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☕️ 47,600+ kg food waste daily at Ramadan bazaars just in KL and Putrajaya, enough to feed 39k+ people
MY male infertility problems at alarming level. More political appointments. Saudi Arabia's USD38 bil ambition to turn from oil capital to esports/gaming capital. Amazon to make artificial diamonds.
1. MARKET SUMMARY 📈
2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE 🔢
47,610 kg of food per day is wasted daily in Ramadan bazaars just in KL and Putrajaya. This is enough to feed 39,675 people daily. This is according to Federal Territories Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Corporation. A bazaar lot, on average, produces an average of 9.5 kg of waste. Extrapolate this nationwide - and the nation is literally putting food to waste.
World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that about one in six people around the world are affected by infertility during their lifetime. The UN’s health agency says about 17.5% of the adult population experience infertility. The crisis does not discriminate — lifetime prevalence was 17.8% in high-income countries and 16.5% in low- and middle-income countries. Closer to home — Malaysian males are facing infertility issues at an alarming rate - read more under local news.
High higher education costs have turned almost half of 2021 school graduates away from pursuing tertiary studies right after secondary school. Only 50.3% of school graduates in 2021 were interested in pursuing higher education — a massive decline compared to 2019 and 2020, which saw 65.2% and 64.8% of students continuing their studies, respectively. This is a structural issue that the government has to address with the highest urgency. Lacking knowledge workers and talents, how are we going to support RM170 bil in foreign direct investments in the future?
Last year remittances reached a whopping USD142 billion, 48% more than in 2019. In 2021, India, Mexico and China are the top three countries that receive the most remittances. According to The Economist, 12 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean get at least 5% of their GDP from remittances.
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3. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
Azalina Othman: MACC probe on Justice Nazlan Ghazali found he violated the Judges’ Code of Ethics
Minister in PM’s Department (Law & Reform) Azalina Othman, in a letter dated Mar 20 to Najib Razak’s solicitors Shafee & Co., said that the judge who presided over Najib’s SRC international trial in the High Court had breached the code and had a conflict of interest. She said this was based on a report of MACC’s findings dated Feb 20.
On Feb 24, a 7-member Federal Court panel led by Chief Judge Tengku Maimun accused MACC of not following protocol when conducting its investigation into Nazlan as protocol requires any investigative body to consult the chief justice first before commencing probes against any judges. Former Malaysian Bar president Ambiga Sreenevasan said this was a case of executive interference, that MACC has exceeded its jurisdiction and undermined the judiciary.
More political appointees — what institutional reforms?
Two appointments were made yesterday. Firstly, Ledang MP Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh of PKR has been appointed Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) non-executive chairman, effective Apr 1.
Secondly, former Baling MP Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim is the new chairman of the Kedah Regional Development Authority (Keda), as confirmed by the Rural and Regional Development Minister and DPM Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. Azeez, who was also the former Tabung Haji chairman, was given full acquittal in his corruption and money laundering case back in December.
The list shall continue expanding.
Male infertility problems at an alarming level
Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Aiman Athirah Sabu said 60% of sperm tests showed abnormal results based on sperm analysis data from the National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN). Details on the abnormalities were not shared. This directly contributes to the increased fertility problems in married couples. The nation’s birth rate is also on a downward trend over the last 40 years. In 2021, the fertility rate stood at 1.7 children per married woman, below the 2.1 children rate required to maintain a population.
Learn: Semen Analysis: What is it, What’s it for, How it is done
Genting Malaysia Bhd‘s independent non-executive director Datuk Lee Bee Phang has been appointed as a member of the Election Commission of Malaysia (SPR). Lee, 61, effective immediately resigned from GenM’s board as her appointment does not allow her to engage in any position or paid work outside of her position as a member of SPR. She used to serve in the Royal Malaysia Police Force for 34 years and holds the National Record in the Malaysia Book of Records for being the First Chinese Women Commissioner of Police - read more of her profile here.
Sell frozen meat and poultry and be a millionaire — HB Global Ltd, a Singapore company listed in Malaysia, has acquired a local poultry firm, KK Fresh Frozen Sdn Bhd, for RM30 mil via the issuance of new shares. The company is involved in the trading of frozen meat and poultry. KK Fresh managing director, Tan Hwa Sing, will emerge as a substantial director following this share issuance with a 20,5% stake in HB Global. The deal involves Tan offering a profit after-tax guarantee of RM3 mil for FY2023 and RM3.5 mil in FY2024.
ITMAX System Bhd has received a 3-year contract extension from DBKL worth RM52.81 mil for the installation and maintenance of networked street lighting systems in KL. ITMAX debuted on the Main Market in Dec last year and saw its price increased by 36% from its IPO price, valuing it at RM1.5 bil. Based on its IPO factsheet, ITMAX is heavily dependent on DBKL — in FY2021, 73.7% of its revenue was attributed to DBKL. ITMAX shares a common major shareholder in Tan Sri Dr Tan Boon Hock with another listed company, Optimax Holdings Bhd, which operates eye specialist centres.
4. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎
Oil to Gaming? Saudi Arabia's Gaming Hub Dream
Saudi Arabia’s Savvy Games Group, part of the government’s Public Investment Fund, will be acquiring mobile games studio Scopely, known for titles such as Scrabble Go, Star Trek Fleet Command, and Marvel Strike Force, in a USD4.9 billion deal. This marks the sixth-largest acquisition in video game history in terms of price. It also marks Savvy’s latest acquisition in its growing stable of game companies, with Scopely joining esport firms ESL and Faceit, which were both acquired, then merged, in a 2022 deal.
The acquisitions are in line with Saudi Arabia’s goal of becoming the next hub of many things, and in this case, the new capital of the video game industry, with the government fronting USD38 billion in its attempt to get a slice of the global video game industry, valued at USD184 billion. As part of that plan, Savvy has been tasked with developing, publishing, and acquiring top-tier games and studios and supporting a gaming industry in Riyadh. Notably, Savvy has made investments in big-name gaming companies like Nintendo, Tencent, and Activision-Blizzard, with plans to leverage those investments to start working with those companies to build the gaming industry in Saudi Arabia, which is looking to diversify its economy away from oil.
Trump calls for defunding of FBI, DOJ
Former president Donald Trump has called on Republicans in Congress to cut funding for the US Department of Justice and the FBI. This comes after he pled not guilty to 34 charges of falsifying business records. However, his call will likely go unheeded by Congress, with the opposite party’s Democrats controlling the Senate. The defunding would also go against Republican dogma, as the party has strongly supported funding for law enforcement in the past. Trump himself had also backed spending increases for the DOJ during his term as president, where the DOJ was allocated an annual budget of USD38.7 billion.
Thaksin’s daughter confirmed as PM candidate
Paetongtarn Shinawatra, the 36-year-old daughter of Thailand’s ex-PM Thaksin Shinawatra, has been confirmed as one of the candidates for prime minister by Thailand’s main opposition party, Pheu Thai, in the coming elections. Running against her are — current PM Prayuth Chan-ocha, 69, who came to power in the 2014 coup that ousted Paetongtarn’s aunt, Yingluck, and ex-general Prawit Wongsuwon, 77, of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party. Thailand’s general election will be held on 14 May 2023.
JFK’s nephew joins 2024 White House race
Robert F Kennedy Jr has filed election paperwork to run for US president in the coming elections as a Democrat. This places him against current president Joe Biden and fellow Democrat Marianne Williamson as they race to be named the Democratic presidential nominee ahead of the presidential elections. He comes from a fascinating political dynasty — he is the son of the assassinated Senator Robert F Kennedy and nephew of the also assassinated President John F Kennedy.
For the Republicans, former President Trump was the first to declare his candidacy as the presidential nominee, pitting him against his former vice-president, Mike Pence, as well as Nikki Haley, former US ambassador to the UN.
Airbus to open new assembly line in China, with go-ahead for 160 plane order
Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury inked the agreements, witnessed by Chinese President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron during the latter’s state visit to China. The agreements will see Airbus’ Tianjin site expanded with a second assembly line, which will double the production capacity, on paper, to 12 planes per month. A deal was also signed with China Aviation Supplies to sell 160 commercial aircraft to China, with 10 of those being the A350-900 widebody aircraft. Are they trading in RMB and EUR instead of USD?
China plans USD500 million subsea internet cable project
The project, called EMA, will cost about USD500 million, linking Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, and is meant to rival a similar US-backed project, SeaMeWe-6, with the contention indicating an intensifying tech war between the US and China. Undersea cables carry over 95% of all international internet traffic but are vulnerable to spying and sabotage, which has led the US to block several Chinese-linked undersea cable projects over the past four years. The EMA cables will be manufactured and laid by China’s HMN Technologies Co Ltd, with subsidies from the Chinese government.
Amazon looks to cultivated diamonds as next network revolution
Amazon is collaborating with a team from global diamond leader De Beers to grow artificial diamonds, with the hope that those diamonds will pave the way for fibre-optic cables to be replaced by quantum networks which use subatomic matter called qubits. The theory behind this is that, by controlling how impurities form in cultivated diamonds, those diamonds can then be used as signal repeaters in a quantum-based network. Conventional signal repeaters are currently unable to handle qubits.
Ex-Italian PM hospitalised, leukaemia suspected – Four-time prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, 86, is currently in hospital, with reports that he is undergoing chemotherapy for leukaemia. This comes a mere six days after he was discharged from the hospital after four days of checkups.
Apple to open first official store in India – Following delays in 2021 due to Covid-19, Apple’s first retail store in India is set to launch this month. Apple products have been sold in India for years via e-commerce platforms, but high prices mean that Apple holds a mere 3% share of India’s smartphone market.
Bitcoin white paper discovered hidden in MacOS – Every copy of MacOS shipped since 2017 has had the Bitcoin whitepaper buried in it. This was discovered by a user in April 2021, and recently re-discovered by a blogger. It is unknown why this exists in the operating systems, but we will see users checking the latest iteration, MacOS 14, which is expected to launch later this year.
Weekend Read: The 7 Streams of Income to Get Rich
Most of us at least have one of these income - earned
slave income. Having just one stream of income puts us in a financially vulnerable position, and well, it isn’t enough to get you rich. Read on for the other types of income and how you can better structure and strategies your income to achieve financial independence.
5. FOR YOUR EYES 📺
Government MPs and Opposition MPs all buddy buddy outside Parliament
If you come across a suspicious image of public, high-profile individuals, a telltale sign that it is AI generated is the shape of hands. AI has difficulty generating proper-looking hands.