Afghanistan with humanitarian and economic assistance, according to Taliban spokesman and its permanent representative of the UN, Suhail Shaheen.
Amanah international bureau chairperson Salahuddin Ayub has blasted Abdul Hadi Awang for jumping the gun in announcing support for the Taliban government. In a statement, he said that Malaysia has not officially recognised the Taliban government and the PAS president has exceeded his authority and capacity with regards to foreign policy that is set by Wisma Putra and the foreign minister.
The MACC is looking into a complaint on abuse of power and mismanagement by senior officials of Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) after an expose by whistleblower Twitter account Edisi Khas alleging that backdated payments were made to these MARA officers without the knowledge of the top management of MARA. MARA, however, has issued a statement denying any incidence of abuse of power or mismanagement.
24-hour mamak restaurants may be a thing in the past, even if Covid-19 restrictions are lifted. Labour shortages have exacerbated the challenging situation for these eateries as many foreign workers who went back to their home countries before border closures were stuck and unable to re-enter. As a result, operators have to resort to shorter operating hours and some 2,000 mamaks that had to shut down their business. These mamak restaurants need at least 30,000 more workers to fill vacancies nationwide.
Taxi drivers have demanded the government to develop its own e-hailing service across the nation and claim that private e-hailing companies have robbed the industry of billions and damaged the country’s taxi industry ecosystem. Representing the taxi driver, Penyatuan Pemain Industri Pengangkutan Darat Malaysia (PPDM), believes these billions can be channelled instead to upgrade the quality of taxi services.
Could billions be saved? In theory, as always, yes, but in practice, no. One thing is for sure - lots of leakages and inefficiencies are more like to occur than not.
Malaysia is making its second appearance at the Winter Olympic Games in China and is represented by two athletes - Jeffrey Webb and Aruwin Salehhuddin in the alpine skiing event. Not too bad for a tropical country with zero snow and summer all year long.
Judge Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, who had convicted former PM Najib Razak, was elevated as a Court of Appeal judge. Turning 55 this year, he also made headlines late last year when he declared the existence of vernacular schools as constitutional.
Capital A Bhd (formerly AirAsia Group Bhd) is rehiring employees it had to retrench in 2020 through its subsidiary airasia grocer, an online grocery shopping platform that matches local farmers and grocery merchants to consumers. Two-thirds of its staff are from the airline and previously held various positions relevant to the airline space.
Main Market-listed lingerie maker Caely Holdings Bhd plans to set up a JV in Indonesia this year to increase production capacity to cater to growing global demand for lingerie, with the plant expected to be ready by May or June this year. The company mainly exports its original equipment manufacturing (OEM) undergarment products and have been getting more enquiries that were double its existing production capacity.
It also has signed a licensing agreement with Disney to produce Disney brand apparel. Eventually, the company plans to move its lingerie manufacturing to Indonesia, with Malaysia focusing on producing face masks and other apparel. The company’s market cap stands at RM103 mil.
The embattled oil and gas group, Sapura Energy Bhd, has decided to withdraw from the 640 MW Yunlin offshore wind farm installation project in Taiwan following a “material breach of contract”. This contract, marking the first wind farm project for Sapura to transport and instal foundations for the offshore wind farm, was expected to be completed in Sep 2020, but completion was delayed to Sep 2023 following unresolved technical and operational issues not attributable to the company
5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Lata Mangeshkar, one of India's most beloved singers who provided the soundtrack to hundreds of Bollywood films, has passed away. She was admitted to the hospital after testing positive for Covid-19 in January. The 92-year-old singer has recorded thousands of songs in 36 languages. Mangeshkar is well respected in the country. There will be two days of national mourning, where the national flag will be flown at half-mast throughout the country.
Google announced the launch of Chrome 98 in response to 27 vulnerabilities that have been discovered in the web browser. Eight have been classified as posing a “high” threat level. Remember to check your Google Chrome for updates!
If you are a fan of Tesla and karaoke, Tesla has launched just the right product for you — the TeslaMic. Costing USD188, Tesla drivers and passengers would be able to sing along to the music in the car when it is stationary using the pair of Tesla-branded mics. The bad news is the microphones were sold out within an hour in China.
‘Little Rayan’ was found dead at the bottom of a well in a tragic end to a painstaking five-day rescue operation that has caught the world's attention. The 5-year-old boy was said to have fallen into a 100-feet deep well on Tuesday.
Afraid of falling behind, Sony dropped USD3.6 bil to purchase video game developer Bungie, best known for the Destiny and Halo games. Halo is one of the games that contributed to the popularity of Microsoft's Xbox. Sony wants to hold its fort after Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard. 2022 is shaping up to be an exciting year for the gaming industry!
The world’s most valuable oil company, Saudi Aramco, wants to sell as much as a 2.5% stake to raise USD50 bil. The fresh listing will likely be done through selling additional shares on the Riyadh stock exchange and a secondary listing. The strategy is crafted by de facto leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to monetise the country’s massive oil assets.
Russia-Ukraine conflict update: US officials say Russia is 70% ready for a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The officials added that a diplomatic solution was still possible. If the invasion happens, it could cause as many as 50,000 civilian deaths, according to the reports.
Meanwhile, Russia has signed a 30-year contract with China to supply gas to China via a new pipeline and will settle the new gas sales in euros. Gazprom agreed to supply Chinese state energy major CNPC with 10 billion cubic metres of gas a year. The two countries are signalling they want to diversify from the greenback (USD).
One of the more peculiar ways of travelling that people are craving to make a return — container ship travel. The minimalist form of travel isn’t cheap either, costing between USD100 to USD150 per day, including lodging and food. The voyages could be as long as 50 days. One traveller thinks of the lack of amenities as a feature, not a bug. Would you do it?
6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁
The beginner’s guide to Chinese lion dance
View the ranking of top-selling digital artists
Cars getting into an accident caused by police blocking traffic to give way to VIP convoy. If you don’t want to give way to a convoy with a police escort, it’s an offence punishable under three laws.