☕️ ‘Hijrah Diri’ - an app JAKIM created to help LGBTs return to fitrah (innocence, purity)
Johor BN Chief: Singapore could be more develop than now under UMNO. MYEG launched a NFT marketplace - NFTPangolin. Recipient of first pig-heart transplant died 2 months after transplant surgery.
1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
The government could be paying up to RM28 billion in subsidies this year if the world crude oil price remains above USD100 per barrel. Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said RON95’s actual cost in March had reached RM3.70 per litre. The government is covering the difference of RM1.65 per litre.
USD140,000 — the amount spent by former PM Datuk Seri Najib Razak to jaga muka. Razak hired Karv Communications to ensure his actions and views are understood by US journalists and presented accurately in any US media coverage on 1MDB, including during the trial of Roger Ng.
USD1.4 bil of emergency funding for Ukraine has been approved by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the IMF predicts Ukraine will see a deep recession this year. The funding comes on top of the USD723 mil World Bank economic package approved earlier this week.
3. COVID-19 SUMMARY
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the vaccine distribution has been “scandalously unequal” because rich countries have been prioritised over the poor. Nearly three billion people are still waiting for their first shot, despite 1.5 billion doses of the vaccine being manufactured monthly.
Citrawarna Cluster has been renamed as Kuching Waterfront Cluster. No explanation was given as to why did Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) rename the cluster. Our WILD guess — not to taint the Keluarga Malaysia name.
4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Warning: the following is not satire. “If Singapore had UMNO, it would be more developed than it is now”, said Hasni Mohammad, Johor BN chief and former Johor Menteri Besar, as quoted by Oriental Daily. Is he implying that Malaysia, which UMNO has ruled for the longest time, is more developed than Singapore? It takes RM3.09 to buy SGD1. Plenty of MNCs are HQ-ing their Asia Pacific operations in SG than MY, and SG has 2 of the world’s top-ranking universities.
A group of people (or more like a family business) including a Datuk - Ab Aziz Abdullah; his sister Anita Abdullah, Anita’s husband, Muhammad Semail; Abd Yaziz Mohd and Mohd Hariza Mohd Yusof, have been charged with 81 counts of money laundering amounting to RM19 mil in relation to a fake Visitor’s Pass for Temporary Employment (PLKS) syndicate. They have pleaded not guilty. It took more than an hour to read out all the charges due to the volume.
The MACC and Immigration Department took down the biggest syndicate involved in the issuance of fake PLKS to foreign workers, causing the government to suffer hundreds of millions of ringgit in losses last year.
Islamic Development Department (JAKIM) has formulated a plan to address social problems in the Muslim community such as LGBT culture (which the government is taking seriously and that is becoming an increasing concern). The implementation of the Islamic Social Action Plan 2019-2025 will also address other issues such as drug addiction, teenage pregnancy, abortion, divorce, HIV/AIDS and more.
JAKIM will now be placed under the purview of the Malay Rulers from the religious affairs minister in the PM’s Department, as decided during the Conference of Rulers. To run JAKIM, a budget of more than RM1 bil is required annually.
A new sea reclamation project off the coast of Muar, involving the creation of 3 man-made islands covering an area of 1,295 hectares (25% the size of Putrajaya), owned by Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim (effective stake of 38.5%), could begin as early as next year. The project, known as Maharani Energy Gateway, is a 10-year project with an estimated gross development value of RM99 bil and is part of the Johor BN manifesto.
The project’s environmental impact assessment (EIA) is currently available for public viewing from Feb 14 until next Tuesday, Mar 15. It seems various approvals were gaining momentum fast. The project will affect 16.2 hectares of mangroves and the livelihood of 935 fishermen.
My EG Services Bhd has jumped onto the NFT bandwagon - the company announced the launch of NFTPangolin, its NFT marketplace that aims to be the platform of choice for ASEAN NFT creators and to attract a global audience. Malaysia currently has a NFT marketplace - Pentas.io.
Capital A Bhd will not be able to proceed with the RM500 mil loan from Danajamin Nasional Bhd as its founders, Tony Fernandes and Kamarudin Meranun, have refused to provide their joint and several guarantees for this facility. This RM500 mil is part of Capital A’s RM2.5 bil fundraising exercise to recapitalise its balance sheet.
Had they been able to proceed without guarantee, that is essentially privatising profits, socialising losses. Meaning they enjoy all the benefits of the upside, with the government (Ministry of Finance owns Bank Pembangunan Malaysia, which in turn owns Danajamin) bearing the losses should the two founders fail to meet their obligations.
According to Bernama, a landslide incident in Ampang yesterday evening is believed to have buried three people. 15 homes and ten cars were affected by the incident. Hopefully, the victims can be found. Below is a short footage of the landslide (NFSW).
5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
US inflation (CPI) hit 7.9% in February from a year earlier, a 40-year high. The rapid inflation will likely be even more pronounced following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Federal Reserve is set to raise interest rates next week for the first time since 2018 to combat building price pressures.
On the other side of the Atlantic, the European Central Bank opted to keep interest rates steady. However, ECB announced it will wind down asset purchases faster than planned. The ECB is targeting 2% inflation over the medium term.
Roman Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea Football Club, has been sanctioned by the UK government as his assets have been frozen. Abramovich and six others face a full asset freeze and travel ban and are prohibited from transacting with UK citizens or businesses. Chelsea can’t sell new tickets for matches and player transfers are banned, as are new contracts.
Fast Retailing Co’s Uniqlo u-turned on its stance earlier this week and said it would temporarily suspend operations in Russia. After social media users threatened to cancel Uniqlo with the hashtag #BoycottUNIQLO, the retailer had to act. The retailer said it is strongly against any acts of hostility.
David Bennett Sr., who received a pig-heart transplant back on Jan 7, 2022, had unfortunately passed away. He wanted the transplant because it was a do or die kinda situation. More than 106,000 people in the US are on the transplant waiting list for human organs. There was no sign of rejection initially as the transplant worked very well for “several weeks.”
Amazon.com Inc’s board approved a 20-for-1 split of the e-commerce giant’s common stock and authorised a USD10 billion buyback plan. This is the first stock split by Amazon since 1999 — investors will get 19 additional shares for every share they hold. Companies do stock splits mainly to entice more individual shareholders.
The wreck of Endurance, which sank in 1915 after the ship was crushed in pack ice during an expedition by the explorer Ernest Shackleton, was found in the Antarctic by a team of adventurers, marine archaeologists and technicians. The ship was located nearly 10,000 ft down in waters that are among the iciest on Earth.
6. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
The graphic below shows how much of each country’s total crude oil imports come from Russia.
The iPhone is 33% iCamera - the growing amount of time Apple’s new iPhone presentations have spent talking about the camera.