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☕️ Malaysia fell 5 spots to rank 62 out of 180 countries Transparency International's 2021 Corruption Perception Index
RM2.3 bil lost to illegal bitcoin mining over the past 4 years. Maybank CEO: stop worrying, start figuring out cryptocurrencies, DeFi etc. McD's Japan rationing of fries led to "potato wars".
1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
RM2.3 bil were lost to electricity theft through illegal bitcoin mining activities, according to Energy and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan. A total of 7,209 cases since 2018.
Both Amazon and Meta spent more than USD20 mil each in lobbying Washington lawmakers in 2021, according to The Hill. The Senate on Friday took a big step towards passing the American Innovation and Choice Online Act to regulate the tech companies. The act bans large tech companies from using their platforms to give their products an advantage over competitors.
The James Webb Space Telescope arrived at its final destination Monday afternoon, a gravitational balance point 1 million miles away (1.6 mil kilometres) away from Earth. The telescope will collect data and capture images of the earliest stars and galaxies to uncover “the mysteries of the universe.” For reference, the moon is about 238,855 miles away from Earth.
3. COVID-19 SUMMARY
Educational institutions in Malacca seems to be having an outbreak of Covid-19, with four clusters involving 261 students reported thus far. The increase in Covid-19 cases is showing a worrying trend.
Malaysia received 500,000 doses of the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine yesterday, part of the one million doses to be donated by the United Arab Emirates. The remaining should be delivered within the next two weeks.
4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Malaysia fell 5 spots to rank 62 out of 180 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions index. The country scored 48 out of 100 points, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean, marking a consecutive decline since 2019. TI Malaysia president Dr Muhammad Mohan said amongst the reasons for the score decline was due to limited action from the current and previous governments to address corruption and strengthening of human rights in Malaysia and the lack of reform for MACC to be a truly independent institution under the responsibility of the Parliament.
MACC said it is taking serious note of Malaysia’s score and position in this index and will make proposals in the near future. With the recent Azam Baki’s controversy, it is more likely to worsen the corruption perception of the country and put Malaysia at risk to further decline in its rank.
National Feedlot Corp Sdn Bhd, its chairman Mohammad Salleh Ismail and 9 others are in talks with the Malaysian government to reach a settlement in the RM250 mil lawsuit initiated by the government against them for misappropriating RM118 mil partly to purchase two luxury condominiums from the RM250 mil granted to NFCorp by the government in Dec 2007.
Mohammad Salleh Ismail is the husband of UMNO’s Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.
5 vehicles parked on Jalan LP1A/2 Lestari Perdana, Serdang was damaged after a landslip. Fortunately, there were no victims involved.
According to Lee Zii Jia’s Instagram post, a private meeting with BAM president Norza Zakaria was “very positive” and has led to the president giving his blessings to LZJ to turn professional. However, it is uncertain that BAM has officially rescinded its decision to ban LZJ from international tournaments for two years.
Newly listed electronics retailer Senheng New Retail Bhd saw its share price opening at 90 sen and went as high as RM1.01 before closing at 85.5 sen, 20.1% discount from its IPO price at a market cap of RM1.28 bil. Their IPO could have performed better had it not been for the poor market and macro sentiment.
Malayan Banking Bhd group president and CEO Abdul Farid Alias said in a panel discussion at MyFintech Week 2022 that the financial sector should stop worrying and instead start figuring out what to do with disruptions to the sector amidst the rise of cryptocurrencies, decentralised finance, NFT and metaverse. Could expect Maybank to dip their toes into the crypto world but Farid will be stepping down at the end of his current contract in August. Hopefully, the new leadership will share a similar vision.
Proton has been named one of the official vehicle brands of the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022, as part of the brands under its parent company, Geely Auto Group. The event running from Sep 10 - 15, 2022, will see Proton’s current models, namely Persona, Iriz, Exora, Saga, X50 and X70, carrying the title of Official Vehicle of the sports event.
SKS Airways, a new commercial airline in Malaysia has been launched to cater for island-hopping, short-haul trips focusing on the three popular islands - Pulau Pangkor, Pulau Redang, and Pulau Tioman. Routes served by SKS Airways are different from MAS hence there will be no competition.
Daily flights between Subang-Pangkor begins today (Jan 26), Subang-Redang from Jan 31 and Subang-Tioman will commence in Q2. All-in fares start at RM160 one way. Book your tickets here!
5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Indonesia and Singapore have settled a dispute over airspace and signed an extradition deal after years of disagreement — Indonesia will control all airspace within its territory, including Riau and Natuna islands. Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Indonesian President Joko Widodo witnessed the signing of a treaty on the extradition of fugitives as well as a memorandum of understanding on the flight information region.
Thailand is limiting the use of digital assets for payments of products and services as its regulators think digital assets pose risks to the country’s economic and financial system. However, relevant government agencies will continue to support the role and development of financial technologies such as blockchain in enabling financial innovation.
South Korea’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 4% in 2021, the fastest pace in 11 years in 2021 thanks to a jump in exports and construction activity. Bank of Korea (BOK) expects GDP to grow 3% this year as Asia’s fourth-largest economy benefits from strength in computer chips exports and increased public spending.
McDonald’s competitors in Japan have triggered “a potato war.” McDonald’s has rationed its french fries in Japan due to a disruption of potato imports — its restaurants would only offer the small french fries for a month from Jan 9, 2022. However, its competitors have all increased their french fry portions between 25% to 50% to save the potato refugees.
Cyberbullying has claimed the life of 17-year-old in China — 42% of teens globally have experienced cyberbullying in the form of offensive name-calling. The case of the Chinese teenager was an unfortunate one. He was sold by his parents as a baby back in 2005. Unfortunately, his adoptive parents died in an accident.
Last December, he managed to track down his biological parents. The encounter with his birth parents was initially a happy one until he asked for financial assistance. Many online sided with the parents, saying the teen was trying to gain sympathy. Before his suicide, he wrote a lengthy note on Weibo saying he had been called many names and “abandoned twice” by his biological parents.
The UK Metropolitan Police have launched an investigation into parties held in No 10 (UK’s equivalent of Seri Perdana Complex) during the pandemic after fresh allegations of a birthday party held for the prime minister in June 2020. However, the investigation won’t bring the leadership down — it is likely someone will be fined instead.
Unilever Plc wants to trim off some fat from its senior management to speed decision-making. Alan Jope is making his biggest job cuts since becoming the CEO of the consumer-goods giant — about 1,500 positions will be made redundant. Other than reorganisation, Unilever is also aiming to a portfolio of plant-based meat and dairy alternative brands that will generate €1 bil (RM4.73 million) worth of revenue by 2025.
US chipmaker Nvidia wants to abandon its USD40 bil plan to take over the British chip designer Arm. However, the deal has faced scrutiny from regulators around the world, who worry it would give Nvidia an unfair advantage in the semiconductor industry. SoftBank, which currently owns Arm, is ramping up preparations for Arm to go public in lieu of the Nvidia takeover.
6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁
US President Joe Biden got caught calling Fox News reporter Peter Doocy “a stupid son of a b*tch” on a live microphone. Doocy said later Monday evening that Biden called him later in the afternoon to apologise for the remark.
The most legendary three-point turn.
When a cow (related to NFTCorp news above), orangutan and tiger catch up.