☕️ PM Ismail Sabri & Burberry
Malaysia's inflation rate in May22-2.8%. MOF: govt to spend RM80bil in subsidies in 2022. LZJ withdraws from Commonwealth Games due to injury. Binance x Ronaldo, to promote NFT.
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1. MARKET SUMMARY
4 of the G7 powers (Britain, Canada, Japan and the US) will ban Russian gold exports. The industry is worth USD15.5 bil to the Russian economy in 2021.
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
USD10 mil (RM44.02 mil) — Airbnb’s budget for people to build the eccentric home they’ve been dreaming of. The home-rental platform is asking people to submit “out-of-this-world” ideas for “the world’s craziest spaces” — the top 100 applicants will receive USD100,000 in financing each.
RM3.4 bil — the amount the Works Ministry has to allocate to repair damaged federal roads throughout Peninsular Malaysia. The works, including resurfacing or building new roads, are expected to be completed by 2023.
2.8% — Malaysia’s inflation in May 2022 (YoY) amid the accelerating cost of food. Food inflation reached a new high of 5.2%, the highest since November 2011.
3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Prime Minister Ismail Sabri wore a RM6,900 Burberry T-Shirt at a time when many Malaysians are struggling to make ends meet. The country leader touts “Keluarga Malaysia” but doesn’t seem to show enough support for local brands. He has also voiced concern over the increasing number of bankrupts among youths. What’s his solution? To review the bankruptcy threshold.
After backlash from multiple quarters over the removal of chicken’s ceiling price, the government decided to make a u-turn (are we even surprised at this rate) and introduce a new ceiling price for chickens. Electricity and water tariffs will also be maintained to fight rising living costs. PM Ismail Sabri said it wasn’t a U-turn because the decision was made for “Keluarga Malaysia.”
The KL High Court ruled Former 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) president and chief executive officer (CEO) Arul Kanda Kandasamy would be a prosecution witness in the ongoing 1MDB audit report tampering trial. Arul Kanda’s indemnity will be determined at the end of the prosecution’s case.
After the ruling, Arul Kanda was called to testify as the prosecution's 15th witness. He revealed that Najib Razak was concerned the audit report on 1MDB would be “spun politically” to the latter’s detriment. Arul Kanda had met with the former auditor-general Tan Sri Ambrin Buang and National Audit Department (NAD) to discuss the audit findings to be presented to the Public Accounts Committee. However, several items were removed from the audit report, including Low Taek Jho's presence at 1MDB board meetings and portions of 1MDB's 2014 financial statements. If not for the meeting with NAD and Ambrin, the report would have been
HR Ministry announced employees can apply for Flexible Working Arrangements (FWA) with their employers under the amendment to the Employment Act 1955, which will come into force on September 1. Employers have 60 days to agree to or reject their employees’ written requests. The employers must give reasons if they reject the FWA request. Would you apply for FWA?
Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said the government will spend nearly RM80 bil this year on subsidies to reduce inflationary pressure on people. The amount will be the highest amount of subsidies in the country’s history. The minister added country’s fiscal resources will need to be strengthened to rebuild Malaysia’s socio-economic resilience.
Striking the iron while it is hot — PAS Perak has offered out-of-favour UMNO man Tajuddin Abdul Rahman to defend his Pasir Salak parliamentary seat in the next general election under PAS. Tajuddin has been kicked out of the UMNO supreme council by Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Malaysia’s badminton hero Lee Zii Jia had to withdraw from the Commonwealth Games from July 28 to Aug 8 in Birmingham due to a recurring injury. Lee, who injured himself during the finals of the Thailand Open, did not fully heal before competing in the Indonesia Open, causing the injury to worsen.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
The Taliban has called on international governments to roll back sanctions and lift the freeze on the country’s central bank reserves as the country deals with the aftermath of a 6.1-magnitude earthquake that has killed more than 1,000 people and 1,500 injured. The government also pledged not to interfere with aid as previously the government diverted aid to areas and people that supported their views.
The previous government was overthrown by the Taliban in Aug 2021 and the US subsequently froze USD9.5 bil Afghanistan Central Bank Reserves held in US banks. USD7 bil was unfrozen in February another USD2.5 bil is still not accessible.
Last Friday, the US Supreme Court overturned (5 to 4) the landmark case Roe v Wade, which granted women in the US the right to terminate pregnancy which erodes women’s rights and could set the precedence for other constitutional rights to be affected. A reversal is unprecedented, especially when this case was decided nearly 50 years ago. Historically, the court overturned cases to grant more rights, but in this case, it has done the opposite. A short summary of this issue here.
At least 20 young people aged between 18 to 20 were found mysteriously dead in a nightclub in a township in East London, South Africa. The cause of death is unknown with post-mortem ongoing. No obvious signs of injury were found and the bodies were lying across tables, chairs and on the floor. Investigators say a stampede is unlikely and could be due to poisoning.
The ‘Mount Everest’ of bacteria, Thiomargarita magnificia, is the biggest-known bacterium that can be seen with the naked eye. The vermicelli-shaped bacteria was discovered in mangrove swamps in the Caribbean. A normal bacteria species measures 1-5 micrometres long. This species averages 1 cm (1,000x larger than regular-sized bacteria) and can grow up to 2 cm.
Crypto — Ronaldo, hack, bailout, regulator praises:
Hackers stole USD100 mil in cryptocurrency from a blockchain-bridge, Horizon. Blockchain bridges play a big part in DeFi allowing users to transfer their assets from one blockchain to another.
Despite the crypto winter, Binance launches Binance Institutional, a new platform catering to institutions and VIPs (high net worth individuals) and announced a partnership with Cristiano Ronaldo to promote NFTs.
Crypto billionaire Sam-Bankman Fried’s crypto exchange FTX is said to be in talks to acquire a stake in troubled crypto lender BlockFi after extending it a USD250 mil credit line last week. However, one of BlockFi’s investors is attempting to counter FTX’s offer as it could wipe out existing shareholders, management, and employees’ stock options.
Sopnendu Mohanty, chief fintech officer of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, praises crypto leaders, including Binance, in a Linkedin post. CZ, it was an assuring leadership by aligning to following. 1.Compliance is Core 2.Education is Essential 3. Progress with Purpose( Real-economy integration)-not a place for bad/irresponsible actors.
China, committed to its zero-COVID strategy, reported zero new cases in Shanghai for the first time since March.
Customer service software company Zendesk will be sold to a consortium of private equity investors USD10.2 bil, a 34% premium to its Thursday’s closing price. Sounds like a good premium until one compares it to an offer it received in Feb worth USD17 bil, which the company rejected.
A survey predicts the UK’s regional towns and cities will be flooded with unwanted offices, as much as 20%, as the pandemic has triggered a structural change in working patterns.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
Former prime minister Najib Razak wore a wig for his new role — an actor — a cameo role in the RTM drama, Tunjang, over the weekend.
Smart design to make lamp post maintenance easy
Why fuel is stored in the wings of aircraft?