☕️ UMNO Sec-Gen: UMNO and Bersatu are 'divorced'
MY ranks 8th out of 100 most stressful countries to drive in. 39 MPs party-hopped since 2018,leading to 3 PMs in 1 parliamentary term. E-comm retailer SHEIN to raise USD1 bil at US100 bil valuation.
1. MARKET SUMMARY
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
734 development projects (95%) of Evergrande Group across China have resumed construction work as of late March, according to the developer’s Pearl River Delta business unit.
USD11 bil — the cost of Nord Stream 2, the Russia-Europe gas pipeline. The 1,234 km offshore pipeline was designed to double the gas flow between Russia and Germany, but the German energy regulator froze it in February following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In the first quarter of 2022, Tesla delivered 310,048 vehicles — its highest deliveries per quarter thus far. Elon Musk credited the Tesla team and key suppliers for the remarkable achievement.
3. COVID-19 SUMMARY
Two new studies have shown that people that have been both fully vaccinated and previously infected with Covid-19 have the strongest protection against the virus. The people are considered to have “hybrid immunity”.
Recipients of the Covid-19 vaccine from Sinovac Biotech, CoronaVac, along with those aged above 60 who have not received their booster doses and have contracted Covid-19 previously, will be given three months grace period before losing their fully vaccinated status.
4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Do you feel stressed driving in Malaysia? Not surprised — Malaysia ranks eighth in the list of the most stressful countries to drive in, with a score of 72 out of 100, according to Confused.com, a UK based financial services comparison platform. Malaysia scored particularly badly for accidents on the road — 22.93 fatal accidents per 100,000 population. Denmark, Japan and Finland ranked as the three least stressful countries to drive in.
Updates on 1MDB audit tampering trial of former PM Najib Razak and former CEO of 1MDB Arul Kanda:
13th prosecution witness and ex-1MDB chairman Mohd Bakke Salleh told the High Court he had met wanted businessman Jho Low in the office of Najib Razah, even before he was the PM. He said he had met Jho Low several times at Najib’s office when he was the defence minister (1999-2008) and deputy PM (2004-2009).
Mohd Bakke said that “it was not an impression” that Jho Low was Najib’s representative given the number of times he met Jho Low in Najib’s office.
Najib spoke to Mohd Bakke through Jho Low’s phone, which Mohd Bakke says “drives home a very strong point”.
Najib told Mohd Bakke not to spend too much time on past transactions, which the board had questions regarding and instead to focus on the JV with PetroSaudi International, which Mohd Bakke and the board felt uneasy about it.
A total of 39 MPs have switched political allegiances since 2018, leading to political instability, with the country witnessing 3 PMs being appointed in a single parliamentary term, according to Minister (Parliament and Law) in the PM’s Department Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.
In response to this party-hopping habit, the government has drafted the 2022 Anti-Party Hopping Bill, which will be debated in a special parliamentary sitting on 11 Apr. PH secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said PH will be supporting this bill.
Opposition parties, including PN are back to the drawing board, revisiting their allies and potential cooperation after the Johor state election aftermath. Some updates:
Last week, Pejuang president Mukhriz Mahathir said Bersatu reached out to meet with Tun Mahathir to cooperate for the next GE. Muhyiddin, Bersatu President, said otherwise that several political party leaders, including Pejuang reached out to him instead.
Tun M said Muhyiddin wanted him to support Muhyiddin to be the PM once again but rejected Muhyiddin’s proposal of cooperation, adding that Muhyiddin “stabbed” him in the back previously, referring to the Langkah Sheraton incident in Feb 2020.
PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang is planning to meet Pejuang chairman Tun M to discuss the possibility of cooperation. He reiterated that PAS is willing to work with Pejuang and other parties that were not extreme and liberal.
Opposition chief Anwar Ibrahim shared that there were ongoing discussions with Muhyiddin but not on supporting him to become the PM again.
UMNO secretary-general and Pontian MP Ahmad Maslan said UMNO and Bersatu are “divorced” and will not work together again in the next GE, as mentioned in UMNO recent general assembly.
Malaysia and Indonesia have agreed that global prices of palm oil should be determined by the 2 nations that are the 2 biggest producers in the world and they should not compete. This comes after PM Sabri’s meeting with Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo. Both countries produce 85% of the world’s palm oil production.
In 2021, Malaysia generated overall export revenue of palm oil and palm-based products of RM102.34 bil, 40.1% higher than 2020 due to higher prices.
How big is Cuckoo International, the home appliance brand? Big. In 2021, it achieved revenue of RM1.13 bil and recorded profit after tax of RM185.5 mil - its 7th consecutive year of topline growth. In 2021 alone, its revenue grew by 44% compared to 2020. Its products have touched the lives of 1.4 mil homes and 4,.7 mil household users with 90% of its customers subscribing to its rental-based services.
Troubled oil and gas company Sapura Energy Bhdobtained a temporary respite - the company has secured a temporary deferment from lenders for outstanding interest and coupon payments for its RM10.3 bil multi-currency financing facilities after the court has issued a 3-month retraining order to Sapura to sort out its restructuring plan.
5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Ukraine said it has regained control of the whole Kyiv region after Moscow’s troops retreat from positions near Kyiv. However, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the troops have created a “catastrophic” situation as the troops are leaving behind land mines. Peace talks are expected to resume today.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan dodged an attempt to remove him from office following Pakistan’s president’s decision to dissolve parliament. The parliament’s deputy speaker refused to hold a vote of no-confidence the PM was expected to lose. Sounds familiar?
Sri Lanka’s government imposed a 36-hour curfew and blocked access to social media in an attempt to prevent more protests blaming the government for a worsening economic crisis. Protestors have been calling for President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to resign. Sri Lanka faces massive debt obligations — USD7 bil this year alone — and dwindling foreign reserves have severely affected the livelihoods of Sri Lankans.
Bloomberg News reported that regulators in Beijing are working on a framework that’ll grant their US counterparts full access to auditing reports of Chinese companies listed in New York. China has long restricted offshore-listed firms’ financial data sharing practice and the US couldn’t take it any longer as it wanted to kick non-compliant businesses off the New York Stock Exchange. US-listed Chinese stocks climbed on Friday following the news.
Chinese fast fashion e-commerce startup SHEIN wants to raise USD1 bil, which would value the company at about USD100 bil. Shein has become a juggernaut mainly because of a combination of supply-chain savvy, data-driven clothing design, and tax loopholes in the US and China. Shein offers 600,000 items to its customers, a haven for online fashionistas.
Meta has lost some of its top artificial intelligence scientists, with at least four prominent members of Meta AI have departed in recent months. Some said Meta’s foray into the metaverse could be the leading cause, but Meta’s Chief AI Scientist Yann LeCun said people have moved their goalposts and looked for greener pastures elsewhere.
About 100 scientists have mapped the human genome with no gaps for the first time — 19 years after the Human Genome Project completed an “essentially finished” version. The original sequence did not include about 8% of the human genome. The finished version of the human genome could contain clues about issues from autism to ageing to otherwise unexplainable diseases.
6. FOR YOUR EYES 👁👁
There’s ‘dining in the dark’, and now there is ‘shuttle in the dark’. Play badminton in a glow-in-the-dark court In Petronas Twin Towers. Price? RM180 per hour.
Heartwarming story - 6 year old boy sells his toys to buy meals for children in orphanages.